Morning Consult’s weekly tracker has seen a sharp rise in the proportion of workers who feel uncomfortable returning to the office as Omicron infections spread.
As Omicron infections increase across the United States, a weekly survey published Wednesday shows U.S. workers are becoming more uneasy about the prospect of returning to the office.
Morning consultation weekly tracker of U.S. adults who usually work from an office but went remote during the coronavirus pandemic found that on January 6, 43 percent said they would feel uncomfortable returning to the office. This compares with 35 percent from the previous week and is the highest reading since September.
In a sign of how reluctant workers are to increase their interests of their home offices to work personally with office mates, more than half of those surveyed last week – 55 percent – said they would consider doing their job resigned before returning to the office.
Vaccine mandates also saw an increase in popularity last week, with the proportion of workers saying they would only be willing to return to an office if all their co-workers were vaccinated climbed to 61 percent from 57 percent that week before.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said in an interview with CNBC on Monday that all of the bank’s workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to go to office.
And Citibank, which warned its employees in October that they should either be cut or lose their jobs, said last week that workers who did not meet the mandate by this Friday would be placed on unpaid leave and shown the door . at the end of January, unless they have a medical or religious exemption, Bloomberg News reported.
But even a fully equipped office may not be enough to get workers to relinquish the flexibility to work remotely.
Positive perceptions of work away from the office are increasing, with the proportion of workers saying they enjoy working remotely, which increased last week, along with those saying they are more productive in a remote work arrangement.
With Americans resign their job in record numbers, and businesses struggling to fill an almost record number of jobs, firms that do have the ability to offer remote work options can have an advantage in a tight labor market.
According to Morning Consult’s tracker, the share of workers who say they will be more likely to apply for a job that offers a remote work option reached 80 percent last week.