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Return of Corporate Employees to the Office is Still Months Away
As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more readily available, two-thirds (66 percent) of retailers say they will allow employees to remain working on-site, even if they choose not to be inoculated. That is according to a new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey of more than 50 major U.S. retailers.
Despite the fact that most are not mandating vaccinations, more than half (53 percent) say they will either implement or are considering implementing incentives for those employees who do get vaccinated. Incentives include 2 hours of pay for each dose, a fixed dollar amount or additional time off to be used at a later date.
“Retailers understand that vaccinations are a critical component to getting this virus under control, but won’t go as far as mandating it for employees,” said Korn Ferry retail expert Craig Rowley. “Employee and customer health and safety remains a top priority, and actions already taken such as installing Plexiglas, additional cleaning and social distancing have helped stem the spread in retail locations.”
There is still caution regarding corporate retail employees returning to the office, with only 8 percent stating the majority of workers have already returned. Eighty-four percent say it will be at least June before the majority of corporate workers return to the office, with 19 percent saying the return won’t happen until sometime after September.
When corporate workers do return to the office, it won’t be to pre-pandemic levels. Twenty-five percent of retailers say they will allow more than half of their corporate employees to continue working remotely, with a third (33 percent) allowing remote workers to work from home all the time.
“We’ve already seen some retailers scale back corporate headquarters and given the new world order, this is a trend that will most likely continue,” said Rowley.
About the survey
The Korn Ferry survey of more than 50 major U.S. retailers, with annual revenues between $50 million to more than $20 billion, took place in February 2021.
Will your company require employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine to continue working on site?
Yes, required for all employees 3 percent
Yes, required only in distribution centers 6 percent
No, they can work onsite without taking the vaccine 66 percent
No, but without the vaccine they must work remotely 9 percent
Other 16 percent
If you will not mandate that employees that employees get the vaccine, will you provide any in incentives for employees who do get the vaccine?
No 47 percent
Yes, to all employees 19 percent
Yes, to store and distribution center employees only 3 percent
Yes, still finalizing plan 25 percent
Other 6 percent
When do you expect the majority of corporate workers to return to the office?
Have already opened 8 percent
April/May 8 percent
June/July 42 percent
August/September 23 percent
After September 19 percent
What percentage of corporate retail workers do you expect to allow to work remotely longer term?
Less than 10 percent 3 percent
11-20 percent 11 percent
21-30 percent 19 percent
31-40 percent 14 percent
41-50 percent 11 percent
More than 50 percent 25 percent
Not planning remote work as a matter of policy 17 percent
For most remote employees, how much time will they be expected to work remotely?
2 days per week 25 percent
3-4 days per week 23 percent
100 percent remote 33 percent
N/A 19 percent
About Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.