Majority of workers in Singapore admitted feeling uncomfortable going back to the workplace even at present, recent survey found.
Return to Work & Back to Business Study is conducted by Qualtrics that aims to find out how confident Singaporeans are bout returning to the workplace or visiting public establishments right now—and what it would take for them to feel comfortable doing so.
In its findings, more than half (66 percent) workers expect to return to the workplace by July. However, before going back to the workplace, nearly half say a treatment (50 percent) or vaccine (45 percent) must be approved for them to feel comfortable returning to the workplace. Furthermore, 62 percent want to wait for local government approval before returning to work. This tops the list external conditions residents of Southeast Asia want to see before they return.
“With Circuit Breaker measures starting to lift, we are beginning to see businesses and workplaces reopen and return to normal. But as this occurs employers and businesses need to remember the pace with which they are re-opening might not match their employees’ or customers’ readiness to return,” says Mao Gen Foo, Head of Southeast Asia.
“Employee and customer expectations have accelerated at an unprecedented rate in recent months, with more than half of Singaporeans feeling uncomfortable about returning. Organisations and governments need to understand how employee and customer behaviours and attitudes have changed so that they can take actions helping them feel confident during this next phase of the ‘new normal’. It is crucial that businesses are able to unlock insights around employee and customer confidence at each stage of the transition to drive necessary business actions – and this is where tools like the Qualtrics Return to Work Pulse will have a distinct advantage in this uncertain and rapidly changing period,” added Foo.
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Returning to work – key findings
The survey found that before they feel ready to return to work, employees want their employers to put the following safety practices in place:
Once they do return to work, employees said they would feel more comfortable if the following measures are taken by their employer to protect themselves and their co-workers:
See also: Coronavirus: 7 Tips to Help Your Employees Stay Productive While Working from Home
Getting back to business – key findings
Despite restrictions starting to ease, people still don’t feel confident interacting with each other and almost half (45%) think we will never “get back to normal”.
Over half (58%) or respondents admit they still feel uncomfortable going to the gym. In addition, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents say they would feel uncomfortable playing a team sport and 58% wouldn’t be comfortable attending a religious service.
Live concert and sporting events: Right now, most people are uncomfortable with attending a live sporting event (73%) and live concert (72%). Nearly 1 in 4 people (25%) who regularly attend sporting events said they are unlikely to attend in the foreseeable future, even once spectating is allowed. Furthermore, 39% of people said they would not be comfortable going to a live sporting event until at least January 2021. Meanwhile, 43% of people said they would not be comfortable going to a live concert until at least January 2021.
Restaurants and shopping: 53% of people still feel uncomfortable going to a restaurant, while 34% feel the same about shopping retail in-person. When these businesses reopen, there is no guarantee that people will come back.
Even after public health officials say it’s safe, and a treatment or vaccine for the virus is readily available, there are a number of measures people want to see in place before they feel comfortable dining at a restaurant:
Flights and public transit: When it comes to public transport, 40 per cent of people feel uncomfortable using it right now, and 69 per cent would feel uncomfortable flying on an airplane.
“Results reveal most consumers do not yet feel comfortable to return. It means as measures lift and businesses continue to reopen in the coming weeks and months, it’s essential they can understand how customers feel. Identifying the measures customers want to see implemented allows businesses to take action in the areas that matter most. Capturing feedback from frontline staff and digital channels will equip organisations with the data they need to cultivate consumer trust and confidence, and ultimately move forward,” added Foo.
Read also: Guide to Returning Employees from Furlough