Recent surveys found that nearly nine in 10 U.S. employees (86 percent) believe their employer has an “obligation” to notify employees who may have been in contact with a co-worker who tested positive for COVID-19.

The surveys, sponsored by Kronos Incorporated and conducted by The Harris Poll and Workplace Intelligence, debunk a misconception around COVID-19 contact tracing, which suggests employee privacy concerns outweigh safety concerns, according to a press release. In fact, the vast majority of employees surveyed globally (86 percent) are comfortable to varying degrees with employer-led contact tracing, which may be the key to setting a risk-adverse workforce at ease.

In workplaces around the world, expectations from the workforce are high for employers to create environments that are as safe as possible. Globally, three in four employees (75 percent) say they trust their employer to create a physically safe and healthy work environment. 

That trust extends to contact tracing at work: 86 percent of employees worldwide are at least “a little” comfortable with contact tracing led by their employer for the purpose of organizational safety. In fact, nearly half (45 percent) are “very” or “a great deal” comfortable, while just 29 percent and 12 percent are either “somewhat” or “a little” comfortable, respectively, with employer-led contact tracing. 

“Employees have demonstrated that they do have safety concerns in the workplace, but generally trust their employer to take care of them,” said Gregg Gordon, vice president, industry, for Kronos. “This should signal to employers that they have a responsibility to step up and employ all methods necessary to protect workers physically and mentally during COVID-19.”