As Indian organisations are beginning to re-open, albeit in phases, it is time to address employee concerns. Some employees are in fear of returning to offices due to safety reasons. Nearly three out of four Indian employees, that is 72 per cent, currently working from home due to COVID-19, do not want to risk returning to their workplace due to concerns around commuting safely to work.
According to a survey by Kronos Incorporated, conducted in conjunction with Workplace Intelligence, 72 per cent of Indian employees mark ‘safe commute to work and overall workplace sanitation and cleanliness’, whereas 42 per cent consider ‘using shared workspaces, such as conference rooms’ as a big challenge that can lead to the spread of the virus.
Globally, around 75 per cent employees trust their employer to create a physically safe and healthy work environment. However, in India, only around 55 per cent of Indian employees believe that their employers have created a physically safe and healthy workplace environment for their return.
The survey that covered almost 4,000 employees globally, has helped clear the fallacy that concern over employee privacy is more than employee safety.
The survey states that around 86 per cent employees are comfortable with employer-led contact tracing, which, combined with education and transparent communication, may be the key to putting a risk-averse workforce at ease. Even in India, an employee’s safety continues to be the biggest concern right now.
Gregg Gordon, vice president, industry, Kronos, states, “Employees have demonstrated that they do have safety concerns in the workplace, but generally trust their employer to take care of them. This should signal to employers that they have a responsibility to step up and employ all methods necessary to protect workers physically and mentally during COVID-19, regardless of whether employees have worked all through the pandemic, have recently come back to the workplace, or won’t be brought back for another few months.”
In workplaces around the world, expectations from the workforce are high for employers to create environments that are as safe as possible.
Around 37 per cent of Indian workers doubt the accuracy with which employees’ or guests’ temperatures are taken at the workplaces. Around 49 per cent are concerned about how quickly organisations will react to positive cases at the workplace.
In order to safeguard organisational safety, globally, around 48 per cent of employees are comfortable with contact tracing. In India, however, only 39 per cent are comfortable with the approach. Only five per cent of Indian respondents are “not at all” comfortable with this approach to contact tracing at the workplace.
Sumeet Doshi, country manager, India, Kronos, feels, “Earning the trust of employees that their health and safety are in good hands will be critical for organisations as the workforce starts getting back to the workplace. Employees need to feel that the right systems and processes are in place. Having an automated contact tracing process at the workplace will be a step in this direction.”
Reportedly, millennials worldwide are more comfortable with various forms of contact tracing than their generational counterparts