Most U.S. workers (78%) would like their employers to encourage or require their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for in-person work, and more than half (56%) support requirements for booster shots, according to a new report.
The national survey, conducted by Ipsos for Eagle Hill Consulting of Arlington, VA, queried 1001 U.S. employees between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7, 2022. Respondents also expressed anxiety about safety in the workplace and about working in person during the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant surge. Fully 55% agreed that employers should reconsider plans to reinstate in-person work.
“Our research indicates workers continue to want employers proactively involved in health and safety protocols,” said Melissa Jezior, Eagle Hill’s president and CEO, in a statement. “From vaccine and booster mandates to masking and social distancing requirements, most workers continue to look to their employer to stay engaged in COVID-19 precautions.”
When asked about personal safety, more than 80% of respondents said that employers should require or encourage social distancing and mask-wearing. They were only slightly less enthusiastic about encouraging or requiring temperature checks before entering the workplace (72%), and 60% would like employers to require or encourage testing before doing so.
“The fast-spreading omicron variant has rattled employees while upending return-to-workplace plans,” Jezior said. “The key takeaway from omicron is that the virus is still in control, and employers must be in a perpetual pivot mode should another variant emerge.”