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Back to the Office: ‘yes please,’ ‘no thanks’ or somewhere in between?

June 16, 2021

MB

By Maaike Boer
Global Corporate Communications, CWT

Photo: Marten Bjork

The world is opening up and we are well on our way to ‘the new normal’. One of the final restrictions to be lifted will be the opening of offices. Research from Public Health England points out that office spaces had more outbreaks of COVID-19 than any other workplace environment. So it is a good thing that the majority of companies have maintained strict rules about working from home as much as possible.

If you have been working from home for months on end, it’s possible that you can’t wait to go back to the office. Or do you take the opposite view?

We polled our Linkedin followers to find out what they were dreading the most when thinking of getting back to the office. A whopping 62% indicated that the prospect of commuting again is the biggest thing they dread about getting back to the office. Around 17% of respondents don’t have an issue heading back to the office floor. They’re looking forward to meeting their colleagues again face-to- face. 14% are not looking forward to gossip at work, while the noise – and occasional 'fragrant' lunch from a neighboring desk- seemed to be the least of their concerns (7%).

As we slowly head back to the office in some capacity, part of the 'new normal' may also involve a return to travel for some, restrictions allowing. Traveling and returning to the office will undoubtedly raise concerns about the spread of COVID-19, especially around colleagues who are not vaccinated (yet) or choose not to get the jab at all. So we also asked our followers how they feel about working side-by-side with colleagues who are traveling and have not been vaccinated. Over 60% of respondents feel very uncomfortable about the prospect. 37% said that would make them somewhat uncomfortable. Only 20% are totally okay about the prospect of working next to a colleague who has not had a jab, and 18% feel ‘somewhat comfortable’.

However you may feel about getting back to the office, it still remains important to comply to the basic COVID-rules in the coming period. So keep a safe distance from your colleagues (1.5 metres minimum), wear a face covering where applicable, wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizers. When you develop COVID-19 symptoms like a high temperature, continuous coug or a sudden loss/ change of taste or smell,  go home immediately and request a test as soon as you can to protect your colleagues and yourself.


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