More than one-third of remote workers say they have not heard a word from employers about when, how or if they will return to their workplaces, a LinkedIn survey in July found.
As the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus surges throughout the nation, some 36% of workers surveyed by the professional social media platform said they have not heard any plans from their respective employers about heading back to the workplace, CNBC reported Monday.
”It’s all about communication,” Shannon Hardy, LinkedIn’s vice president of flexible work, told CNBC. ”Even sharing where you are in the planning process or what criteria [are] being used to determine plans will help employees feel seen and prioritized.”
The lack of news is causing those employees stress as they worry about what measures the employers will take amid the resurgence of the virus and masking mandates even after the release of vaccines.
The survey was conducted among 3,000 remote U.S. workers in July. A margin of error was not disclosed in the CNBC report.
The results highlight the uncertainty faced by a workforce that has had to adapt itself to new realities amid the pandemic.
New guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls for even fully vaccinated people to wear masks indoors again, as well as at large gatherings of people because the delta variant is more contagious than the original strain and can spread more quickly through the population.
As of Monday, the agency reported that there were more than 36 million new cases of the disease in the last 30 days, and that 72.1% of adults have had at least one dose of the three available vaccines.
Workers who have returned to the workplace are also dealing with stress and anxiety regarding the surge of the new variant.
More than a third of those workers said in a June survey by McKinsey & Co., a recruiting and skills development company that focuses on the workplace, that returning to their workplace negatively affected their mental health, and that more than half of those waiting to go back also anticipate negative mental health effects for the return.
”Employers who recognize and prioritize psychological safety alongside physical safety in their post-pandemic operations can help employees’ mental health and their own efforts to cultivate inclusive workplaces,” the company said in an article on its survey. ”This support can have concrete effects on critical workplace outcomes, including employee well-being, satisfaction, productivity, and absenteeism.”
Employers can best deal with all the stress and uncertainty by keeping employees, especially remote workers caring for children, in the loop as to what they plan to do, and what kind of timeline will be implemented for a return to the workplace.
Workers also said they would like options, such as continuing to work remotely at least some days, rather than returning full time.
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