Policy Paper:

What CMI members feel about returning to work

Tuesday 12 May 2020
After the publication of the government's COVID-19 recovery strategy & workplace guidance, here's what our members are saying.
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It’s never been more important to understand what our members think. So last week, in the build-up to the Prime Minister’s statement on return to work plans, we canvassed the opinion of CMI members in our latest Manager’s Voice survey. Here’s what you told us:

The majority (83%) of managers were very or fairly concerned for the health and safety of themselves and their teams by the prospect of returning to work. Two thirds (67%) of managers say that their organisation’s return to the workplace will depend on the detail of guidance from the Government.

The majority (69%) of managers have had at least some of their team express concerns about returning to their regular place of work once lockdown measures are eased. The most reported concerns to managers were:

- The general risk of contracting the virus (65%)

- Not feeling comfortable about working closely with others (56%)

- Continuing to manage childcare responsibilities (44%)

- Not wanting to use public transport (42%)

The recovery strategy and workplace guidance documents set out a number of measures to address these issues. For example, the use of face masks, workplace social distancing measures, considering private childcare providers as essential workers, and the staggering of start times, respectively. If your organisation is looking to re-open, let us know your feelings on whether these measures go far enough to assuage any concerns you may have about returning to work.

The Government’s recovery strategy encourages businesses to re-open where appropriate and as soon as is practicable. However, half of managers (50%) said that they would need two weeks or more to implement expected new measures for staff to safely return to the workplace:

29% of managers said that it would take a couple of weeks;

21% of managers said that it would take them a month or longer;

18% of managers said that it would take only one week;

- A further 18% of managers said that they could implement expected new workplace safety measures within a couple of days.

To help businesses and organisations during this challenging transition period, the Chartered Management Institute has created the Better Managers Manual, a practical guide for navigating through and beyond the Covid-19 crisis. It consists of insights and resources from CMI and other experts in management and leadership, and can be downloaded here.

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