Press Releases

Published on Monday, May 4, 2020

ASE Releases its Latest COVID-19 Business Impact Survey Regarding Return to Work

Author: Heather Nezich

Livonia, Mich. --- May 4, 2020 --- ASE, Michigan’s largest employer association, released its 3rd survey aimed at tracking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Michigan businesses. The current survey, launched on April 21st, examines the specific efforts being considered or implemented by employers to protect their workforce in preparation for a return to work.

Nearly a third (32.1%) of participants consider themselves “very well prepared” to resume normal operations and provide a safe work environment once Michigan’s "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order expires.  At the time of the survey, nearly half (47.3%) of respondents reported that formal planning and preparations were underway, but those plans had not been finalized or documented.

Mary E. Corrado, ASE President and CEO, stated, “The results of this survey, as well as conversations we have had with our members, clearly show that employers have aggressively shifted their focus towards planning for a return to work. We are encouraged by the level of collaboration between businesses as we all work towards a goal of getting back to work safely.”

Specific preparations that have been implemented or planned include the following:

  • Nearly 90% (89.1%) have taken steps or created plans to disinfect work areas prior to any return to work.
  • More than 70% (73.3%) have created an internal task force or committee to plan, implement, and monitor return to work programs.
  • Nearly 80% (79.4%) have developed plans to address employees who become ill or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms while at work.
  • Nearly 70%(68.5%) have identified and assigned roles for specific staff who will be involved in the implementation and monitoring of the organization's pandemic response and/or return to work programs. 
  • More than half (54.5%) have conducted a formal audit of workplace environment and processes to assess risk factors.
  • More than half of those responding have plans to enhance visitor screening (57.0%) or restrict all but essential visitors into the workplace (53.9%).
  • More than half (53.9%) plan to conduct temperature screening as employees enter their facility.
  • Nearly half (49.1%) have implemented (or plan to implement) formal procedures to identify which workers employees have been in contact with while at work in the event an employee tests positive or exhibits symptoms for COVID-19 (i.e., contact tracing).  More than a third (38.2%) are considering that activity.

Communication with employees before and after a return to work will be key.  The data suggests that employers are taking steps to ensure that employees are aware of what a return to work will look like.  Specifically, nearly 80% (79.4%) are planning to, or seriously considering, distributing communication to employees about self-screening protocols prior to any return to work.  70% are considering or have implemented specific communications to employees to address fears and concerns around a return to work.  Nearly 60% of organizations are considering or have provided training to employees on return-to-work protocols.

Social distancing will likely continue after any return to work.  For example, nearly 70% will encourage virtual meetings despite any return to work, and more than half (51.5%) have plans to reduce seating in collaboration/common areas. 

The data suggests that regardless of any discontinuation of Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order it will not be business as usual.  More than half (55.2%) are planning for a phased return to work where only a certain portion (e.g., half) of the employee population will return to the office or worksite.  Just slightly more than 10% (12.7%) will implement a complete return to work, such as what was in place prior to the Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

The majority (87.9%) of the respondents have 500 or fewer employees.  76% of those responding operate in Metro Detroit.

For employer resources on handling the COVID-19 pandemic and for daily updates, please visit https://www.aseonline.org/Insights-Analytics/Coronavirus-Resources.  To view the complete survey results, click here.

About ASE
ASE is Michigan’s trusted HR partner.  ASE is a non-profit, membership organization – everything we do is based on the needs of members and to drive the success of their organizations.  ASE strengthens organization's HR departments by offering member benefits and discounted services that span the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, development, and retention while minimizing compliance risk. We provide our members guidance through new legislation and workplace issues such as those currently occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

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American Society of Employers

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