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STAMFORD Conn., July 29, 2021

Gartner Consumer Survey Reveals Public Attitudes Toward Vaccination Requirements Vary by Activity

Legal & Compliance Leaders Are Weighing Up What Safety Measures Will Remain as Employees Return

Organizations forming or revising in-person workplace policies face difficulties accounting for disparate attitudes to vaccination requirements, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. In a June 2021 survey of 346 U.S. consumers, Gartner found that public attitudes to vaccine checks for entry vary depending on the setting.

“Legal and compliance leaders for most organizations we speak to aren’t planning to mandate vaccines in their workplace,” said Chris Audet, senior director, research, in the Gartner Legal & Compliance practice. “This data suggests that public opinion on the issue varies significantly according to the setting.”

Respondents to the survey of U.S. consumers were more likely to approve of vaccine checks for entry in a healthcare setting (58%) than in an office (35%), yet a significant minority (25%) did not feel they should be required in any of the settings listed in the survey (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Attitudes to Vaccine Requirements for Activities

Gartner analysts said it should be noted that the sample was broad, and many respondents did not work in the types of workplaces listed in the survey, therefore feelings on the issue might be different in individual workplaces.

“Vaccination requirement is clearly a divisive issue and mandating them could be problematic for companies for a variety of reasons including privacy concerns, staff resistance, and logistical issues,” said Audet.

Although most companies tell Gartner they do not intend to mandate vaccination for their employees, most did signal an intent to continue with some safety measures as workers return. Based on conversations with various organizations, Gartner experts have listed five strategies for managing return to work programs.

1)    A/B Schedules

Organizations bring in employees on alternating weeks to reduce workplace crowding and better manage social distancing and hygiene measures. In some cases, this may also help to accommodate those who are prefer working remotely.

2)    Hot Desks and Hotelling

Moving away from traditional assigned seating, organizations are exploring shared work areas or reservation systems for desks or meeting spaces, which also helps to comply with enhanced cleaning and distancing requirements.

3)    Vaccine “Safe Floors”

Some have considered the idea of reserved space with reduced safety measures that are only available for vaccinated employees. Tracking vaccination status poses legal challenges in many jurisdictions.

4)    Phased and Optional Return

Many employers are bringing back volunteers into the office first or approaching the return in phases. This helps to assess the efficacy of safety measures and how these new configurations affect employees and teamwork.

5)    Redesigning the Workplace

Some organizations are fundamentally redesigning the office around collaboration rather than individual work, making that the primary function of an office in a hybrid strategy, dedicating more floorspace to collaboration and less to single desks.

Gartner clients can learn more in: “Consumer Pulse: Where (and How) Should Proof of Vaccination Be Required?” and “How Legal Leaders Are Responding to the Vaccine’s Impact on Return to Work.”

About the Gartner Legal & Compliance Practice
The Gartner Legal & Compliance practice brings together in-depth research and analysis, peer-based best practices, metrics and data to offer legal and compliance leaders a platform to make the choices that will drive their business forward and deliver results. Additional information is available at https://www.gartner.com/en/legal-compliance. Follow news and updates from the Gartner Legal & Compliance Practice on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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About Gartner

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