Numerous U.S. businesses had planned to reopen their workplaces after Labor Day, but those plans appear to have fallen apart as uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic remains.
A new poll of C-suite executives by the Conference Board finds that over one-third of executives and managers don’t know when their companies will reopen. The rates of uncertainty are staggeringly high in some cities, approaching nearly half in Miami; Seattle; San Diego; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco.
Of those on a return-to-the-office schedule:
- 14% plan to open in September
- 8% plan to reopen by the end of the year
- 16% plan to open in Q1 of 2021
A mere 13% of companies have remained open throughout the pandemic. Notably, just 3% plan to remain remote permanently.
The survey reached 1,100 business people across 20 metropolitan regions. It also found that just 5% of executives are tying their workplace return timing to the availability of a vaccine. This “likely reflects concern about the viability of a vaccine” and about “the legal implications for any corporate mandate to get the vaccine as a condition for returning,” says the survey report.