New Gartner research has found, after questioning 227 HR leaders, over half will be monitoring the vaccine status of employees.
According to new data by Gartner, a research and advisory company, the majority (52 per cent) of surveyed companies are opting to track whether employees do receive the vaccine or not.
Furthermore, over a third of companies (36 per cent) are planning to have employees self-report vaccination status, but will not require proof.
Only less than one in 10 (8 per cent) said they would actually require proof of vaccination before returning to the office.
The issue of vaccine passports is a contentious one which is currently under review by the UK Government, owing to the privacy and ethical issues it raises.
Although this is not compulsory in the UK, other countries such as Greece and Spain are implementing this which means UK employees who do not receive the vaccine may end up being barred from travelling and working abroad.
In addition, at present, employers cannot make their staff receive the vaccine but can encourage them to do so through providing impartial information which explains the process.
Owing to the vaccine roll-out, just under half of businesses (45 per cent) expect their workplace to reopen in Q3 of 2021, while nearly one-quarter (24 per cent) are planning for their workplace to reopen in Q4 later this year.
However, this is at odds with businesses’ plans with half (49 per cent) planning to allow employees to work remotely on certain days. In addition, almost a third (32 per cent) said they will let staff work remotely all of the time – showing a hybrid or fully-remote work model is preferred for the future of work.
In order to support employees returning to the office, even if this is on a part-time basis, Gartner suggests the following:
- Developing a philosophy on flexibility. Rather than simply creating a static flexible work policy, leading HR departments are determining their organisation’s philosophy on flexibility and sharing this with their workforce.
- Communicating the purpose of the office. Prior to the pandemic, organisations described their office as the place where their employees work. Now, leaders must determine the role of their physical workplace – a team or company meeting place, a secure workspace, a social gathering space to support the community – and communicate that to employees.
- Training managers on supporting employees. With a more dispersed workforce, HR must work with managers on how to manage employees who are working in different locations and at different times.
Speaking about this, Brian Kropp, Chief of Research for the Gartner HR practice, stated that it will be “critical” for employers to “focus on building social and emotional connections with, and between employees again”.
*To obtain these results, Gartner surveyed 227 HR leaders on March 16th 2021.
Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.