Report: Full return to on-site work in DC area could be a year away

Employers in the region are uncertain, and trying to be cautious, about bringing workers back physically to the workplace, according to a new report.

The Capital COVID Snapshot: Safe Return to Work, from the Greater Washington Partnership, found that only about a third of the region’s workforce will return to their workplaces this fall. About 18% of employers continue to expect that no workers will be on site.

The survey found that about a third of the responding employers weren’t sure of how many workers they’d have back in person by summer 2021. Employers who did have long-term plans expect an average of about 72% of their workers will be back in the workplace by then.

Only about half of the workforce at the places surveyed are expected back by the end of the year, the report found.

The survey asked 430 employers, representing about 275,000 workers, in the D.C., Baltimore and Richmond areas about their plans to bring workers back to their offices and other workplaces.

Generally speaking, the more workers a workplace employs, the fewer workers they believe will be coming back anytime soon. That’s for a few reasons, including the difficulties associated with riding mass transit, where distancing restrictions have seriously restricted capacity.

The employers also lacked confidence that mask wearing and distancing restrictions could be enforced as workers made their way to the office.

And though organizations are by and large requiring face masks and distancing, only about 10% said they would require testing to come back to the worksite.

Read the whole report here.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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