Adjusting to new workplace Covid protocols is among the biggest concerns for employees as businesses prepare to return to work on September 13, according to new research.
The research released today by e-recruitment platform, Jobs.ie, reveals that adjusting to the workplace poses some concerns for employees, with those waiting to go back least looking forward to returning to the daily commute to the workplace (35%), adjusting to new workplace Covid protocols (28%) and using public transport (13%).
Of those with the option to continue working from home once businesses can reopen; two in five (40%) say they would like to continue working from home full time while almost half (49%) would be happy to do a mixture of both.
The remaining one in 10 (11%) want to go back to the workplace fulltime.
To ensure the safe return of employees to the workplace, businesses are also implementing a number of workplace health and safety protocols in line with HSE and public health guidance. The most common safety measures being introduced include hand sanitising stations (79%), more frequent cleaning schedules (63%) and reduced capacity within the workplace (61%).
Mandatory face coverings (48%) and Perspex partition screens (36%) are also among some of the most popular measures being introduced. A small number of businesses (5%) are introducing additional measures to protect employees based on their specific workplace like assigned seating, one-way entry and exit systems and lift protocols.
According to the survey findings, there are a mixture of return to work policies being put in place by employers. 59% of employees say that they must return to the workplace when it reopens, 23% have the option to work from home for a select amount of days per week, while 18% can continue to work from home full time if they choose to do so.
Commenting on the figures, Christopher Paye, General Manager at Jobs.ie said, “For many businesses in Ireland, Covid-19 has made working from home the new normal - even for those who didn’t think it would be possible. Equally, for employees who may have been on the fence about it before, it has brought positive benefits such as a reduced commute time, or in some cases, the ability to work flexible hours.
“Following the Government’s most recent guidelines which require all businesses to return to working from home until 13 September, the question now is whether working from home will continue to be part of our everyday work life.”
In response to these findings, Paye added, “From our research, it is evident that there is a demand among workers for flexible schedules that allow working from home either on a full time or part time basis going forward. For employers, this should be a key consideration when implementing return to work policies.
“While some sectors will inevitably require teams to return to the premises, others will find that there is room for flexibility, and where possible, employers should look to incorporate this into their HR policies to ensure that employees feel safe and secure in their return to the workplace.”