It turns out that the pandemic actually has been beneficial for many Americans. In a new survey, workers say that—in spite of the tragedy and devastation that COVID-19 brought to many—their lives have improved.Read More »
The only field in which workers are split is that of mental health. A third say they feel they are in an improved condition whereas a third say they are in a worse condition than they were two years ago in that regard.
The survey was conducted among more than 1,050 employees by Qualtrics, a management advisory company based in Seattle, Washington, and Provo, Utah.
Almost all the workers questioned said that the way they work has changed fundamentally and forever. The changes that they feel are most beneficial for them are in aspects such as adjustable schedules, work that is divided between the home and the office, and working remotely.
As we approach a new stage of the pandemic, in which measures such as social distancing and remote work might become optional, it is time to look at what we have learned, says Benjamin Granger, head of employee experience advisory services at Qualtrics. Employers need to determine which of the changes that have occurred as a result of the pandemic are worth retaining and which of those can be discarded.
As we make those decisions, it is vital, he adds, that we remember how new ways of working and flexibility have improved life for employees.
The survey reveals that the main benefit to families during the pandemic has come from choices that allowed people to work remotely. So much so that almost seven in every 10 workers say they have become closer to members of their families over the past two years through working at home.
Even pets have benefited. Almost all of the people interviewed for the survey say their pets appear to be in better spirits since they have been working from home.
Changes workers want to keep
The survey found that adjustable work choices, working from home, and safety policies have left effects on the ways in which people undertake their jobs that will last for a long time.
The poll found, too, that almost half of workers have changed their jobs as their priorities and needs changed during the pandemic. About 15% have actually changed the industries in which they work as well as their jobs.
The major reasons workers give for looking for new jobs are: They wanted a more adjustable schedule (16%); they were looking for more chances for growth (14%); they desired to work remotely (5%); and they were looking for higher pay (5%).
The changes workers want most to lose when the pandemic has gone are mask stipulations; social distances; and stipulations on vaccine.
Seven out of 10 of those workers questioned in the poll say they feel they have been working more productively during the pandemic. A little more than half say they believe they are more effective when they are working from home than when they work in the office.
Here is a closer look at some of the responses to the survey:
More employees say they are faring better now than two years ago in these areas:
• Balance between work and life—improved 43%; worse 18%
• Job satisfaction—improved 39%; worse 20%
• Career progress—improved 36%; worse 17%
• Finances—improved 38%; worse 27%
• Overall happiness—improved 41%; worse 24%
• Mental health—improved 31%; worse 31%
Relationships have improved during the pandemic in these ways:
• Family life is better—40%; worse—19%
• Workers who have grown closer to members of their family—68%
• Remote workers who are parents who say children are happier when they work from home—89%
• Remote workers who say their pets seem to be in better spirits when they work from home—95%
• Workers who have grown closer to their co-workers—48%; more distant—31%