2022 Trends for Returning to the Workplace
At our MEA Insights Weekly Webinar on March 22, 2022, we polled employers in the MidAtlantic region regarding their plans to bring people back to the physical workplace. In total we had 75 respondents participating in the polls. Here are the results:
Returning to the Workplace
For employees who are able to work remotely, forty percent (40%) of our responding members have implemented a hybrid approach, and 35% have implemented a fully remote workplace. A smaller percentage of our responding employers (25%) have required their employees to return to work primarily in the office full-time.
Although we seem to be moving to a post-pandemic world, it does not look like remote and hybrid work are going away anytime soon.
For those responding employers who are requiring their employees to return to the physical workplace, only 14% of employees are required to return 5 days a week. And 33% of our responding employers decide on a case-by-case basis how employees will return to the physical workplace.
This statistic mirrors the idea that employers are deciding how to bring people back based on their individual job needs, team activities and business and cultural standards. For some employers, their employees feel more productive working from home, while other employers really see the need for in person collaboration.
Regardless of the reasoning for implementing a remote or hybrid workforce, it seems that offering some flexibility will be a strong tool for attracting and retaining your talent.
When asked if employers require masks in the workplace, 77% of our respondents replied that they no longer require masks. Only 8% of employers are requiring masks for all employees regardless of their vaccination status. Thirteen percent (13%) of respondents require masks for unvaccinated employees.
When MEA ran these polls in January, the results were very different, with 62% of responding employers requiring masks for all employees. The percentage of employers who do not require masks increased from 20% to 77% between January and March.
As these responses show, many employers are moving away from mask mandate.
Just as 77% of employers are not requiring masks in the workplace, 77% of responding employers are not requiring their employees to be vaccinated. This could largely be due to the Supreme Court blocking the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard for large employers.
When asked whether employers have changed their Paid Time Off (PTO) policy to encourage sick or exposed employees to stay home, 77% of employers responded that they have not changed their PTO policies.