Most workers across the world support vaccine and mask mandates and would feel uncomfortable going to work if these protections were not put in place, according to a 33-country Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum.
On average across all countries surveyed, about three in four employed adults agree they and people in their workplace should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (78%), undergo frequent testing if they are not vaccinated (74%), and wear a mask in common areas when in proximity with other people (81%).
Singapore ranks second among all countries surveyed, with 93% of employed adults agree that people in their workplace should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, undergo frequent testing if not vaccinated (88%), and wear a mask in common areas when in proximity with others (93%).
If Singaporean workers were required to get vaccinated or undergo frequent testing to keep their job, about ten times as many would choose to get vaccinated over getting tested frequently (81% vs. 8%). Another 7% say they would seek to find a way around these requirements, but still keep their job, and 2% say they would quit their job or find another one.
In the absence of a vaccination, testing, or masking mandate at their workplace, only a minority of workers in most countries (averaging 38% globally and 38% in Singapore) would be comfortable going to work there. If employees were allowed to work without wearing a mask, undergoing frequent COVID testing, or being vaccinated against COVID, a global country average of 31% (vs. 28% in Singapore) say they would be uncomfortable, but go anyway, 25% (vs. 30% in Singapore) say they would work remotely instead, and 6% (vs. 3% in Singapore) say they would quit their job.
While, on average, 72% of Singaporean adults who are currently employed say they always or mostly worked away from their home before the pandemic, only 45% say this is the case now – a difference of 27 percentage points.
Melanie Ng, Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos in Singapore said “An earlier Ipsos survey between periods of May and June pointed to a global reconsideration of work arrangement preferences among employed adults. In Singapore, Most (77%) felt that post-pandemic, employers should be more flexible in terms of requiring employees to go to an office. On average, Singaporeans expected to work from home three out of the five-day work week. Workers also say that if they were expected to work away from home full time, one third (27%) would consider looking for another job given the same salary and responsibility.
We now observe that willingness to return to the workplace has increased. To further encourage return to the workplace, the expectation of employees largely relies on companies’ non-compromise of vaccination and mask-wearing norms, with the addition of frequent testing. These measures would aid in addressing discomfort and ongoing concerns when returning to the workplace in the coming months.”
These are the key findings of a survey conducted by Ipsos on its Global Advisor online platform among 14,401 employed adults across 33 countries between October 22 and November 5, 2021 – a few weeks before the emergence of COVID-19’s omicron variant.