More than half (58 per cent) of U.S. employees say their employer has supported their well-being during the two-year coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by WTW.
The survey, which polled more than 9,600 employees, also found 70 per cent of respondents reported feeling comfortable in the workplace, while two-thirds said their employers are keeping them productive (67 per cent) and safe (66 per cent) from the coronavirus.
However, the respondents’ views on safety requirements for onsite workers differed. Two-thirds (65 per cent) said they favour wearing a mask inside buildings, 58 per cent said they support workplace vaccine mandates and 54 per cent said they favour regular testing to enter the worksite. Interestingly, only 11 per cent of employees at companies with vaccine mandates oppose this measure, while 40 per cent of employees at companies without mandates oppose them.
“The past two years have been challenging times for both employers and their employees,” said Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz, population health leader at WTW, in a press release. “Employers have made their employees’ health and well-being a top priority throughout the pandemic. As our survey results show, most employees embraced their employers’ actions to keep them safe at work and support them. And those efforts are having a positive impact on employees.”
Indeed, a majority (84 per cent) of employees who feel safe and are comfortable at work said they plan to stay with their employer for at least two years. Conversely, just 42 per cent of employees who don’t feel safe or comfortable said the same. Additionally, more than half of employees who feel safe and comfortable at work said they’re highly engaged compared with just five per cent who don’t feel safe or comfortable. And three in 10 said they’re more likely to quit if their employer adopts a vaccine mandate.
The survey also found 37 per cent of employees who had contracted coronavirus are still having long-term effects. Among those, 71 per cent said they’re experiencing greater levels of depression or anxiety and many reported higher absence rates and lower productivity compared with those who had coronavirus and recovered.
“Long COVID-19 is a persistent and significant health issue,” said Dr. Levin-Scherz. “Employers can support employees suffering from post-COVID-19 symptoms by providing accommodations such as reduced hours, time off and job restructuring that can help minimize long COVID-19’s impact on absenteeism, productivity and mental-health issues.”