Working From Home – What Employees Have To Say

Over the past 45 days, we have been collecting information from employees who are currently working from home due to the coronavirus and COVID-19. We asked several scaled questions from a ‘before working from home’ and ‘now that you are working from home’ perspective.

On the scalable questions, the response scale was a 5-point scale, from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. The following are percent favorable scores (the percentage of respondents who answered Agree and Strongly Agree):

  Before working from home While working from home
I have a good work/life balance83%76%
I feel that my job is secure89%69%
My manager keeps me well informed and communicates regularly93%93%
I have the information I need to do my job well96%95%
I have sufficient resources to do my job efficiently and effectively96%94%

While many employees like working from home – they do not miss the commute and are able to see their families more, there has also been a transition to having children home all day, juggling home schooling with work and feeling like they do not have a compartmentalized work time – they can’t turn work off. From a New York Times article, “Parents in the United States have nearly doubled the time they were spending on education and household tasks before the coronavirus outbreak, to 59 hours per week from 30, with mothers spending 15 hours more on average than fathers, according to a report from Boston Consulting Group. (1)

94% – 95% of employees feel that they are given the information and resources to do their job well.

Lower job security scores here make sense too. Although these employees all currently have jobs, they are still worried about their industries and future employment status. Some companies have been able to get PPP money, and employees are worried about what will happen when that money runs out. If employees are furloughed and offered their job back, but childcare is not available, or they feel that their health will be compromised, will they still be able to collect unemployment?

We asked another set of questions about productivity:

Question Percent Favorable
I am productive while working from home95%
My team is productive while working from home92%
My company is productive while working from home91%

Employees consider themselves productive while working from home, but also believe that their teams and companies are just a bit less productive. This follows a general theme that is prevalent in company employee feedback surveys as well.

From the New York Times article, “companies like Salesforce, PepsiCo, Uber and Pinterest recently signed a pledge(**) to offer more flexibility and resources for working parents, and many businesses have softened their stances on telecommuting. Staggered shifts and less business travel are also likely to become more common… In the near term, though, there is little relief in sight…”

We will be re-surveying employees in the next 60 – 90 days to see the impacts of working from home over time.

References

  1. Pandemic Could Scar a Generation of Working Mothers | New York Times | June 4, 2020 |Patricia Cohen and Tiffany Hsu

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