In California, where Torch HQ is located, we’ve been working under some version of shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of Coronavirus since March of this year. For us, and many other companies across the US, this time has been a transition into working from home and working through a lot of uncertainty.
As office workers who have been working from home start to consider a return to work, there are many factors at play. We also want to acknowledge and thank the essential workers in healthcare, food service, logistics and more who have not been able to work from home and are fulfilling their jobs at a personal risk.
For those transitioning back to work, we wanted to know more about how the pandemic is affecting people’s outlook on what it means to work from the office once again.
At the end of May, we partnered with OnePoll to conduct a survey of 2,000 Americans to understand how they believe the world will change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey found that 63% of respondents believe their job will never return to normal and they anticipate they’ll work remotely for at least the remainder of the year. Overall, three-quarters of Americans surveyed also worry that life will never return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read on for more data from our survey, share the infographic, and get helpful resources to take action on working through the pandemic.
How did workplaces handle coronavirus?
Just over six in 10 respondents believe that their boss didn’t handle the transition to remote working as well as they could have. As we covered in our tips on virtual leadership, there are certain skills key to managing teams that need some intentional focus during remote work.
Another 67% of those surveyed also said they believe their employer doesn’t understand how hard it is to work remotely when employees have children at home. MIT Sloan provides a great overview on how to help employees work from home with kids. One quick win for workforces? Survey employees to get deeper insights into what challenges employees are facing.
Even those without children are having trouble focusing while working from home; 64% of respondents shared they aren’t as productive due to their increased stress and anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
With all of this stress and anxiety, it’s no wonder 64% of respondents believe their workplace should allow for more flexibility on remote working once things start returning to normal.
Seven in 10 respondents even said that as they continue to work remotely, it would be helpful to have a work coach to help them. As Torch CEO Cameron Yarbrough says, “CEOs can provide resources for remote workers, update policies and make cultural changes, however, the support that your employee receives from a one-on-one relationship with a coach or mentor is irreplaceable.”
There’s work to be done defining a new normal post-coronavirus
As companies around the United States start to consider a return to work, our survey highlighted a few key concerns from employees about the new normal.
- 74% of respondents believe that workplaces will transition to virtual interviews for new hires.
- 45% of respondents believe companies will start requiring employees to take their temperatures before entering.
- 43% of respondents believe companies will start hosting more virtual meetings in order to limit the spread of germs.
- 36% of respondents said they’re afraid they can’t return to normal work lives without putting their families at risk to potential infection.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe that people should no longer shake hands in order to prevent the spread of germs. When respondents themselves start returning to their pre-coronavirus work lives, 20% said they plan on greeting people with a wave six feet away to be safe.
Culture Amp has created a helpful guide of five things to keep top of mind when returning to the workplace during COVID-19 that address prioritizing health and safety, legal considerations, preparing the physical workspace, creating a return to work timeline and being proactive moving forward.
What our survey showed is that we’re still figuring out what the new normal post-coronavirus will look like. Unsurprisingly, many people are expecting more virtual work and more measures put in place to keep workers healthy when they are in person again.
If your employees are like the 70% of respondents who believe having a coach to support them through this time would be beneficial, the team at Torch is here to support you. Request a demo to see how our coaches and mentors can provide guidance during this time of transition.