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SHRM Survey: 45% of U.S. Workplaces Don't Have a Return to Work Date

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 9, 2020 — A SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) survey released today shows that while 53 percent of U.S. workplaces plan to reopen by July 15, 45 percent have yet to set a return to work date. The new, extensive survey on America's return to work reveals not only when workers will return, but also the strategies and measures embraced by employers, physical changes to workplaces, and how COVID-19 has shaped policies regarding telework and childcare. 

Key Findings:

  • Sixty-eight percent of organizations probably or definitely will adopt broader or more flexible work from home policies for all workers;
  • Twenty-nine percent probably or definitely will allow workers to work from home full-time through the rest of 2020;
  • Eighty-six percent of organizations are implementing or considering the required use of PPE (e.g., masks, gloves, etc.); of these, 80 percent are providing and paying for PPE;
  • Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of organizations are implementing or considering on-site medical/temperature screenings;
  • Fifty-nine percent say childcare accommodations will be handled on a case-by-case basis; only seven percent are considering or providing on-site childcare services.

 (Full findings here.)

"This research gives a glimpse into how COVID-19 has changed the world of work, and what workplaces will look like once we return," said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP, SHRM President and CEO. "Workers should expect to see more masks, fewer handshakes, marked floors, more barriers, and greater flexibility—especially when it comes to remote work."

Taylor added: "While that may be the scene on day one, it's important to note this was months in the making. Getting back to work takes a lot of work, and HR professionals have played an essential role in drawing up plans that drive organizations forward and protect public health."

The survey also examined employer plans for hiring and recruitment, reskilling and upskilling, severance packages, and the HR perspective on COVID-19. Notably, 87 percent of HR professionals report their work has been especially crucial to their employer since the outbreak began.


Media: Contact Julie Hirschhorn at and 703-842-5152 or Cooper Nye at and 703-535-6447.


This survey was fielded electronically to a random sample of SHRM members from May 13 through May 20, 2020. 1087 HR professionals responded to the survey in full or in-part. Academicians, students, consultants, self-employed, retired and HR professionals who were furloughed or laid off were excluded from the sample. Respondents represented organizations of all sizes from 2 to 25,000+ employees across the U.S. in a wide variety of industries including healthcare, education, manufacturing, professional services, retail, trade and transportation, accommodations, and food service.

About SHRM

SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener and thought leader on issues impacting today's evolving workplaces. With 300,000+ HR and business executive members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 115 million workers and families globally. Learn more at and on Twitter @SHRM.


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