Finance & Economics

Nearly half of US workers fear getting COVID-19 as workplaces reopen

The survey captured the thoughts of more than 2,400 US workers


Nearly half of US workers fear getting COVID-19 as workplaces reopen. Source:

According to The Conference Board, 42% of workers are worried about returning to the workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19. This marks a substantial jump from June 2021 when only 24% had that concern.

With headlines about the rise of the Delta variant, breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, and an overburdened healthcare system in much of the country, COVID-19 concerns that were subsiding just two months ago have risen
Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board

Meanwhile, the survey findings reveal that over one-third of workers may leave their jobs within the next 6 months. Only 7% are sure of their plans to leave within that time frame.

The driving factor is a desire for flexible work arrangements. Indeed, 80% cite work arrangements as very important or important in their decision to leave their current job. Survey respondents rank a flexible work location as the most desired aspect of a new job, prioritizing it slightly over better pay and career advancement, the two traditional drivers of job changes.

As Delta surges, 4 in 10 workers fear COVID-19 exposure.

When it comes to returning to the workplace, women are more concerned than men about COVID exposure, job security, and mental health:

Contracting COVID-19 personally:

  • Women: 48%
  • Men: 37%

Exposing family members:

  • Women: 46%
  • Men: 40%

Pressure to return to the workplace to keep their jobs:

  • Women: 25%
  • Men: 15%

We’ve reported that two-thirds of businesses feel ‘let down’ by their banking provider amid coronacrisis.


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