Omicron forcing companies to shift return-to-work plans, survey finds

As the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads, about a quarter of executive leaders are delaying their workplace reopening plans.

That's one of the findings from a Dec. 15 webinar survey conducted by Gartner, a research and consultancy firm. The survey, which was shared with Becker's, involved more than 200 executive leaders (function heads, and business unit leaders) from various industries. Respondents were primarily based in North America.

Twenty-two percent of respondents reported that omicron has delayed their reopening plans, while 34 percent said they had not yet decided, according to the study. Seventeen percent of respondents said they decreased the number of people coming into the workplace because of  omicron, and 5 percent said the variant caused them to re-close some of their open workplaces.

Most respondents (64 percent) said they await national/state/local restrictions or guidance to assess omicron's effect on their workplace reopening decision. 

Additionally, nearly half of respondents said they would start or continue contact tracing for employees coming back to the workplace considering omicron. 

According to NBC News, Richard Wahlquist, CEO of the American Staffing Association, described the current environment as "one of the most fluid situations for employers, executives and HR [human resources] departments I have ever seen." 

"It's causing a level of change and disruption not only day by day, but hour by hour," he added.

To read the full NBC News report click here

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