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When Will U.S. Workers Return to the Office? Over 50% of Employers Have a Plan

When asked the timeframe under which organizations are currently operating to return U.S.-based employees to the workplace/office, more than half of the HR leaders and professionals who took part in i4cp’s latest survey reported having a plan in place.

The data, from i4cp’s monthly Getting Employees Vaccinated survey, shows that 53% of organizations either have already returned workers to the workplace or will do so within five to six months. While a small percentage (6%) say they plan to begin a return to the workplace within a month or two, just over 25% put the timeframe in the summer/early fall time period.

While not specifically addressed in the survey, reopening offices does not mean that all workers will be required back, and certainly not at the same time.

The availability of COVID-19 vaccines to the general population is a lingering concern among business leaders—after all, it’s difficult to require or even encourage employees to get vaccinated and/or return to a shared workspace—let alone plan for timing—when the majority of the population is still waiting for access.

In line with that lack of timeline clarity, coupled with other concerns about COVID variants and anti-vaccination resistance, 20% of survey respondents reported that their organizations have not made any decisions yet about when a return to the workplace makes sense. Even still, organizations such as Amazon have been more open about a summer/early fall return for its office workers.

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i4cp’s monthly Getting Employees Vaccinated survey is based on input from 422 business professionals, primarily in HR. Over 50% represent global or multinational organizations. View the full results of the survey here.

Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.