Heads up, employers. If you were holding out on a COVID-19 vaccine mandate because you were worried how employees would react, you can feel confident in moving forward with one.
According to a recent study conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting, 78% of employees believe companies should encourage or require their workforce to get vaccinated.
Pandemic stress continues
The 2022 Eagle Hill Consulting COVID-19 Vaccines and the Workplace Survey uncovered a lot more employee opinions on the matter. While over three-quarters of employees are in favor of vaccine mandates, 56% want to take it a step further with required booster shots, too.
Researchers aren’t surprised by these numbers, considering the current Omicron surge. In January, the average number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. hovered around 800,000 a day, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Employees’ feelings reflect the high COVID numbers. Sixty-three percent of employees think Omicron specifically will impact them at work. More than half of U.S. workers have increased anxiety about going into the office, and 55% believe employers should put return-to-work plans on pause.
Still in favor of safety protocols
Workers are also more supportive than ever of penalties for the unvaccinated. Forty-seven percent are in favor of higher insurance rates for those unwilling to get the vaccine, which is up from 41% in 2020.
Employees are also still in favor of early-pandemic safety procedures in the workplace, such as social distancing (84%), masking (82%), temperature checks (72%) and regular testing (60%).
Researchers at Eagle Hill Consulting said these findings clearly show that employees are still concerned about their health during the pandemic, and that employers shouldn’t let up on COVID-19 safety protocols.
“From vaccine and booster mandates to masking and social distancing requirements, most workers continue to look to their employer to to stay engaged in COVID-19 precautions,” says Melissa Jezior, CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting.