Now that multiple COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed worldwide, companies must immediately start creating plans of how they will bring employees back to the office.
“People in the real estate industry very badly want people to start coming back to the office, and vaccinations are the single best ways to get there,” said Mark Ein, Kastle Systems Chairman. “Hopefully a year from now, virtually everyone is back. The question is how do we manage through the transition until then.”
Despite vaccine rollout currently targeting high priority groups, it is anticipated that by the spring or summer, they will be available to the general public.
Still, official U.S. public health agencies have not revealed specific guidelines on workplace vaccination policies. With many white-collar workers in the back of the line in the U.S., it could be several months before they have access to any vaccine.
According to consulting firm CREtech, 60% of U.S. employees anticipate to be back in their offices for part of the week by the end of March. Additionally, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that companies can require vaccination as a condition of work, with the exception of religious beliefs or disabilities.
That is namely why it is unlikely for managers or landlords to require vaccination to enter a building lobby or common space.
Instead, Ein predicts that it will need to be a collaborative effort between all stakeholders within the building, from the owner to tenants, to figure out which policies to adopt and provide tenants with the responsibility of enforcing their own precautions.