7 Feb 2022

64% of employees concerned about being in workplace as Omicron spreads - study

2:58 pm on 7 February 2022

A new survey has found 64 percent of respondents were concerned about being in the workplace as Omicron spreads in the community.

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Photo: 123RF

The online survey asked employees about their intentions for 2022 and was completed by 520 workers over 18 between 13 December 2021 and 2 January 2022.

The research, commissioned by ELMO Software, saw a rise in workers supporting a vaccine mandate in the workplace, with 76 percent of respondents in support, up from 66 percent in the July to September quarter.

There were also more people reporting they were uncomfortable working alongside people who were unvaccinated. The survey found 63 percent of people voiced their concerns about this, compared to 50 percent of people surveyed in the previous quarter.

Managing the spread of the Omicron variant in the workplace will need to be high on employers' agenda, ELMO Software chief executive and founder Danny Lessem said.

"This ongoing study has made clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a clear impact on workers' perceived security and their overall wellbeing.

"Workers are feeling more burnt-out than at any other point recorded in 2021. More than two in five workers (43 percent) report they are burnt-out. This is up from 34 percent in Q3.

"Following the past year of lockdowns and uncertainty for many workers it is unsurprising that the use of mental health leave has climbed quarter-on-quarter throughout 2021."

The survey found more than two in five respondents (43 percent) planned to actively search for a new job in 2022.

A third of workers said they planned to quit their current job as soon as they secured a new role. Fifteen percent planned to quit without another job lined up.

The ELMO Employee Sentiment Index is commissioned by ELMO Software and conducted by independent research firm Lonergan Research.

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