Few nonprofits will require employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations to return to a physical workplace, according to a recent survey, with one in seven organizations saying they plan to return all employees to the workplace.
The results are part of the Nonprofit Return To Workplace 2021 Pulse Survey, a 12-page report from Nonprofit HR, a human resources and talent acquisition consulting firm to nonprofits headquartered in Washington, D.C. The 635 organizations in the survey included those with budgets from less than $5 million to more than $500 million, and based in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Among organizations, 70% said their staff are working “mostly from home” during the pandemic, with almost one-quarter (23%) doing a combination of work-from-home and on-site. Only 7% said their employees are mostly in their typical physical workplaces.
Almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents rated remote work “successful” for their organizations during the pandemic and another 34% rated it as “somewhat successful.” Leaders at more than three-quarters of nonprofits (78%) surveyed said they experienced “unanticipated positive benefits resulting from staff working remotely or in a hybrid model,” compared with 22% who said they did not.
Half of nonprofit managers (51%) are considering future remote work for any staff whose positions accommodate remote work and 14% of nonprofits surveyed said they’re planning to return all employees to the workplace. Only 2% did not implement remote work.
Maintaining company culture (64%) was the top concern of nonprofit managers maintaining or planning to implement a partially virtual workforce strategy, followed by collaboration and teamwork (57%), productivity and engagement (49%), and effective communication (43%).
By far the primary concern of employees returning to the physical workplace was the risk of infection to themselves or family members (26%). Another 10% cited using public transportation and 7% a lack of childcare. And another 7% cited others not following proper protocol and 6% others not vaccinated.
For organizations, the most common concern of managers about the return to workplace plan was mitigating health risks for staff (85%). Almost half (47%) said it was determining if staff vaccinations should be required.
Managers at about one in 10 organizations surveyed said they would require employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations to work in the physical workplace. Half of organizations said they would not, with slightly more (56%) among those that provide a direct service to the community and slightly less (45%) among those that do not.
How will charities support a return to the workplace for employees? The most common methods some form of staggered work schedules or phased-in return of staff:
- 60%, staggered work schedules
- 57%, phased return with limited staff per phase
- 53%, suspended non-essential visitors
- 50%, health screening questionnaires
- 38%, return to workplace committee/workgroup
- 36%, suspended business travel
- 32%, protective desk barriers
- 31%, directional floor markers