Only 3% of Black workers want to return to office full-time, according to survey

CHARLOTTE — Major employers are starting to bring people back to the office.

A therapist said mental health should also be considered as COVID-19 safety measures seem to be the top issue.

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Therapist Vernada Bellamy said that she is not surprised by a recent survey, which found only 3% of white collar, African Americans want to return to the office full time.

“There’s a lot of anxiety and fear that surrounds returning back and having to deal with the reality of what we have gone through, and how it really impacted everyone,” Bellamy said.

Trauma from civil unrest over the summer of 2020 and fears of microaggressions post pandemic have caused Black Americans to prioritize their mental health, health experts said.

“Following the murder of George Floyd and the racial traumas of the last year with COVID-19, more Black Americans are choosing to prioritize their mental health. Particularly in settings where there are fewer Black Americans, the return to work can signal anxiety,” Bellamy said in a news release. “In this case, many are choosing to manage their anxiety – and their overall mental health – by opting for a hybrid return to work model or a full work-from-home plan that allows them to avoid those sticky situations.”

In the video at the top of this webpage, reporter Gina Esposito learns about some solutions for that fear in the African American community.

“Future Forum, a research group formed by workplace collaboration software company Slack Technologies Inc., also noted that by contrast, 21% of white professionals want to go back to the office full-time,” the news release stated. “Data from the study shows that 53 percent of Black workers agree that they are “treated fairly at work” (vs. 74% of white workers). Additionally, just more than half (54%) of Black employees rate their sense of belonging at work “good or very good,” compared with 70% of white employees.”