- Data collected by global customers of employee engagement platform Culture Amp revealed that while 95% of workers felt safe performing their roles during the COVID-19 pandemic, slightly fewer felt equipped to look after their family and dependents if needed.
- The data were collected as part of Culture Amp's COVID-19 2020 Benchmark, a survey template used by over 200 of the firm's employer customers to receive employee feedback on their responses to the pandemic. The majority of workers felt they had access to the systems and technology to move remote and felt they were treated fairly by colleagues during the pandemic, but fewer said they could find their company's most recent policies on things like travel, flexible work and quarantining.
- The composition of the benchmark skewed towards clients in the computer software and information technology industries, which are more likely to be able to work remotely and pivot faster to respond to the pandemic, Culture Amp said. "As such, the high scores seen in this first benchmark might not be an accurate reflection of 'typical' companies but instead represent a cohort of 'early adopters,'" the company noted.
Culture Amp's findings represent a segment of employers that, the company acknowledged, are more likely to be able to support and pivot to remote work and other flexibility in the event of disruption like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees working in "must-show" fields, a phrase used in a March 2020 report by Time Magazine, largely are not able to work from home in the pandemic. These workers are also less likely to have access to benefits including paid sick leave, Time noted. There are also demographic disparities, according to a report from the progressive think tank Economic Policy Institute, which found that just 16% of Hispanic or Latino workers in the U.S. were able to work from home, compared to 30% of white workers and 37% of Asian workers.
On the other hand, most workers in a recent survey by Eagle Hill Consulting said they're worried about exposure to COVID-19 upon returning to the workplace. Though 71% in the same survey said they trusted employers to bring them back to work safely, most wanted their organizations to continue to be flexible with respect to remote work. Tech companies in particular have responded to those concerns by continuing to embrace flexibility. Twitter, for example, announced May 12 that it would allow employees to make their own decision as far as when to return from the company's period of remote work, if ever.
The impact of COVID-19 extends beyond work arrangements into areas like recruiting. Sources who spoke to HR Dive earlier this month said leaders should expect to see technology play an even bigger role in talent acquisition strategy as candidates and recruiters become more comfortable with digital processes.
Diversity and inclusion practices may also be impacted by the introduction of so-called "windowed work" structures, in which employers break up an employee's workweek into blocks of time that allow the employee to perform work when it is most convenient for them personally. Such processes allow for a more welcoming approach to work that can enhance employees' sense of belonging to the organization, sources previously told HR Dive.