When vaccines became available, most individuals believed life would go back to normal. We would return to work, visit different cities, and see our loved ones. Kids would go back to school, and parents would go back to simply being parents, not parent-teachers. However, life did not return to normal as a new variant of Covid-19 began affecting more and more individuals. The Delta variant made itself present. Instead of going back to normal, employees want to continue working remotely as Delta variant cases increase.
What you should know about the Delta variant
The Delta variant originated in India and began catching everyone’s attention in June. When people believed Covid-19 cases were going down, this new surge began affecting more and more individuals. The cases increased, and with that, the uncertainty and the fear. How would this new variant affect our lives?
According to UC Davis Health, there are five things you should know about the Delta variant:
The Delta variant is highly contagious. In July, 80% of new Covid-19 cases presented the Delta variant.
The Delta variant symptoms are the same. Although many believed the symptoms would be different, and we would know what to expect, patients have presented the same symptoms as Covid-19.
The Delta variant has been affecting unvaccinated people more. Since July, 97% of new reported cases were people who decided not to get the Covid vaccine.
The Delta variant rarely affects vaccinated people, but it can happen. So far, only 0.0005% of vaccinated people have reported positive testing.
The Delta variant could present a catastrophe in some communities. This variant is more damaging to communities with lower vaccination rates.
This new variant and the rapid increase of new cases have made people question their next steps. Should life go back to normal? Should we be wearing masks again? Should employees return to the office? Should people be traveling? Many of these questions remain unanswered as we navigate uncharted waters. However, one answer has been pretty common: employees want to continue working remotely as Delta variant cases increase.
A report on employees’ decisions
In the last few months, a large number of companies have discussed returning to the office and putting an end to remote work. However, in recent weeks, more and more employees have become anxious about this return to normalcy. Boston.com conducted research among their readers to find out their feelings and whether they want to go back to the office.
Here is what readers said:
74% of them reported being asked to return to the office by their employers.
61.5% of them reported not being asked to show proof of vaccination, while 23.3% have to prove they have been vaccinated.
47.1% of them reported wanting to continue work remotely, while 44% said they would be okay with a hybrid setting.
The majority of those who participated in the poll want to keep working remotely for different reasons. They mentioned productivity increase, saving money on gas and transportation, avoiding office distractions, and feeling less anxious about being exposed to the virus. No matter what their reason may be, most of them agree staying home is the best option.
A bit of reality
The truth is that not everyone can continue working remotely. Some employers demand employees go back to the office. Some have jobs that can only be done from their workplace. Several reasons prevent individuals from choosing where to work from. Nevertheless, they should have the option to choose without risking their jobs.
Throughout the pandemic, I have done remote work, in-office work, and hybrid work. There was a time — when the restaurant I work at was closed — that I felt the safest working from home, lowering the risk of exposure. As restaurants opened again, I felt comfortable going back to my office job because I constantly interacted with people. Nowadays, I do not feel as anxious about the virus as I used to, but I am still conscious of those around me who are afraid of the Delta variant.
I had Covid. I spent months afterward donating plasma, trying to help those in need. I got the vaccine. I keep wearing my mask. I do my part because I believe we should all be taking care of each other. So, why not let employees work from the safety of their homes?
In reality, no one knows what the next few months will bring. Nobody can guarantee the Delta variant will disappear as it came or that new strands of the virus will not surge soon. The best we can do is take care of each other. If employees want to continue working remotely as Delta variant cases increase, they should have the freedom to do so.