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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are continuing to adjust their policies as new COVID-19 cases surge due to the Delta variant.

A recent survey by JumpCloud of 500 US and UK executives indicates that SMEs are prepared to deal with uncertainty over the long-term and are deploying a variety of responses. More than three quarters of respondents are rethinking plans to return to the office (In just the US, 52.4% of U.S. respondents are currently rethinking their plans to return to the office and an additional 17.1% have already delayed “work in the office” start dates).

There are also pronounced regional differences to evolving Covid responses. Where 68% of respondents in the US have plans to mandate a vaccine, this number drops to 57% in the UK. Within the US itself, Northeastern and Mountain states have the highest percentages of companies planning to mandate vaccines (82% and 80% respectively); while within southern states  (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, WV) the number drops to 56.1%.

Beyond vaccines, companies are changing their return-to-work plans. 59.2% are requiring social distancing in the workplace, 57.4% are limiting the number of people in the workspace at one time, 54.3% are requiring masks or PPE, and 41.9% are upgrading air filters or HVAC equipment.

In the US, most companies are remaining flexible about when workers will return to the office. Of those who have delayed a return to the office, 30% are delaying a return to the office until September; 16.3% are delaying until October; 18.8% are delaying until November or later; and 35% don’t yet have a firm timeline.

This survey was conducted by cloud directory platform provider JumpCloud and Propeller Insights in August, 2021. The survey included 502 SME decision-makers in the U.S. and U.K from companies with fewer than 2,500 employees.

Read the full report by JumpCloud.

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