Survey: As Delta Variant Surges, Employers Delaying Return to Office Plans

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The fast-spreading COVID-19 delta variant appears to be causing some Bay Area businesses to pull back slightly on their plans to return to offices and other workplaces, according to the Bay Area Council’s most recent survey of employers. The survey was conducted from Aug. 10-18 and included almost 200 businesses representing a range of industries and sizes across the nine-county region. The survey found that 24% of employers who haven’t started bringing back workers aren’t planning to return employees to offices and other workplaces for at least another 3-4 months, almost double the number from July.

See the full employer survey results>> There was also a significant increase from July in the number of employers who say it will be no less than 5-6 months before all employees who are eventually expected to return to workplaces in person will do so. Still, a large number of employers (58%) that had already begun bringing workers back to workplaces indicated they are not planning any changes to the current operations. Significant hurdles also remain for a full return to transit, with the number of employers who are very concerned about the safety of employees getting back on transit nearly doubling since June. Overall, 80% of businesses surveyed said they are somewhat or very concerned about COVID safety on transit. To participate in future employer surveys, please contact Policy and Regulatory Counsel Kelly Obranowicz.

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