COVID-19 has wrought countless changes, large and small, on the American workplace. But as the pandemic starts to wind down, a big question arises: what will the economy's "new normal" look like?
The results of MindEdge/Skye Learning's fourth annual Future of Work survey indicate that most companies will require employees to be vaccinated as a condition of returning to work. Survey respondents also expect that many of the past year's changes -- including remote work, flexible hours, and strict health and safety protocols -- will remain in effect after the pandemic has ended.
MindEdge/Skye Learning's national survey of 830 American workers, who are employed at the level of manager or above, was conducted online during the week of January 11, 2021. The top findings: 54 percent of managers expect that their employees will be required to vaccinate before returning to the workplace, and 74 percent think that things will be back to "normal" by the end of 2021. Even then, though, 46 percent of managers think that increased health and safety protocols will continue in effect, and 35 percent expect that many employees will continue to work remotely.
The survey results show what managers expect as the pandemic winds down: a majority (54 percent) think that their companies will require returning employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus; 25 percent do not think their companies will require vaccinations, and 21 percent are not sure. Only 16 percent think that the economy will return to “normal” by this spring; 26 percent expect to see normal conditions by this summer, while 21 percent think it will take until the fall, and 11 percent don’t expect to see normal conditions until this winter. One-of-six (16 percent) say we won’t get back to normal until the spring of 2022, and 10 percent are not sure.
Looking ahead to the post-pandemic era, 46 percent of managers expect that their companies’ new health and safety protocols will remain in effect, and 35 percent expect that many workers will continue to work remotely. One-of-five (22 percent) say their companies will continue to enjoy a stronger corporate culture; 18 percent think that more flexible hours will remain in effect; 13 percent think that COVID-related workforce reductions will be made permanent; 7 percent think that their companies will keep a shorter work week; 7 percent think that their companies will continue with a weaker corporate culture; and 8 percent are not sure.
Fill out the form below to download the full report.