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How many want to go back to the office, how, and with what skills?

Labor again in the news.

Arizona State University conducted a survey of employers in the US and UK – turns out 88% of employers plan to encourage vaccination before returning to the office, and nearly seven out of 10 employers are testing employees.   60% of employers said they plan to require proof of vaccination from their employees, and 59% will incentivize vaccinations.

Breaking that down further, 40% said they will require all employees to be vaccinated, 32% will encourage but not require vaccinations, 16% will require some employees to be vaccinated, and 12% said they either don’t have a plan or don’t plan to require vaccinations.

Some do want to go back to the office – four in 10 software engineers want to go back to the office when it’s safe to do so, although about one third prefer to continue working remotely.  This per data from Rollbar.

There’s a lot of reskilling news as well.   Research in the UK indicates about 17 million people lack the digital skills necessary for work and life, and only 23% of employees report any digital skills training from employers.     The Wall Street Journal is reporting on the US skills gap too in roles like data analysis and engineering – and an uptick in reskilling internally.   McKinsey reports that replacing an employee costs 20 to 30 percent of the annual salary, while retraining an existing employee costs less than 10 percent of their annual pay.

Why do we care?

A key decision for employers in the US is going to be about requirements for vaccination and safety on any return to the office.        Like all things, employees desires are not going to be binary, as it’s not “all back” or “all remote”, but varying degrees in the middle.  Even over simplifying, 4 in 10 want to be back, 3 in 10 want remote, and that leaves 3 in the middle.      Layer in the safety concerns, and employers have a lot to consider here.

I included data on skills training because as owners and managers consider staffing concerns, investments in your own team make a ton of sense.   Worried they might leave for greener pastures?  Well, what if they stay?