The pandemic lingers, but the reopening is still moving forward. Slowly, WiFi connections and Zoom meetings are giving way to onsite workers and doors opening to customers. But as has been said often during the pandemic, nothing should be considered a “return to normal.”
Pollster Gallup recently put some numbers to the changes that businesses are undertaking, and it paints a picture of what the new normal really looks like.
The number of workers who say “all or nearly all” employees are working onsite has increased from 28% in April to 39% in July, according to the Gallup Panel. Not surprisingly, the number of workers working from home has dropped from 52% to 38% during the same time.
Despite the increase, workers’ concern about exposure remains steady, Gallup says, with just under half saying they are “very” or “moderately concerned.”
Businesses appear to be addressing the concerns: Workers report significant increases in companies taking steps to protect employees. Today, 66% of workers say their companies have provided them with personal protective equipment (PPE) compared to 46% in April, and screening for symptoms has increased from 35% to 51% at the same time.
Additionally, 58% of workers say they personally always wear personal protective equipment, a 15-percentage-point increase since April.
“Many U.S. companies have expressed a commitment to employee and customer safety as they attempt to continue to do business amid the coronavirus pandemic…,” Gallup says. “The positive steps toward coronavirus mitigation may be helping keep worker concerns about being exposed to the virus steady even as infections continue to rise in the U.S.”