Report: How COVID-19 is transforming employees’ workplace expectations

Eighty-one percent of workers say they should be allowed to work from home during the pandemic until they feel comfortable to return.

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COVID-19's effect on employee expectations

If you’re on the edge of your seat with excitement about returning to a business-as-usual workplace, you might want to ease back into that home office swivel chair.

The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) has released the results of a new survey it conducted with The Harris Poll exploring how employee expectations are changing due to COVID-19.

The survey of 831 adults who work full time reveals a handful of key findings, including these takeaways:

1. Most employees want to get rid of open-office layouts.

Eighty percent of respondents say employers should move toward sectioned-off offices and phase out open-space offices. The report also states, “Seventy-eight percent said employers should stagger when employees are allowed to work from the office to ensure social distancing.”

Could COVID-19 bring an end to the open-office concept? No one knows for sure, but it’s not looking good for desk clump enthusiasts right now.

2. Employees feel strongly that they should not be forced to return to the office—until they feel safe to do so.

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