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35% of staff want a vaccine before returning to office, study finds

Following the easing of lockdown, 35% of those who have been working from home want a vaccine or an antibody test before returning to their physical workplace, Canada Life has revealed.

Its latest research found that whilst 41% were feeling positive about returning to the office, 28% of workers were still concerned to do so, a figure which increased to 36% among women. 

A further 17% believe that it will be several years before working practices return to normal, despite the official government alert level dropping to three.

Of those working from home, 18% would like to see routine temperature checks implemented, 21% would want regular Coronavirus testing in the office and 22% would want physical changes to enforce social distancing introduced before they return to the workplace.

However, 31% would also like the option to work from home when they want to, while 23% want to be “given the choice” as to whether they return to their physical workplace at all. 

Despite this, having access to teams and management (18%), getting back into a routine (16%), having fewer distractions (13%) and improved mental health (12%) were among the things workers were most looking forward to returning to the workplace for. 

Paul Avis, strategic proposition director, Canada Life group insurance said: “Workers are unsurprisingly anxious about returning to the physical workplace. After such a long period of time working from home, many of us have developed new ways of working and fallen into new routines. 

“And while lots of workers are looking forward to getting ‘back to normal’, many feel like the ‘new normal’ will never be the same as it once was. With the pandemic changing the way we’ve lived our lives over the past four months, I’m not surprised that some are understandably hoping for a vaccine or antibody testing before they get back into the workplace.” 

He added: “But as anyone who may have spent the last few months working from a single bedroom flat will testify, a return to the workplace will come as a welcome relief alongside all the social benefits that brings.  

“Employers have a clear responsibility to ensure their workers feel safe returning to the workplace and are given the time and support they need to feel comfortable doing so. Employers can access the resources and tools available to them to help ensure a return to the workplace will be as positive an experience as possible.”

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