Sample survey to gauge worker sentiment during the return-to-office

The return-to-office is a complex process with many moving parts. Resist the urge to revert to a pre-pandemic operating style, because the perception of and sentiment about the office and its role in work has shifted significantly. It’s imperative to get it right. People have different needs, risk tolerances, and expectations. The best way to learn what they need to feel comfortable coming into the office—and what would motivate them to be there more often—is simple: Ask them.

Conduct brief surveys to assess employee sentiment, understand their concerns, and learn how your team can make workers feel more safe, comfortable, and motivated to come back.

We recommend sending surveys at these key intervals:
  • Just prior to the return-to-office
  • After their first week in the office
  • After their first month back

Here are sample survey questions you can use and customize to your specific organization and circumstances. We recommend making the surveys anonymous and letting workers know that they are truly private. With the safety of anonymity, people are more likely to be candid, so the data you get back is more likely to be genuine and have less “noise” from people worried about blowback from their responses.

Just before returning to the office

This last year-and-a-half has been challenging, to be sure. We’re excited to be together in person again, living our company culture and seeing our colleagues and work friends. We want to make sure you feel safe in the office and want you to be as excited as we are. Let us know your concerns and needs, so we can address them and get back to some semblance of normalcy.

1. What has been the most challenging part of working remotely?

(Select all that apply.)

 Uncomfortable home office setup
 Technical or connectivity challenges
 Constant interruptions from kids, spouse, family members, etc.
 Loneliness or isolation
 Being forgotten or left out of meetings

2. Why do you want to come back to the office?

(Select all that apply.)

 I get more work done at the office.
 My workstation, monitor, desk chair, etc. are better at the office.
 I want to collaborate in person.
 I miss the amenities at work.
 I miss socializing with my colleagues and work friends.
 I’m afraid of being passed over for projects and promotions/I want to be visible to my manager.
 I don’t. I prefer to work remotely most or all of the time.

3. Which, if any, concerns do you have about returning to the office?

(Scale of 1–5, where 1 = not concerned at all and 5 = very concerned)

• Potentially spreading or contracting an illness (COVID-19, colds, flus): _____
• Being exposed to COVID on your commute: _____
• Being less productive in the office: _____
• Having less flexibility to work remotely: _____
• Being expected to be in the office more than you prefer: _____
• Having less time to care for family members: _____
• Other: _____________________________

4. How comfortable do you feel about returning to the office?

(Scale of 1–5, where 1 = not comfortable at all and 5 = completely comfortable)

_____

5. What can we do to make you feel safer when you’re in the office?

(Scale of 1–5, where 1 = not concerned at all and 5 = very concerned)

• Require employees be vaccinated: _____
• Take employee temperatures before building entry: _____
• Clean and sanitize nightly: _____
• Require masks indoors: _____
• Install hand sanitizer stations: _____
• Limit the number of employees or vendors in the building: _____
• Stagger hours, shifts, and breaks: _____
• Install desk partitions: _____
• Offer pre-packaged lunch options instead of cafeteria-style: _____
• Require workers to install a contact-tracing app: _____
• Limit capacity in conference rooms or amenities areas (kitchens, gym areas, etc.): _____
• Nothing. I feel safe going back.
• Other: _____________________________

6. Once you return, when do you plan to work in the office?

 Mondays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Tuesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Wednesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Thursdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Fridays:  Morning  Afternoon

a. When do you plan to start this schedule?

 Right away
 Within one month
 Within three months
 Within six months

First week after returning to the office

Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed being back in the office, seeing your coworkers, friends, and managers. We want to know how your first week back went and if there are things we can do to make you feel safer and more productive. What did you like? What can we do better?

1. What have you liked most about working in the office?
_____________________________

2. What have you liked least about working in the office?
_____________________________

3. What can we do to make you feel safer in the office?

(Scale of 1–5, where 1 = not important to me and 5 = very important to me)

• Require employees be vaccinated: _____
• Take employee temperatures before building entry: _____
• Clean and sanitize nightly: _____
• Require masks indoors: _____
• Install hand sanitizer stations: _____
• Limit the number of employees or vendors in the building: _____
• Stagger hours, shifts, and breaks: _____
• Install desk partitions: _____
• Offer pre-packaged lunch options instead of cafeteria-style: _____
• Require workers to install a contact-tracing app: _____
• Limit capacity in conference rooms or amenities areas (kitchens, gym areas, etc.): _____
• Nothing. I feel safe going back.
• Other: _____________________________

4. What can we do to make your experience in the office better and more productive?

(Scale of 1–5, where 1 = not important to me and 5 = very important to me)

• Offer a (or improve the existing) desk reservation system*: _____
• Improve wayfinding. It’s hard to find the desk or room I reserved*: _____
• Enable me to see who will be in the office and when, so we can collaborate in person*: _____
• Upgrade connectivity: _____
• Send notifications via SMS to communicate essential information*: _____
• Other: _____________________________

*This can be facilitated by JLL Jet.

5. Before the return, we asked how often you planned to come to the office. Now, after your first week back, when do you plan to work in the office?

(Select all that apply.)

 I plan to work in the office 100% of the time.

 I plan to work in the office:
 Mondays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Tuesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Wednesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Thursdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Fridays:  Morning  Afternoon

 I plan to work remotely 100% of the time.

a. Is this different from your answer on the previous survey?

 Yes. I now plan to work more often in the office than I’d originally planned.
 No. It’s the same.
 Yes. I plan to work in the office less often than I’d originally planned.

b. Do you think your schedule will change?

 It could, depending on external factors, team needs, projects, etc.
 Ask me again in:  1 month  3 months  6 months  12 months
 No. I’m happy with my schedule.

First month after returning to the office

Now that you’ve had a full month of being able to work in the office, we want to know how you’re feeling about things. Are we doing enough to keep you safe and happy? Are you satisfied and productive? Can we do more to support you?

1. Are your virtual meetings as productive in the office as they are from home/remotely?

 Yes. They’re better.
 Yes. They’re the same.
 No. There are too many distractions in the office.
 No. The meeting spaces or quiet areas where we meet don’t have privacy, good connectivity, etc.

2. What can we do to make your experience in the office better and more productive?

(Scale of 1–5, where 1 = not important to me and 5 = very important to me)

• Offer a (or improve the existing) desk reservation system: _____
• Improve wayfinding. It’s hard to find the desk or room I reserved: _____
• Enable me to see who will be in the office and when, so we can collaborate in person: _____
• Upgrade connectivity: _____
• Send notifications via SMS to communicate essential information: _____

3. Before the return, we asked how often you planned to come to the office. Now, after your first month back, how often do you plan to work from the office?

 I plan to work in the office 100% of the time.

 I plan to work in the office:
 Mondays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Tuesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Wednesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Thursdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Fridays:  Morning  Afternoon

 I plan to work remotely 100% of the time.

a. Is this different from your original answer (before today)?

 Yes. I plan to work more often in the office than I’d originally planned.
 No. It’s the same.
 Yes. I plan to work in the office less often than I’d originally planned.

b. If it’s different, why?
_____________________________

4. Based on your personal needs alone, what would be your ideal work schedule and location?

(Select all that apply.)

 In the office 100% of the time
 In the office:
 Mondays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Tuesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Wednesdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Thursdays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Fridays:  Morning  Afternoon
 Remotely 100% of the time

Conclusion

It may seem cliche, but people truly are the most valuable assets to any organization. By understanding their individual needs and allaying their fears, you will create happier workers who are more engaged, satisfied, productive, and loyal—and that’s always good for the bottom line.

Surveys are incredibly useful for learning what employees need to feel safe and productive. Not only does JLL Jet make it extremely simple to send surveys to employees and aggregate the results, workers can also use the consumer-like mobile app to book desks and meeting rooms, be notified of automated cleanings or request impromptu cleaning, navigate the office, complete health screenings before entering the building, and much more.

JLL Jet is your secret weapon for ensuring a smooth, successful return-to-office—and for keeping workers healthy, safe, happy, and productive. Want to know more? Schedule a free demo today.