- Most U.S. employees (60%) are confident that they can do their job efficiently while working remotely during the COVID-19 epidemic, even if that work-from-home status is extended indefinitely, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 adults by The Harris Poll for Glassdoor.
- While 67% of respondents said they would support a decision by their employer to move employees to indefinite remote-work status in response to COVID-19, more than one-quarter (28%) said their employer has done nothing in response to the disease's spread. That finding was more prevalent among those with an annual household income of less than $50K: 42% of these workers said they had heard nothing and saw no action from their employers on the issue.
- Only 16% of respondents said their employer offered additional paid or unpaid sick leave in response to the pandemic. On a related note, 27% of employed parents in the survey who had children under age 18 said they would be concerned about the difficulty of managing children while working from home, Glassdoor said.
As employers debate whether to move operations remote in the face of COVID-19, and how long to maintain such operations, it’s important to note that the option isn't available to all workers.
Black or African American workers and Hispanic or Latino workers are less likely than their white or Asian counterparts to be able to work from home, according to a report earlier this month published by the progressive Economic Policy Institute. The report found such disparities vary across industries: only 8% of leisure and hospitality workers can work from home.
Still, public health officials including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that employers explore telework options wherever possible. Industry sources who previously spoke to HR Dive said that employers will need to provide guidance for workers moving to remote status about their hours, communication systems and other norms in order to ensure efficiency.
Tech support is also a point of discussion. Employers may have rushed to telework as a response to the epidemic without first thinking through the security of sensitive electronic data according to a recent statement by the International Association of IT Asset Managers. Security is also a concern for those using software such as Zoom to hold teleconferences, HR Dive sister site CIO Dive reported, due to a surge in "gate-crashing" tactics during public video calls.