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Sequoia and ABC7 News Bay Area Release The New Workplace Employer Report

Report reveals that most companies are undecided on when to return to the workplace and many are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. More than 400 companies participated in the first of a two-part survey series.

SAN FRANCISCO – November 18, 2021 – Sequoia, the pioneer in Total People Investment, and ABC7 News Bay Area released The New Workplace Employer Report with findings from more than 400 companies in an exploration of workplace changes heading into the new year. The report shows that many of the pandemic-driven workplace changes are still in place, and many may be permanent.

Key insights from the report covers a wide spectrum of workplace issues:

Return to the Workplace
More than 18 months into the pandemic, most companies are still working remotely with much uncertainty about when to return to the workplace.

  • Overall, 75% of companies do not currently require employees to be in the workplace with 11% planning a move to a fully remote workforce.
  • Nearly half of companies (46%) reported 10% or fewer of their employees are coming into the workplace.
  • Only about one-third (31%) of companies plan to return to the office between November 2021 and Summer 2022. While nearly half (45%) of respondents are undecided about when to return.

COVID-19 Employer Policies
Companies are expecting employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to returning to the workplace, but many are finding alternative ways to work with unvaccinated employees.

  • More than half (57%) of respondents report requiring either some (2%) or all (55%) employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, while 23% do not require a vaccine and 20% are undecided or considering mandates.
  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of companies will allow unvaccinated employees who are exempt from receiving the vaccination to continue working remotely either indefinitely or for a specified amount of time.
  • Most companies (48%) are uncertain about what to do with employees who refuse the vaccine for unapproved reasons, only 20% are considering reassignment to remote roles, and 15% may move to termination.

Managing a Distributed Workforce
Most companies allow employees to relocate in some capacity, with 42% allowing permanent relocation to any state.

  • Some companies (4%) allow employees to relocate internationally, while only 5% of companies do not allow employees to relocate at all. 
  • Less than a third of companies are adjusting salaries based on relocation with 20% reporting they currently do and 10% reporting they will once offices are reopened, while 44% of companies will maintain salary despite employee relocation.
  • More than half of the companies have applied or plan to apply to do business in a new state, with Texas, Colorado, and Washington being the most popular states.

Employee Wellbeing
Companies continue to place a premium on wellbeing strategies.

  • In the past 18 months, 86% of companies have implemented new wellbeing strategies or plan to in the coming year.
  • Top benefits and resources offered or planned to be offered include mental health resources (98%), team engagement activities (81%), and increased communication about available benefits and perks (87%).
  • Half of companies (51%) report implementing new strategies to support employees who are parents or caregivers, with strategies including flexible work arrangements (94%), leave policy changes to better support parents (46%), and employee resource groups (36%).

About Sequoia
Sequoia is the pioneer in Total People Investment. We help people-driven businesses design, deploy, and optimize people investment strategies that achieve engagement outcomes that matter. Through expert guidance and the Sequoia People Platform, our offerings in total rewards, benefits, wellbeing, HR & payroll, and business protection tie into a higher strategic role, enabling companies to manage their global people investments, with reduced administrative burdens and deeper employee care and support.

For more than 20 years, people-driven companies have turned to Sequoia to unlock the full potential of their business and global workforce. Visit or follow us on LinkedIn to learn more.

Media Contacts:

Netta Conyers-Haynes

Kyle McGuire
AMF Media Group