Cautious Return to Work Plans Highlighted in ASE Survey

ASE in Troy, Michigan’s largest employer association, has released the results of its most recent COVID-19 pulse survey, which examined employers’ plans around return-to-work, vaccinations, and how they are being affected by the Delta variant.
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A young masked women in a blue apron flips the open sign in a glass door
Michigan’s largest employer association, ASE, has released the results of its COVID-19 Pulse Survey, which showed many businesses are taking a cautious approach to returning to work. // Stock Photo

ASE in Troy, Michigan’s largest employer association, has released the results of its most recent COVID-19 pulse survey, which examined employers’ plans around return-to-work, vaccinations, and how they are being affected by the Delta variant.

Among the 143 employers surveyed, nearly 30 percent stated the recent increase in COVID-19 infections and recent news regarding the Delta variant changed their organization’s pandemic preparedness response or approach.

Most organizations surveyed will continue to encourage vaccinations, but not mandate them. Of the 74.1 percent of employers in that category, 16.3 percent are considering a mandate for in-person work. The majority of those surveyed, 81.8 percent, do not plan to require proof of vaccination, with just 13.3 percent of employers considering this step.

“We are seeing a slow and careful return to the office,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “The Delta variant does not seem to be having much of an effect on return-to-work plans or vaccination policy. This is likely due to the already conservative approach most employers are taking to the return to work.”

Remote work is still prevalent, with 36.4 percent of employers stating that all or most employees have fully returned to the office, while 27.3 percent have implemented a staggered approach where all or most employees are required to return to the workplace for a minimum number of days per week.

Only 7 percent of the companies who have not returned to work have set a formal date for a return to in-person work. Of those companies, 60 percent plan to be open for hybrid or in-person work by September of this year.

Nearly half of those surveyed — 42.7 percent — currently require face coverings at work, while another 27.3 percent are considering the measure. When masks are required for in-person work, 33.4 percent said they are only required for unvaccinated persons. 55.7 percent require masking for all employees. Regarding travel, 58 percent of employers allow domestic travel, 32.2 percent allow both domestic and international, and 9.8 percent are not allowing business travel currently.

ASE strengthens organization’s HR departments by offering member benefits and discounted services that span the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, development, and retention while minimizing compliance risk. It provides members guidance through new legislation and workplace issues such as those currently occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

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