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View the latest results of the Employee Retention Index

Infographic

What employees want: COVID‑19 Delta variant impacts on return to office plans

With the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant, the road ahead remains complicated as many employers are announcing delays or shifts in their return to work plans. The good news is nearly 2 in 3 employees (64%) are more comfortable going to their workplace than a restaurant but there are still concerns about what employees want for their return. Eagle Hill Consulting research finds employees have mixed views on issues including workplace re-openings, vaccination requirements, and how to treat unvaccinated employees. But, employees agree that they want employers involved in many parameters around workplace safety.

Employers that remain flexible and listen to employee views are best positioned to navigate through more COVID-19 uncertainty. It’s even more important for employers to fully understand what employees want given the acute labor shortage. Unlike the early days of the pandemic, workers aren’t afraid to quit their jobs. Retaining talent means creating a culture and work environment—virtual or in person—that is aligned with employee preferences.

– Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill President & CEO

The COVID-19 Delta variant triggers workplace concerns for many U.S. workers

Given the rise in COVID-19 Delta variant, does this impact: 

44% willing to go to workplace icon

44%

your willingness to go to the workplace

50% fear contracting the virus icon

50%

your fear of contracting the virus

61% take precations at work icon

61%

precautions you take at work

64% take precautions in personal life icon

64%

precautions you take in your personal life

Employees are largely split on actions employers should take before returning to in-person work

Workers are evenly divided on whether employers should require employee vaccinations

Should your employer require vaccinations?

Workers evenly divided on whether employers should require employee vaccinations—bar graph

Many U.S. workers are supportive of employers asking about worker vaccination status

Should your employer ask about vaccination status?

58% say employer should ask about vaccination status—doughnut chart
58% YES
42% NO

Workers are evenly divided on whether employers should require proof of employee vaccinations

Should your employer require proof of vaccination?

52% say employers should require proof of employee vaccinations—doughnut chart
52% YES
48% NO

Nearly 2 in 3 workers want employers to institute special precautions for unvaccinated

Should your employer institute special precautions for unvaccinated?

2 in 3 workers want employers to institute special precautions for unvaccinated—doughnut chart
63% YES
37% NO

A strong majority of employees want their employers to offer incentives for vaccinated employees

Should your employer offer incentives (such as money, paid time off, gift cards, etc.) for vaccinated employees?

A majority of employees want their employers to offer incentives for vaccinated employees—bar graph

Employees are increasingly supportive of punitive actions for unvaccinated employees

Employees say unvaccinated colleagues should NOT be able to:

No special allowances to work from home icon
63%

Be given special allowances to work from home

+8% since April

No travel for work icon
51%

Travel for work

+7% since April

No work in-person with customers icon
44%

Work in-person with customers

+5% since April

No work in-person with co‑workers icon
40%

Work in-person with co‑workers

+5% since April

Not stay with employer icon
24%

Stay with their employer

+7% since April

Over 40% of workers also think unvaccinated employees should pay higher health insurance rates

Should unvaccinated employees be expected to pay higher health insurance rates?

Over 40% of workers say unvaccinated employees should pay higher health insurance rates—doughnut chart
41% YES
59% NO

Employees want their employers to play an active role in COVID-19 precautions

My employer should require or encourage employees to:

Social distance icon

Social
distance

August: 77%
April: 84%
February: 89%
Wear masks icon

Wear
masks

August: 73%
April: 81%
February: 87%
Have temperature checked icon

Have their
temperature checked

August: 67%
April: 74%
February: 81%
Receive regular COVID-19 testing icon

Receive regular
COVID-19 testing

August: 61%
April: 64%
February: 69%
Wear personal protective equipment icon

Wear personal
protective equipment

August: 58%
April: 62%
February: 71%

The 2021 Eagle Hill Consulting COVID-19 Vaccines and the Workplace Survey measures employee sentiment about COVID-19 vaccines, returning to the workplace, as well as testing and safety protocols. Conducted by Ipsos from August 8-11, 2021, this national survey includes 1,010 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S. This poll follows similar research conducted from April 7-9, Feb 5-9, 2021, and from December 4‑8, 2020.