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Home / Opinion / Career Corner: COVID-19 Vaccine and the Workplace

Career Corner: COVID-19 Vaccine and the Workplace

by Angela Copeland
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Many of us are chomping at the bit for the COVID vaccine. It feels like a ticket to freedom. Glassdoor.com recently conducted a survey to understand where employees stand on the issue of the vaccine and returning to the workplace. Their results are quite interesting, and I wonder if you agree with their findings.

Glassdoor is a website where employees can leave reviews of their employers. Interestingly, Glassdoor found that over 58,000 reviews mention COVID-19 or the vaccine. This is definitely a big topic on everyone’s minds.

First and foremost, seven in 10 people surveyed believe that employees should be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to the office. This makes sense. We’ve been isolating for a year. Getting the vaccine is an important next step in returning. Of those surveyed, 76 percent also said they intend to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them. This is good news, considering how dependent reopening is on the vaccine.

The part that truly surprised me about the survey is this: 69 percent of people surveyed by Glassdoor agreed that employers should offer financial incentives for employees to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for financial incentives at work but this seems a little out of the ordinary. We can’t wait to get back into the world. We want everyone at work to be vaccinated. We plan to be vaccinated. Yet, we want to be compensated to receive a COVID vaccine?

I don’t mean to be the negative person here, but it seems a little like if we’re going to get on board, we should do it because it’s the right thing to do. No compensation should be necessary. And aren’t we just happy to have a job at this point?

Also of note in this survey was remote work. Many employees like working from home and would like to keep it up, regardless of what’s happening with the pandemic. Of those surveyed, nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) said they would prefer to continue working from home at least part of the time after offices reopen. This comes as no surprise as companies have had a year to test drive working from home.

In fact, 17 percent of those surveyed said they would consider quitting their job if they were required to return to the office five days a week, regardless of vaccinations. This is an interesting point. It’s one thing to quit a job completely. It’s a completely different thing to find another job to replace your current job.

The job market has shifted in the last year. Employers will have to think hard about what the future of work looks like. It’s time to start again. But, this time, we know what’s possible with remote work. So, it’s time to decide what we want work to look like in a post COVID, post vaccinated world. 

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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