A new KPMG Workforce Safeguarding App helps companies reopen their physical workplace safely during the pandemic
Virtually all British Columbians (98 per cent) believe COVID-19 is far from over, with three in five (60 per cent) surveyed expressing fear in returning to the workplace given how contagious the COVID-19 virus is, finds a new poll by KPMG in Canada. That's above the national average of 54 per cent who admit they're fearful.
Still, 82 per cent in B.C., in line with the national average, trust their employer to take and maintain all necessary health and safety precautions. But, nearly seven in 10 (68 per cent) say if they don't feel safe enough in their physical workplace, they will refuse to go into work – that's almost 10 points higher than the national average of 59 per cent.
"Our poll findings clearly show that British Columbians are placing a great deal of trust in their employers to manage their return to the workplace and in keeping them safe," says Walter Pela, KPMG's regional managing partner for Greater Vancouver. "The pandemic is forcing every employer in the country to adopt comprehensive protocols and safety measures, and to look at new ways of staying connected to their employees given what we understand about virus transmission in confined and crowded spaces."
In the poll results, 87 per cent say they're worried about catching the virus or transmitting it to their loved ones. But, as long as the number of COVID cases remain relatively low, as many as 72 per cent – the same as the national average - would be okay going back to their physical workplace, although they believe there will be a second wave of infections in the fall or winter that will shut down workplaces all over again.
Key Poll Highlights
Prefer in-person communications
The KPMG poll findings show that three-quarters of B.C. respondents are satisfied with their virtual work-from-home environment, and almost six in 10 (58 per cent) say they feel more productive.
However, relationships with co-workers are indeed suffering. Half of British Columbians (50 per cent) surveyed said their relationship with their co-workers is weaker because of their remote working environment, compared to the national average of 59 per cent.
And, while many (77 per cent) are finding ways to make teamwork more effective, two-thirds prefer in-person communication over any other form, and 75 per cent say face-to-face in-person meetings are key to successfully building and maintaining long-term business relationships.
Safeguarding workplaces with KPMG's new mobile app
In an effort to help organizations efficiently safeguard workplaces and manage their workforce in the new reality KPMG recently launched a Workplace Safeguarding App. The App, which does not geo-track employees, helps employers to instantly connect with their workforce wherever they are, notifying them of urgent news, required actions, office open or closed status, and the level of health risk for that office.
The poll finds that 87 per cent of B.C. respondents would be more loyal to their employer or willing to give the extra effort when they know their company cares and is focused on keeping them safe. That's higher than the national average of 84 per cent.
Further, 61 per cent would download their employer's app to find out how busy office areas are so they can better manage their time and avoid those areas.
"Over three in five people in B.C. say they would use an employer app to stay connected and better manage their time," says Karsten Hiemstra, a partner in KPMG's IT Advisory Practice, and the firm's ServiceNow Advisory Services Leader for Western Canada "Our app helps make managing who returns to the workplace, when, and where much smoother. Because we designed it to be easy to use, employers will find that our app will help drive employee trust, engagement, and loyalty."
The App is to be used as a front-end component of broader workplace operational health and safety measures aligned to best practices and provincial standards within the COVID-19 context.
While the app can be customized, some of its key features include:
KPMG used Methodify, an online research automation platform, to survey 1,010 Canadians between July 22 and 24.
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