Survey Results: Workplace Experiences During Coronavirus

by | Jul 24, 2020 | News

In May, we conducted a survey to learn about what workplaces were experiencing as a result of the pandemic. We're outlining the top takeaways from the survey and what to expect as Seattle continues through a phased reopening.


In March of 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued a statewide Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In May, Commute Seattle conducted a survey to learn about what workplaces were experiencing as a result of the pandemic so that we could provide resources to help businesses through this challenging time. Please read on for an overview of the survey results and consider how this information might inform your workplace’s plans.



Remote Work

To gain deeper information on the remote work experience, a portion of our survey focused on quantifying what percentage of employees are working remotely, learning about employer’s plans for the coming months, and identifying areas for improving the remote work experience.

Of 415 respondents, 89% said some portion of their employees are working remotely. Of those, 81% say remote work is going well.

Many companies anticipate an increase in remote work in the long term.

How can your workplace thrive when working remotely, rather than just get by?

Status of Operations 

The COVID-19 pandemic is ever-changing and employers are constantly adapting. Seattle workplaces are resilient, creative, and forward-thinking. If you’re looking for help, visit our COVID-19 Business Resources Page and feel free to email us.

COVID-19 has caused workplaces to shut down some or all operations, or operate at limited capacity. 

Remote Work

There’s a myriad of factors to consider when contemplating a return to work. Workplaces are hungry for up-to-date information to make informed decisions. Commute Seattle is committed to bringing you knowledge and resources; visit our Commute Connections Online Series to find upcoming events and past recordings.

66% Intend to create some type of “Return To Work” Plan

Workplaces are considering adapting benefits to help employees during this time.

Respondents identified countless factors to consider when planning a return to the workplace.

Timelines for opening the office:

  • Open the office in phases
  • Identify employees who are higher risk, ask them what they are comfortable with

Arriving at the office:

  • Allow staggered shifts, flexible arrival times
  • Offer weekend work if possible
  • Check transit agency information to see if employees will be able to use transit
  • A/B scheduling, alternating in office days based on seating
  • Bi-weekly opt-in/opt-out spreadsheets
  • Temperature checks and plans for if someone is showing symptoms
  • Signage for reminders, rules, and more – you will need more than you think!

The physical office:

  • Protocols for elevators, kitchens, bathrooms, clock in stations, other shared spaces
  • Consider limiting visitors, implementing a locked front door policy
  • Install barriers between desks, change the arrangement of desks to ensure 6+ feet
  • Conference room limits and cleaning protocols
  • New standards for lunch/break rooms, print/copy rooms
  • Addition of hygiene stations and available personal protection equipment

Final Thoughts

Ask yourself and leadership:

  • What is the added value of entering the office right now?
  • Does that value exceed the added risk and challenges of opening the workplace?

Need help or want to discuss these topics? Reach out to us at info@commuteseattle.com with questions or to schedule a consultation – we’re always happy to help!

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