The onset and rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta Variant have led to significant setbacks in regards to businesses reopening, due in part to worker caution in returning to the workplace.
Survey Shows Workers Still Cautious Regarding Workplace Return
Just as businesses were looking towards the future--fully staffed offices and a return to normal--the COVID-19 Delta Variant struck, resulting in widespread setbacks in facility occupant confidence regarding an organization's ability to protect their health and safety.
According to the results of a survey conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting Research, of those who responded:
- 44% said the rise of the COVID-19 Delta Variant impacts their willingness to return to the workplace.
- 50% said the variant had increased concerns about contracting COVID-19, and;
- 61% said the variant means they will take extra precautions at work.
Worker concerns are so great that:
- Respondents were evenly split--50/50--regarding mandatory employee vaccinations to return to the office.
- 58% wanted their employer to ask in-office staff about their vaccination status.
- 52% supported the requirement for providing proof of vaccination to return to the office.
- 63% supported the idea of employers instituting precautions for unvaccinated workers.
- 63% stated unvaccinated workers should not receive allowances to work from home.
- 51% said unvaccinated workers should not be allowed to travel for work.
- 44% said unvaccinated workers should not be allowed to work face-to-face with customers.
- 40% stated non-vaccinated workers should be allowed to work in-person with co-workers, and;
- 24% said unvaccinated employees should not be allowed to stay with the employer.
Clearly, office worker stress is rising, and business owners and managers must take ongoing proactive actions to alleviate fears and reduce that stress without alienating vital labor resources.
According to Melissa Jezzior, President and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting;
The key for employers is to remain flexible and listen to employee views so they are best positioned to navigate through even 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
Relieving Worker Stress With Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection
With office worker stress demonstrably at critical levels, combined with the ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 variants and relatively low vaccination numbers, the following enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices are highly advisable:
- Implement day porter and other day cleaning services and ensure the staff is seen by facility occupants performing their tasks.
- Use only commercial-grade EPA-registered cleaning and disinfectant products, but look for registered safer choice alternatives and advertise those efforts to your office workers and customers.
- Forego facility-wide deep disinfection services--except as necessary based on community-wide infection levels or localized contamination--in favor of targeted touchpoint disinfection throughout the workday.
- Leverage the benefits of team-cleaning to maximize efficiency and cleaning outcomes, and;
- Provide ongoing safety and product training for all custodial staff.
References & Resources
Office worker stress has reached a new all-time high due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 Delta Variant combined with stress from the prior near two-year lockdown.
Unfortunate circumstances where battle lines may be drawn between vaccinated and non-vaccinated office staff can be avoided by establishing and communicating enhanced cleaning, disinfection, and safety protocols facility-wide.
Doing so will require the expertise of a trained and dedicated custodial staff and the products and equipment to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness are adhered to.
Providing that level of service in a conventional, in-house manner may well fall outside the budgets for many organizations.
Outsourcing is a proven method for onboarding rising in-demand sustainable cleaning for health services, tools, and expertise for a fraction of the cost of maintaining a similar service with direct hires.
If you would like more information regarding the effectiveness of high-performance infection prevention and control measures, or if you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation onsite assessment of your facility's custodial needs, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield, CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno, CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Palmdale, CA or Lancaster, CA, call (661) 371-4756