Survey: Two-Thirds of U.S. Business Offices Anticipate Reopening by Fall

Commutes may be a little longer during the summer and into fall of 2021, according to new data from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), a human capital research firm. With over half of adults in the U.S. having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and the numbers rising steadily, businesses are solidifying their plans to reopen workplaces—if they haven’t already.

Return to the workplace time frame

Nearly two-thirds (61%) of the 405 HR professionals surveyed in i4cp’s monthly series tracking vaccine and return to work trends report that employees have already begun to return to the workplace or will by summer. That is an increase from the 53% that reported the same in March. Specifically:

  • 24% say employees have already returned or have begun returning to the workplace
  • 37% plan to return employees to the workplace by the end of September

While 6% the respondents, half of whom represent global or multinational organizations, don’t anticipate reopening offices until the final quarter of the year and another 5% until 2022, only 10% reported that they have yet to decide on next steps.

Of course, “returning employees to the workplace” does not mean a return to pre-COVID levels of people working closely together. Hybrid and flexible schedules are expected to remain in place at many organizations for the foreseeable future; exactly what this means is a matter and debate and something i4cp is analyzing as part of its From Cube to Cloud™: The Next Era of Work study.

More findings from April’s Getting Employees Vaccinated survey will be available soon.