SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As coronavirus vaccinations continue, employers will need to start planning whether to bring back workers to the office, let them continue with remote work, or implement a hybrid of the two models.
Navigating the changing workplace is a key component of Building A Better Bay Area as we emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns. ABC7 News Reporter David Louie shows us how workers could determine the path forward.
Employees, not their bosses, could be setting the return to work agenda. A new national survey by San Francisco's Envoy indicates workers don't want to rush back to the office. Envoy makes systems used by offices to manage facilities and services.
"Two-thirds of people think that their company may be pushing it too quickly to return back," said Larry Gadea, CEO and founder of Envoy. "That means that people are very nervous."
That sentiment by 66% of those surveyed was even higher at 78% among people of color and 75% of the under-25 Gen Z group. 1,000 people nationwide were polled.
Vaccination status appears to be the biggest concern. Nearly two-thirds want mandatory vaccinations for co-workers before heading back to the office. The result was as high as 78% among tech and business sector employees.
California companies can make this a requirement, according to labor and employment attorney Michael Warren, with exceptions.
"If an employee has a sincerely held religious belief or an underlying disability that prevents them from getting the COVID-19 vaccine, then the employer would have to engage in the interactive process and provide a reasonable accommodation," said Warren, a partner at the McManis Faulkner Law Firm's San Jose office.
A year of remote work also has employees seeking a hybrid model, splitting the five-day week at home and at the office. Almost six out of 10 in the Envoy study said they want it. Close to half said they'd quit their job if not given that option.
"This is a huge factor here because there's a lot of top talent," said Gadea. "If one in two people are thinking this, like the top talent is absolutely thinking this way."
Companies may need to turn to technology such as Envoy's to assign desks for continued safety and distancing, or to limit conference room access and capacity to keep workers safe.
You can find Envoy's summary of their result findings here.
See more stories and videos about Building a Better Bay Area here.
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