Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of businesses are very confident with their safety measurements amidst the new normal of the work environment, recent survey found. Meanwhile, 83 percent anticipate changing workplace safety measures, while 43 percent anticipate making remote work a permanent solution for roles that can accommodate it.
See also: HR Top Priority during COVID-19
Despite employers showing commitment to welcome the new workplace measurement during the coronavirus crisis, employees are still concerned about their safety at the workplace. Surveying more than 1,100 workers nationwide, PwC found that the unprecedented nature of the global pandemic makes workers worry about being able to stay healthy and safe as they are asked to return to their offices and worksites. Among the findings, 70 percent cited that they are very concerned about the safety measure. Top reasons that hold them back from returning to work, as follows:
PwC reported that tracking tools can be a real opportunity to help measure the well-being of both remote and on-site workers while respecting employees’ privacy. However, employees reported being very concerned about COVID-19-related tracking tools, like apps and wearable devices that can track their location and proximity to people who have been infected. Among the 1,100 survey respondents, 31 percent said they are very concerned while 45 percent are in favour of mandatory COVID-19 testing for health clearance before returning to the workplace.
Despite the concern over wearables and tracing apps, employees still expect their employers to keep them safe by providing PPE and real-time notification when a coworker tests positive. Bhusan Sethi, Leader of PwC’s People and Organisation practise, said that by tracing movement, companies can alert employees when they have been in contact with an infected coworker so they can quickly address the potential spread of the virus. The concern of employees who do not want to be tracked should be an employer’s priority too. Therefore, privacy should be at the core of technology and data should be anonymised and only available to a key group of authorised decision-makers.
Moreover, employers who use contact tracing should be cognizant and transparent about safety measures and the values brought by the tracing system, added Sethi. Many are concerned about the pros and cons of tracing tools. It is time for leaders to communicate all their safety procedures, including PPE, physical distancing, and tracing to alleviate fear and misunderstanding.