March 26, 2021
A Gartner, Inc. survey of 227 HR leaders on claims that nearly half (48 percent) of large global organisations will not track the vaccination status of their employees. Only eight percent of survey respondents reported that they will require employees to show proof of vaccination.
The same Gartner Workplace Reopening Amid Vaccine Rollout Webinar Poll also claims that among 258 HR leaders, 45 percent expect their workplace to reopen in 3Q21, while nearly one-quarter (24 percent) are planning for their workplace to reopen in 4Q21.
“Given the uncertainty that will exist around vaccination status, most organisations that reopen will do so with social distancing and mask wearing in place,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice. “Regardless of reopening plans, only one percent of the HR leaders we surveyed expect all of their employees to work full-time in the office.”
Ultimately, the majority of organisations are planning for a hybrid workforce. Fifty-nine percent of 241 HR leaders said their organisation will let employees work remotely occasionally with approval from their manager – a 21 percentage point increase since November 2020.
• Out of 227 HR leaders, 36 percent plan to have employees self-report vaccination status, but will not require proof.
• Among 241 HR leaders, 49 percent will let employees work remote on certain days; nearly one-third (32 percent) will let employees work remotely all of the time.
• Twenty percent of 197 responding HR leaders believe that normal business travel will resume in 6-9 months, while 35 percent admit they don’t know when they will resume employee business travel.
• Of 208 HR leaders surveyed, 95 percent have already resumed hiring.
“It will be critical for employers to focus on building social and emotional connections”
“When offices reopen, many individuals will have been working from home for nearly two years or more and new ways of working will be engrained,” said Mr. Kropp. “It will be critical for employers to focus on building social and emotional connections with, and between, their employees again.”
While Gartner research suggested that only one-quarter of organisations plan to maintain the well-being programs they introduced during the pandemic for the foreseeable future, leading organisations will not roll-back new or expanded offerings.
In fact, Gartner recommends that HR leaders use the return to the workplace as an opportunity to re-onboard all employees as though they are joining a new organisation. To do this successfully, HR should focus on three main areas:
• Develop a philosophy on flexibility. Rather than simply creating a static flexible work policy, leading HR departments are determining their organisation’s philosophy on flexibility and sharing this with their workforce.
• Communicate the purpose of the office. Prior to the pandemic, organisations simply described their office as the place where their employees work. Now, leaders must determine the role of their physical workplace – a team or company meeting place, a secure workspace, a social gathering space to support the community – and communicate that to employees.
• Train managers on supporting employees. With a more dispersed workforce, HR must work with managers on how to manage employees who are working in different locations and at different times.
To access the on-demand webinar, visit “Workplace Reopening Amid Vaccine Rollout: Benchmarking Against Your Peers.”
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