65% of workers are "anxious" about office reopenings, according to a new survey

COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to ramp up, but many people have not been inoculated as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the globe.

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Image: iStock/torwai

A number of companies are bringing employees back to the in-person office after months of remote work. COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to ramp up across the U.S., but many people have not been inoculated as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread globally. On Monday, Blind, the popular anonymous network for professionals, published the results of a recent pop-up poll detailing anxieties about returning to the office, re-entry childcare concerns and more.

COVID-19 office concerns

The survey was conducted from April 8-16 and received 4,272 responses. Overall, the majority of respondents (65%) said they were "anxious about the office reopening." As part of Blind's anonymous framework, users are able to list their employers. As a result, polling results can be further parsed out across industries and employers.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the 507 Amazon respondents were concerned about office re-entry, compared to 55% of the 202 Microsoft respondents. Among the 186 Google respondents, about two-thirds (64%) were anxious about the workplace reopening, compared with 62% of Facebook employees (155). About seven in 10 Uber and Apple employees were anxious about the workplace reopening, with 68 and 105 respondents respectively.

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Blind's raw data is bisected to illustrate sentiments among anxious and "non-anxious" respondents about "health risks associated with returning to the office." Among the 2,381 anxious professionals, 47% said they were "very concerned" about office re-entry health risks and 40% said they were "moderately concerned." Among the 1,305 "non-anxious professionals," 7% said they were "very concerned" about office re-entry health risks, 33% were "moderately concerned" and 59% were not concerned.

Returning to the office and logistics

A number of schools have adopted distance learning curricula to mitigate the spread of contagion in the classroom. The switch to remote work has enabled some parents to provide childcare or look after extended family members during the remote workday. With the switch back to the traditional office, 51% of 2,308 anxious respondents said they were "very concerned" about "managing the logistics of home care" including childcare, petcare, care of extended family members and more.

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About one-quarter (27%) of anxious professionals said they were "moderately concerned" about these logistical considerations and 22% were not concerned. Among 1,255 "non-anxious professionals" 13% were "very concerned" about these logistical considerations, 24% were "moderately concerned," and 63% were not concerned.

Socializing at the new normal office

During the switch to remote work, round-the-clock Zoom meetings and virtual collaboration tools have replaced in-person communication for many teams. Among 2,255 anxious respondents, 43% said they were "very concerned" about interacting with their "coworkers in the office socially and professionally." Of this group, 37% said they were "moderately concerned" about these interactions and 20% said they were not concerned.

Among 1,229 "non-anxious" respondents, 6% were "very concerned" about interacting professionally and socially with coworkers. Nearly one-quarter said they (24%) were "moderately concerned" and 70% were not concerned.

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By R. Dallon Adams

R. Dallon Adams is a journalist originally from Louisville, Kentucky. His previous work includes a wide spectrum of beats and formats ranging from tech-savvy urban planning initiatives to hands-on gadget reviews.