With workplaces re-opening in Australia, are employees now becoming more open to collaborating with colleagues who refuse the COVID-19 jab? For more than half of workers who took part in a recent survey, the short answer is NO.
Employees who may be required to head back to the worksite say they feel uncomfortable being in the same space as unvaccinated colleagues. The result poses a challenge to businesses that have been gearing up for opening day, according to the ELMO Employee Sentiment Index.
"The proportion of workers uncomfortable working alongside unvaccinated colleagues has climbed to 58%. This is a 14 percentage-point rise from the June quarter," the study found.
Meanwhile, the majority of respondents say they are willing to get behind employers who want to enforce mandatory vaccinations among staff. "The latest round of lockdowns and declining perceptions of economic security may be behind soaring support for tougher COVID-19 measures in the workplace. There has been an eight-point rise (70%) in support among working Australians for employers requiring their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (up from 62% in June quarter)," findings showed.
While more Australians are welcoming vaccination requirements in the workplace, others have also purportedly grown comfortable with forwarding their vaccination or test results to their employer. Nearly nine in 10 Australians support the idea of disclosing their vaccination status to their boss. A similar percentage feel the same way about sharing their test results with the management.
"Australian workers are feeling more insecure than they have at any point so far this year," said ELMO Software CEO Danny Lessem. "They are worried about the state of the economy, their industry and their jobs. It’s up to employers to try and allay their fears."
The findings suggest how Australians are "on board" with the idea of employers taking an active role in responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
"The message from working Australians is clear: they want to get the economy back on track and they want their employer to lead the charge when it comes to working safely with the virus," Lessem said.