Career Corner: How COVID-19 is Impacting Employee Sentiment

Of those surveyed, 27 percent of employed parents were concerned with the challenges of managing their children while working from home. – Courtesy photo / Lyncconf Games (CC BY 2.0)

By Angela Copeland

We can all agree on one thing. The last month or so has been fairly unexpected, and very stressful. In just a few days, life as we knew it changed. The weather was just beginning to warm up. Spring break was right around the corner with summer not far behind. Then, reality started to shift – quickly. Many employees started working from home full time. Vacations were postponed. Parties were canceled. Public places, including gyms, restaurants, and bars began to close.

This new normal comes with it so much unknown. It brings about worries around our jobs, our families, our future retirements, and our health. Glassdoor surveyed employees to get a sense for how they’re feeling about their employer’s response to COVID-19. 

Glassdoor found that those with a household income of less than $50,000 were less likely to feel that their employers were taking the proper steps to address COVID-19 concerns. Of those surveyed, 67 percent said they would support a decision by their employers to work from home indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak. And, only 16 percent of employees said their companies were offering additional paid or unpaid sick leave in response to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

Of those surveyed by Glassdoor, three in five U.S. employees felt they were confident they can efficiently do their jobs remotely, if they are asked to work from home indefinitely. Half of employees felt they could be as productive or more productive at home as they are in the office.

There was a divide in age. Of those surveyed, 68 percent between the ages of 13 and 34 felt confident in efficiently working remotely, while only 44 percent of those between the ages of 55 and 64 agreed. In addition, 71 percent of employed parents with children under the age of 18 feel confident they can do their work remotely.

When it comes to remote work distractions, TV watching was rated as the top most likely distraction at 32 percent. Lack of human interaction and a feeling of going “stir crazy” was ranked highly at 22 percent. And, 27 percent of employed parents were concerned with the challenges of managing their children while working from home. Of parents, 25 percent cited lack of social interaction as a concern, compared to only 18 percent of those employees without children.

No matter how you look at it, this isn’t an easy time. Chances are your employer has evolved how they’re handling COVID-19. And, your situation as an employee may have changed. Whatever you do, hang in there. Know that you aren’t the only one concerned with working from home or finding a way to balance work and family. When it comes to your boss and colleagues, remember that they are also going through a difficult experience. We all are. This situation is a temporary one — no matter how serious it is today. And, we’re all in this together.

Angela Copeland, a career expert and founder of Copeland Coaching, can be reached at copelandcoaching.com.

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