Tech Workers Want Health and Safety Checks with Office Reopening

Tech companies across the country are figuring out when and how to reopen their offices amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to do so safely, executives must weigh a number of factors, including whether to test their employees for the virus and/or antibodies. How do employees feel about their employer putting safety checks in place?

According to the latest anonymous survey from Blind, 66 percent of tech workers want a combination of COVID-19 tests in conjunction with any office reentry, including antibody tests, weekly tests for the virus, and temperature testing. Here’s how the responses break down on a company-by-company basis:

Although many businesses are using temperature checks to screen employees, it seems that many folks in tech are skeptical about this method: Some 78 percent of those surveyed disagreed with the statement: “Taking someone’s temperature is a valid determinant for whether an individual is ‘healthy.’” And only six percent thought that temperature testing alone would suffice for making them feel secure in the office. 

Another item to note: Some 57 percent of those surveyed think their employer should be financially accountable for these screening measures. In theory, that means many businesses may have to budget for sufficient testing if they want their employees to feel comfortable in the office again. 

Meanwhile, the largest tech companies have announced their plans for reopening, although few have mentioned the screening measures they may put in place. Google plans to reopen its offices in June, according to a leaked internal email by Google (and Google’s parent firm, Alphabet) CEO Sundar Pichai, but only a small percentage of employees will come back at first. Apple and Facebook are also engaging in phased re-openings. On the other side of the spectrum is Twitter, which decided that the vast majority of its employees will continue to work from home even after the COVID-19 pandemic passes. 

Fortunately, recent Dice polling suggests that a majority of technologists like working from home during COVID-19, despite concerns about their workload and job security. A large number of respondents have also been impressed with their company’s response to the crisis:

Whenever offices begin to reopen in earnest, it’s clear that employees want to be safe—and they want their employers to put all necessary measures in place to ensure that outcome. 

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center, which aims to provide the tech community with the best, most up-to-date information on the novel coronavirus.