Using proptech to address employee concerns about workplace health and safety

One of the hallmarks of the world emerging from the pandemic is workers returning to the office. For the past two years, many employees have been able to work remotely to reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. However, it’s important to business continuity and operational efficiency for employers to understand employee attitudes toward working in the office.

Surveying employees regarding workplace health and safety

Understandably, many workers have reservations about commuting to the office again due to the risk of catching COVID. Therefore, the onus is on employers to implement robust health and safety guidelines that ensure a COVID-secure work environment. Hand sanitization stations, guest pre-registration and touchless sign-ins are just some of the features organizations are using to keep staff safe.

Additionally, employees appear to be fully behind measures designed to safeguard their well-being. Indeed, a recent survey conducted by MRI Software and Brivo has revealed that over half (53%) of workers want employers to go one step further and introduce proptech that has the ability to record proof of COVID-19 vaccination. This study follows an earlier report in May 2021 by MRI Software, Return to Work, which examined people’s attitudes to returning to the office.

The findings of the report highlight that there’s a remaining sense of unease amongst employees about returning to the workplace and this type of technology instils a greater sense of confidence and comfort about working on-site.

How employees feel about returning to work

This recent report, based on a survey at the end of 2021, further explores people’s health and safety concerns related to their return to the office and preferred working arrangements. One of the main concerns people have about returning to work is the proximity to other people. It has a sample size of more than 1,000 people in the United States and offers insight across more than a dozen sectors in the workplace. The findings provide insight into post-pandemic views on the future of the office and the technologies that may be required to adapt to this work model.

There are other key findings in the report that reveal further attitudes towards remote work transitioning into returning back to the office:

  • 52% of respondents said they had health and safety concerns about returning to the workplace – but this was down from 62% in the previous survey six months earlier.
  • Of the workers who are not back at the workplace full time, 45% percent expect to be back full time within six months, down from 53% in the previous survey.
  • 78% of all workers surveyed prefer working from home at least some of the time.
  • 61% of respondents reported concerns about returning full-time.
  • Vice presidents and C-suite respondents had the lowest levels of concern, while directors and associates were the most concerned.

It is clear that workers still have some concerns about returning to the office, but they are starting to subside. Organizations that want to continue alleviating worries around health and safety in the office need to implement the right technologies to foster greater trust.

Overall, while the pandemic has fast-tracked a switch to a situation where more employees than ever split their time between home and the office, currently many workers are still working from home because they are more comfortable about their health and safety there. In order to assure employees in the office are safe, businesses need to have a full range of effective workplace management solutions in place that enable them to track and manage all the challenges around keeping people safe in the workplace – from ensuring that workstations have been fully cleaned to managing a properly spaced desk configuration to touchless signing in of visitors to recording proof of vaccination.

While vaccine passports remain a controversial issue, there is clear demand for employees to prove their vaccination status. A comprehensive solution like MRI’s WhosOnLocation platform can track proof of vaccination and help alleviate employees’ reservations about commuting into the office – thus helping ensure that companies more easily shift to true hybrid working arrangements that offer a comfortable and protected work environment.

Ebook

The next frontier: Charting the changing landscape of corporate real estate

Hybrid working has become the go-to strategy in many organisations across the world for the future of work. While it offers employees more flexibility and choice over where and when they work, it also presents a new set of challenges for corporate real estate and facilities management teams. Gone are the days of a predictable … Continued

The next frontier - Charting the changing landscape of corporate real estate
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