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Employees Don’t Feel Safe Going to Work, Study Finds

Jan. 18, 2021
A new study of workers’ perceptions found the majority don’t think enough is being done to protect their health and safety.

Employees don’t feel safe going to the workplace.

According to a new study, 68% of workers globally do not feel completely safe working in their employer’s buildings.

The number is higher for those working remotely, 75%. And nearly one in four of those remote workers (23%) said they would look for a new job rather than return to a worksite that did not implement the necessary safety measures.

The study, commissioned by Honeywell and conducted by Wakefield Research, surveyed 2,000 workers in late 2020 who typically work in buildings with 500 or more employees across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and the Middle East.

"Many facilities have made changes to their procedures but have not invested in the building itself — and their occupants have noticed," said Vimal Kapur, president and CEO of Honeywell Building Technologies, in a statement. "Workers are going to demand more from buildings in the future, and we're even seeing with these survey results that creating a healthier and safer environment will be a differentiator for staff retention and recruiting, and it may also impact long-term real estate value."

Fifty-four percent of surveyed workers said that their building management has not taken the steps necessary to keep them safer on the job, and 60% believe their building is more likely to make short-term changes in response to the pandemic versus long-term investments in building systems. They were also worried that building management wouldn’t consistently enforce health and safety guidelines (42%) and that they wouldn’t consistently invest in new technology to make working in-person safer (30%).

When employees were asked why they do not feel completely safe at work,

  • 59% said they are worried about co-workers not following rules;
  • 56% are worried about airborne transmission;
  • 43% view shared office devices and spaces as the biggest safety risk;
  • 30% are worried companies will not invest in new technologies; and
  • 20% are concerned companies will not disclose health risks.

The full report can be accessed at https://hwll.co/ys6hr.

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