MidAtlantic Employers’ Plans to Return to the Office
Similar to our August 31st Town Hall, MEA dedicated the entire October 12th Town Hall to discuss the ever-changing policies and protocols around returning to the physical workplace. To determine what employers in the MidAtlantic region have implemented, we polled our attendees during the webinar. In this blog, we are going to compare and contrast the poll results from our August 31st Town Hall to our October 12th Town Hall. The surveys from August and October have over 100 participants.
Question 1: Are you requiring masks in the workplace?
There is no substantial change from our results in August to our results in October. 3% of respondents are still undecided when it comes to requiring masks in the workplace. In both polls, the answer that received the highest percentage of votes is “Yes for Everyone (Including Visitors).” This is most likely due to the CDC’s recommendation for everyone to mask indoors in high areas of high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. The most significant change from August to October is the 6% increase in employers not requiring masks for employees and visitors regardless of their vaccination status.
In the end, fewer employers are distinguishing employee and visitor vaccination status before making a decision around masking. There is almost an equal shift towards employers not requiring masks and employers requiring masks for all employees. At the end of the day, your organization should consider how easy it is to social distance, how much interaction your employees have with the public, and testing in your organization to make informed decisions around mask mandates.
Question 2: Are you requiring employees to be vaccinated?
Unlike the last set of polls, there is a significant difference between these poll results. Specifically, there is a 14% decrease in employers who are NOT requiring the vaccine. In other words, more and more employers are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. This could be largely due to Biden’s Path Out Of The Pandemic Plan. The percentage of employers who are requiring the vaccine has almost doubled from 8% in August to 15% in October. Employers seem to be even more undecided about whether or not to require vaccinations with an 8% increase from August to October.
Question 3: Have you changed your PTO policy to encourage sick or exposed employees to stay home?
Similar to the first set of polls, there is not a significant difference in the results from August to October; however, more employers are undecided when it comes to changing their PTO policies. Most of the respondents still do not want to change their PTO policies.
Question 4: For your employees who ARE able to work remotely, they are…
As a bonus, we also asked our respondents what kind of workplace model they have implemented. 46% of employers responded that they are working in a hybrid environment, 34% are working mostly in the office, and 24% are working entirely remotely. These percentages are pretty close, and none of the choices dominate over the others. It can be concluded that employers are taking different approaches to return to the workplace. When choosing which approach is the right approach for your organization, consider your industry, business goals, and the roles of your employees. MEA provides HR services that help HR professionals attract, train, align and motivate workforces.