3 Questions Your Company Should Be Asking About the Delta Variant
Updated: Sep 9, 2021
Just as companies were letting the ink dry on their return to office plans, many leaders have taken a step back and reassessed.
Whether your company is going full speed ahead or revising the plan, here are three questions you should be asking yourself. If you want to learn more about what Delta means for your return to office strategy, check out the full Dojo Return to Office Guide.
1. How big of a risk does Delta pose for your workplace?
If your company does not plan on following CDC masking protocols and mandating vaccines, you may be at risk of an outbreak (CDC). Delta is up to 2x more contagious than the original strain. High transmissibility means that smaller rooms, such as private offices, and crowded communal spaces, such as cafeterias, carry the highest risk.
Thanks to data from researchers and the CDC, it is possible to calculate the risk of infection for the specific conditions of your office. Using Dojo’s COVID-19 Diagnostics model, we see that COVID-19 infection risk typically jumps in private offices and communal spaces.
2. Should you delay your return because of Delta?
Companies across the US are reconsidering September deadlines for their return to office plans. In the financial sector, BlackRock, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank have all pushed their return date back to at least October. In tech, Amazon, Apple, and Lyft have taken it even further by delaying their return until at least 2022 (CBS).
First, companies in areas with low vaccination rates are at higher risk than companies in more widely vaccinated areas.
Second, if you think your employees are comfortable coming back to the office, it’s time to ask again. 77% of employees state that they’re anxious about returning to the office due to COVID concerns (Limeade Institute). To learn more about combating employee hesitancy with returning to the office, read our Dojo Return to Office Guide.
3. Do you need a vaccine mandate to deal with Delta?
Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have all implemented vaccine mandates for employees returning to the office, and it may be time for you to consider it, too (New York Times).
Vaccinated employees are 8x less likely to spread the virus than their unvaccinated counterparts (CNN). Even if you’re not requiring the vaccine, a strong encouragement can work. You may want to consider following the likes of Walmart and Target, both companies that are offering cash or PTO incentives to their employees to get vaccinated (CNBC).
For those employees who aren’t vaccinated, testing is a must. Although testing doesn’t prevent COVID, it can help to mitigate the spread quickly. CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen states that even though once a week seems to be the trend, it may not be enough. Just because you’re negative on a Monday doesn’t mean you’ll be negative after your coworker's birthday party on Wednesday. Dr. Wen recommends getting tested twice a week using an antigen or PCR test (CNN). To learn more about communicating your vaccination plans to employees, read our Dojo Return to Office Guide.
How Dojo Can Help
When it comes to your return to office plan, Dojo can help you navigate the process. Whether it be creating socially distanced seating plans, implementing hybrid working, or assessing the impact of Delta on your office -- we’ve got you covered. Check out the full Dojo Return to Office Guide for more information.
Co-Authored by Elizabeth Perry and Dan Goldstern