60% Of U.S. Companies Requiring Face Masks As Employees Return
Career COVID-19 Health and Wellness

With Safety A Top Concern, 60% Of U.S. Companies Requiring Face Masks As Employees Return To Work

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(Image: iStock/martin-dm)

Face masks could become standard as people go back to work. Masks will be part of the employee dress code at 60% of U.S companies as offices reopen, a new Clutch survey shows.

Along with the masks, the post-COVID-19 office also will likely feature socially distant seating arrangements (71%) and sanitation stations installed throughout the space (60%). The key is that requiring face masks will be a necessary first step for companies beginning to reopen offices, Clutch concluded.

A ratings and review firm, Clutch’s 2020 Return to Work Survey included 400 U.S. workers.

What shocked Clutch Editorial Manager Shelby Jordan most about the survey findings was that a lot of news coverage framed mask requirements as somewhat of a polarizing topic, but “our data showed strong support. With 60% of companies planning to require masks in the office, and nearly a third of employees ranking them as a top priority, face masks seem more widely supported than I’d expected.”

Some  82% of the U.S. workforce expects its company to apply careful measures before asking employees to return. From socially distant seating to childcare and transportation accommodations, companies are demonstrating a commitment to safety, given employee health is linked to performance.

The survey also asked if people even want to return to work. About 20% want to return as soon as possible, but 28% are hesitant to go back right away and hoping to wait until September or next year. Some 15% of workers don’t want to return to an office at all, while 39% have already returned.

Avoiding the spread of COVID-19 appears to be top of mind for workers and employers, an expanded Clutch survey shows. For many people, safety is the top concern. And remote work works for some but not others. For working parents, it may be difficult to focus with kids in the house. Some employees may feel more productive out of the office, yet others find it more distracting. Working from home also lends itself to additional flexibility but can prove more challenging for a stable work-life balance.

The encouraging news is 9 out of 10 companies are already taking steps to create a safe environment for employees. Clutch found that 91% of employers have implemented at least one of the precautionary measures. The top three most common measures are: social distance mandates (71%), face covering requirements (60%), and improved hygiene practices (60%).