Businesses are clarifying their back-to-work protocols as their employees return to the office from working at home following the COVID-19 shutdowns, according to tracking by global outplacement and executive and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
An online survey conducted in June among 150 Human Resources executives at companies of various sizes and industries nationwide by Challenger inquired how businesses are addressing the virus.
In the latest survey, 51.72% of the companies said they will conduct contact tracing if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19. This compares with 39.05% of respondents in an April survey of 300 Human Resources executives who said they would contract trace. Half of the most recent respondents said they would survey workers to contact trace; 17.29% said they will use an app to determine with whom workers have been in contract; 35.71% said they will use internal experts to conduct the tracing; and 14.29% said they would use all of these methods. No company said they will alert health officials to rely on them to conduct contact tracing.
“Contact tracing has been effective in slowing or stopping outbreaks in the past. So in the unfortunate scenario in which an employee falls ill with coronavirus, the tracing may help companies contain the impact for other employees and the community at large,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
More and more employees are being called back into the workplace. In the latest survey, 40% of companies reported most or part of their workers are working from home (WFH). That is down from the April survey, when 69.14% of companies said most or part of their workers were working from home. However, more companies reported that all of their workers were WFH: 33% said all workers were WFH in June compared to 28.4% in April. The June survey also revealed that 43.3% of companies stated they would keep most of their employees working at home even after the pandemic passes and 30% said they would transition some of their employees to work from home after the pandemic passes after implementing it successfully due to COVID.