79% of Employees Value Health Over Productivity
Our experiences in life bring renewed priorities and new expectations. While it’s clear there will be new priorities and expectations from the employee-employer relationship because of the pandemic, there is uncertainty among organizations as to what those are.
A survey of office workers across the U.S. was taken, to better understand how employee mindsets have shifted after over a year of working from home.
What are employees’ greatest concerns as they return to the workplace?
What do employees expect of employers?
What changes do employees want and expect to see in their workplace?
What will make them feel safe to return and remain a part of your workforce?
What was discovered: Employees now possess a powerful new awareness of the impact their office and other work environments - therefore their employers - have on their overall health.
91% of Employees Say Employers are Responsible for Their Health
After over a year of living with the pandemic, employees expect significant changes in the office. Not only to protect them from COVID-19, but from all common illnesses (seasonal flus, the common cold, coronavirus variants 'Alpha & Delta,' etc.). This critical transformation is paving the way for solutions that better addresses how organizations protect human health and the planet.
Priorities Have Shifted, Putting a Greater Focus on Health Than Ever Before.
This represents a major shift in the mentality of the American workforce. The pandemic has and will continue to transform every part of our lives. With reported levels of loss, stress and burnout higher than ever before, America's employees are now putting their health first.
H&S experts have tried to accomplish for decades, with marginal results. An example would be reducing obesity and diabetes through government programs and nutritional awareness - a focus of many wellness programs and countless dollars spent over the last 1o-20 years, only to find out that the metrics have only gotten worse.
88% of Office Workers Feel They Have a Responsibility to Not Get Co-Workers Sick.
This is an indication that gone are the days of taking OTC daytime medications and “powering through” the workday, when we feel or know that we under the weather.
The results on the other side of this is a workforce that will take action if they don’t feel safe. Employees now expect employers to make significant changes in the workplace, not only to protect them from COVID-19, but from all common illnesses and injuries, and from many of the toxic chemicals used today.
The consequence for employers that do not take the appropriate actions is that people will leave. Over 3 in 5 American employees would look for another job if their employer didn’t implement sufficient infection prevention protocols and improve health outcomes at work. This sends a critical message to employers: Healthy spaces are no longer just about COVID - people want 24/7/365 protection.
Employees Believe Working in an Office Makes Them More Likely to Get Sick.
After a year of working from home to protect ourselves, co-workers and our families from COVID-19, it turns out 40% of Americans report getting sick less often. As a result of this newfound realization, we now know that our health can actually be better.
65% of employees say their biggest fear about going back to the office is the increased likelihood of getting sick.
For over a year now, employees have had to follow unprecedented safety protocols in order to protect themselves from COVID-19’s severe consequences. This has led to an “acute awareness” around how infectious diseases in general are spread and that they are virtually everywhere around us. In the air and on surfaces of all kinds. Most people are waiting for the next health scare or pandemic and feel that they won't have long to wait.
78% of employees believe offices in particular are a breeding ground for infectious illnesses, and that going back to the office will put their health at risk, regardless of whether someone has been vaccinated or not.
83% of employees think that even though people are getting vaccinated for COVID-19, employers should make every possible effort to provide better cleaning and disinfecting solutions and protocols.
Employees want to be protected from all kinds of infectious illnesses, and also protected from the negative health side effects, which can result from the use of and exposure to toxic chemicals such as Quats.
Employers are Responsible for the Health + Safety of Employees in the Office and the Entire Worksite.
There is a new employee mindset around sick days and the responsibility of employers to safeguard the health of employees. 91% of employees believe their employer is responsible for ensuring safety not just from COVID-19, but from all other infectious illnesses at and around the office/workplace.
That sentiment increases among a higher paid workforce. Those with an annual household income (HHI) of $100k+ hold their employer more responsible for their health and their safety protocols at work, than those with an annual HHI of less than $50k.
Taking steps to create a healthy workplace is no longer a "nice to have goal," it is a requirement that can no longer be ignored. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, research showed that companies prioritizing health, safety and wellness in the workplace saw increasingly positive returns. A Harvard University study reported that for every dollar spent on employee health and wellness, medical costs decrease $3.27 and absenteeism drops $2.73 - a 6:1 ROI.
A recent study from the Integrated Benefits Institute reported in 2019 alone, poor employee health cost U.S. employers $575B and 1.5B days of lost productivity.
Today, when it comes to ensuring health and safety in the workplace, among the most important things employees believe employers are responsible for providing, are: Hand soap and sanitizer (52%), and implementing SAFE and ongoing enhanced disinfection protocols (48%).
The Bottom Line
For most employees, health and safety is a non-negotiable item as they return to the office. The consequence for employers who fail to do this is - People will leave.
The ROI of a healthy and efficient workplace is an organization’s highest performing workforce.
Leveraging non-toxic chemistries and technologies to improve the health and safety of indoor environments and the health of those inside them, is now a competitive advantage for attracting and holding on to top talent.
We expect to see a significant reallocation in talent to companies that invest in creating and maintaining healthy, injury and illness free work environments and cultures.
Ultimately, employers must not forget that a global health crisis is what triggered this new era of workforce and workspace transformation. The aftereffects of which have permanently heightened social consciousness about health and wellness in the workplace.
Contact Accurate Ergonomics to learn more about their proven to work and last, injury and illness prevention training program and courses (1-866-950-ERGO).
Contact Xtreme Prevention to learn more about Xtreme, the highly effective and non-toxic solution to the COVID-19 virus and more (1-866-755-2321).