More than half (55%) of the respondents to a survey published by AI customer engagement company LivePerson Inc. said they feared for their health upon returning to work in the office. According to the survey, 80% of Israelis have returned to work in offices after the easing of Covid-19 social distancing regulations, but 40% of the respondents said they felt the buildings they work in, whether in capsules or revised office spaces, were unsafe environments.
The survey, conducted by brand intelligence research company Survata, asked 1,000 full-time employees, aged 25 or above, in Israel a series of questions about their feelings about returning to work in office buildings amid the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak. The results found that 56% of the employees were forced to return to the office without being given the option to work from home and had they been given the option, 70% said they would have preferred to continue working remotely until a vaccine was available.
Among the remainder of the respondents, who have not returned to the office, 80% said they would prefer to return to the office only after a vaccine is found and 70% expressed a desire to continue to work from home for at least one day a week.
When it comes to their sense of productivity, 60% of all respondents, both those who work from home and who returned to full or part-time work from the office, said they felt they were as productive or more, when working from home. That said, a majority also said they required more assistance to equip their home offices, with 60% saying they needed to upgrade their home internet service or technical equipment and 25% said they would need employer assistance in childcare.
“The results of the survey clearly reflect Israeli workers’ fears of returning to the office during the coronavirus pandemic. In a reality where real estate companies continue to force small companies to keep working from the office, we need to stand back and state clearly that the lives and health of employees are more important than the huge profits of real estate companies,” Liveperson CEO Rob LoCascio said. LoCascio is currently spearheading a public campaign aimed at protecting workers who feel their health was compromised by being forced to return to work from offices. He has called on property owners to ease rent demands from small companies, thus enabling their workers to continue to work from home.
Liveperson itself has completely abandoned their offices, announcing in July
that it was shifting to a full work from home model.