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Should we keep working from home?

Tech professionals want more COVID-19 testing for office re-entry

Sarah Schlothauer
working from home
© Shutterstock / eamesBot

IT professionals have some concerns about safety protocols before heading back to the office. A report from Blind Workplace Insights asked respondents about what they hope to see from their employer in order to feel safe from COVID-19.

Is it time to go back to the office? Despite companies such as Twitter giving their employees the option to work from home indefinitely and government regulations still strongly suggesting remote work, many companies have welcomed employees back to the office. However, IT professionals have some concerns about safety protocols and COVID-19 testing.

A report from Blind Workplace Insights asked IT professionals what they hope to see in order to feel safe about returning to the office and what measures they are skeptical about. Nearly 5,000 tech professionals responded to the following three questions:

  1. Do you agree with this statement “Taking someone’s temperature is a valid determinant for whether an individual is “healthy.”
  2. What additional measures would make you feel safe to return to office:
  3. Who do you hold financially accountable for these measures?

SEE ALSO: How to keep staff motivated while working from home

Professionals want further testing

According to the survey, 66% of tech professionals wish to see “a combination of weekly diagnostic Covid-19 tests, antibody tests, and temperature testing to feel safe at the office.”

Temperature taking before entering the office is not enough to make workers feel safe. Only 6% of respondents said that temperature taking alone was effective at establishing a safer work environment.

Furthermore, 78% of professionals disagreed that temperature taking was a good indicator of a person’s health.

A majority of respondents (57%) feel that their employer should be financially responsible for these measures. In particular, 76% of Apple employees said that Apple is financially accountable. 30% said they hold the Federal Government responsible.

Blind Workplace Insights writes:

Despite phase one re-openings, Health officials (and professionals) still fear large gatherings could result in coronavirus spread. On the platform, professionals are posting about Amazon testing COVID-19 for their employees, mixed feelings about returning to the office, and curiosities regarding if employees have a right to know if a coworker tests positive for COVID 19?.  With no set rules set by the Federal Government, it is important to note that professionals are not holding individuals accountable for their health’s safety, but rather their employers.

Working from home by the numbers

With this knowledge, businesses that can continue with remote work should do so, as tech professionals are not ready to return to the office. Simply taking temperatures before entry is not enough to establish safety.

Blind Workplace Insights conducted a number of additional surveys regarding remote work attitudes and the social distancing landscape.

Here are some other notable figures about how tech professionals are handling remote work and the pandemic:

SEE ALSO: The impact of working from home on developers

Remote work benefits

We don’t know when the pandemic will end or how long we will have to social distance. However, the benefits of remote work have shown that even during a crisis, working from home is a reliable option.

Even taking the distractions of home and the potential for burn out into consideration, reports show that remote workers are happier and more productive. A study from GitLab shows that 90% of remote workers would recommend it to a friend. Furthermore, remote work opens up accessibility options to workers who are disabled, are in a caretaker position, or who do not have access to reliable transportation.

The GitLab report claims that 35% of devs say remote work saves them money and 32% have reduced stress.

Earlier in May, GitHub gave a special report showing that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, developers have remained productive, and in some cases even increased their amount of pull requests.

For now, it seems that remote work is favored by a majority of tech professionals and employers should take this and safety measures into consideration before reopening their office doors.

Author
Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com. She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University and is currently enrolled at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany where she is working on her Masters. She lives in Frankfurt with her husband and cat. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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