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The return to work after COVID is potentially stressful for employees

These COVID return to work survey questions are designed to identify a comprehensive range of challenges that people might experience on returning to work, as efficiently as possible (i.e. without repetition on the same dimension). Each question should give a slightly different perspective and provide some insight into what is or is not working for employees, that could cause stress.


What is the purpose of the COVID return to work survey?

This short COVID return to work survey should provide a starting point to expedite further investigation and action, rather than “the answer”. The questions have not been statistically tested, but are based on a holistic psychological theory*.


How to use the COVID return to work survey

Please feel free to use these questions, using your own pulse or survey tool, to monitor how people feel about their  return to work. If people are already returning to work, use the text in the normal brackets (like this). If you are preparing to return, use the words in angled brackets <like this>.


Suggested text and questions

Feel free to use or edit the introductory text below..


How do you feel about your return to work?

It is important to us that you feel safe, able to work effectively and without undue stress when you return to work following lockdown.

Please help us to understand how we could better support you by answering this short survey. It should only take a couple of minutes to complete.

We may repeat the survey, depending on your responses and how the situation evolves, over time.

Please consider the following statements, with respect to working conditions (returning to work) and COVID-19, where 1 means strongly disagree and 5 means strongly agree.

  1. I believe that our plans to manage the risks of working are as clear as they can be
  2. I know what <is> (will be) expected of me and how I should behave
  3. I’m happy that <I can> (will be able to) give my full energy and focus to my work
  4. <I am> (I will be) free to challenge or give my opinion when things don’t seem right
  5. <I’m (confident that I will be) fully equipped to perform my role effectively
  6. I <feel that I can> (believe I will be able to) attend to my own physical or mental wellbeing
  7. I <can> (will be able to) contribute effectively to the collective performance of my team
  8. I <am> (will be) able care for or provide emotional support to those that need me


Option: Add importance as a dimension

If you choose, you could also ask people to rate how important each item is to them in relation to working and COVID, on a scale of 1 (not at all important) to 5 (very important). Doing so, and multiplying both sets of scores, will give you a bigger range of scores and a clearer set of priorities.


If you would like to explore employee feedback tools that will allow you to run your own pulse surveys such as this, we recommend The People Experience Hub.

*The survey is based on the eight motivational styles of Reversal Theory (Apter) and as such, should represent a comprehensive range of psychological needs.

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