Majority of employers say they will require or encourage vaccinations in new survey

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By , KCBS Radio

A new survey out of Arizona State University/The Rockefeller Foundation finds that nearly 90% of employers in the US and UK plan to require or recommend employees to get vaccinated.

The survey was conducted in March when shots were still hard to come by and reflects the responses of nearly 1,000 U.S. employers.

Vaccinations seemed to be a top priority in employers’ return-to-work plans. 59% said they would incentivize employees to get vaccinated and 60% plan to require employees to show proof of vaccination.

But employers also showed willingness to be flexible, with 72% saying they intended to expand work from home policies after the pandemic and 63% saying they would let employees continue to work from home for the rest of 2021.

Dr. Sheldon Jacobsen is professor of computer science and director of the simulation and optimization lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He says that flexibility and communication will be key.

"Comes down also to the demographics of the employees. Are they all over 65? Are they all younger? What kind of risk do you want to assume, and also what kind of risk do the employees want to assume? I think it becomes much more of a dialogue between the employers and the employees, and let them work out those details. I don’t like one-size-fits-all solutions because one-size-fits all solutions satisfy no one."

A majority of employers said they still want to see employees in the office at least 20 hours a week.

“The pandemic has changed the traditional office environment in many ways – possibly forever,” said Nate Wade, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Arizona State University’s College of Health Solutions and one of the studies’ authors. “Yet a majority of employers are indicating they see real value in employees continuing to interact face-to-face.”

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