The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the workforce, turning normal day-to-day operations on their heads for many companies. Employees are dealing with new challenges related to working from home, including technological issues and isolation from their colleagues and superiors. Workers have also been reporting increased stress levels due to the virus. Luckily, according to CPA Practice Advisor, a recent study shows that worker confidence is beginning to recover amidst the pandemic.
The study, conducted by the ADP Research Institute, surveyed working Americans ages 18 and older over a period of eight weeks. It posed questions about productivity and stress levels, job security, and employer response to the crisis. In total, over 24,000 individuals were polled, and the results showed a significant shift over time.
When the survey began on March 1st, employees reported widespread stress with accompanying decreased levels of productivity. 50% of people stated that technological challenges were hindering their work. Lack of face-to-face interaction with coworkers and bosses was also a significant finding, as was concern over financial wellbeing due to layoffs and furloughs.
However, by week 8, fewer workers were reporting these conditions and their confidence levels had begun to level off. Some of the most notable changes were a decrease in fears over job security and financial health. By the end of the survey period, 58% of individuals polled reported that they expect their monetary situation will return to normal within the next six months. This included 60% of those who had experienced job loss. In fact, one in three people who were furloughed or laid off were confident that they would return to work within one month. In addition, 68% of workers expected to retain their jobs for at least the next 30 days. All of this data suggests the employees are beginning to find a “new normal” and are now more comfortable with changes made to their work situations in response to COVID-19.
Another important metric gauged by the survey was employee satisfaction with how their company had responded to the pandemic. ADP believes that employee perception of their workplace’s reaction to the crisis will affect employee retention and happiness in the long term. Those who reported being satisfied with how their place of employment was handling the shift in operations cited the ideas that their company was putting people first, promoting positive thinking, facilitating work from home, and fostering connections between staff members virtually as the top factors affecting their approval.
Overall, the survey highlighted the importance of workplace flexibility now and in the future. Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of ADP, stated that “This pandemic has significantly changed the world of work, upended employees’ everyday lives, and undoubtedly will have a long-lasting effect on organizations… As the workforce continues to demonstrate resilience by overcoming challenges and adapting to a new way of working, the shifts we’ve seen previously in workforce flexibility will become a necessity.”