May 20, 2021

Employees Cite Fear, Lack of Trust in Return to On-Site Work

More than half of U.S. adults (54%) cite barriers preventing them from returning to “brick-and-mortar” work locations during the ongoing pandemic, according to results from the latest ASA Workforce Monitor® online survey conducted by The Harris Poll among 2,055 U.S. adults 18 and older.

Among those who cite obstacles to returning to work in an in-person setting, the top three are fear of catching Covid-19 at work or during commute (57%), preference to work at home (35%), and not yet being vaccinated (34%). At the same time, nearly a quarter of U.S. adults (23%) say there are no barriers for them to return to work at an on-site location or they are already in that situation (13%). Notably, one in five U.S. adults (21%) say they wouldn’t trust any source regarding whether or not it is safe to return to brick-and-mortar work locations during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The ASA Workforce Monitor findings show that employers are among the top resources that U.S. workers listen to when making decisions about returning to on-site job locations,” said Richard Wahlquist, ASA president and chief executive officer. “However, with some saying they don’t trust any sources about safely returning to work, employers must make it a top priority to clearly communicate the return-to-work safety protocols and procedures that have been put in place to ensure employee safety and well-being.”

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