No Jab, No Job?

Company executives remain divided on requiring employees to be vaccinated before returning to in-person work despite the federal government’s permission to do so.

A bulk of the United States workforce is still working from home nearly a year into the pandemic. But the tele-workforce – which is split along a socioeconomic class divide – may shrink once virtually everyone who wants a vaccine can get one starting in April.

Two-thirds of employers will encourage workers to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, with some companies offering perks to employees who voluntarily get inoculated. But one-fifth of U.S. workers are still undecided about whether to get the vaccine.

It might take more than snacks and dependable Wi-Fi to lure employees back into the office. More than half of employed adults who can work from home say they want to continue working from home after the pandemic ends, and 29% of working professionals say they would quit if they are no longer permitted to work remotely. 

For many, reliable childcare and public transportation are key hurdles to resuming in-person work. Trend-setting companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Salesforce and Spotify have rolled out policies to allow employees to continue working from home or work remotely permanently.

When it comes to communicating with employees, 44% of employees remain in the dark about their company’s plan to return to the office for in-person work. And nearly half of employers have yet to communicate a vaccination policy to employees.