Among the earliest recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was to allow workers who could do their jobs remotely from home to be permitted to do so. Other recommendations by the CDC to employers from as early as February included replacing in-person meetings with video or teleconferencing.
According to a recent article by Ryan Golden on the HR Dive website, however, 53% of service firm workers participating in a recent survey were dissatisfied with their employer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey was conducted across 200 professional service firms with more than 200 employee participants. Complaints of how employers responded to the current crisis included poor planning and communication about the crisis to staff. One survey respondent said that their employer did not allow staff to work from home until someone in the office tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.
The push toward enabling more workers to telecommute across a broad spectrum of businesses has been a trial by fire for many organizations. Those that didn’t already have the infrastructure in place to allow more of their staff to work remotely are now seeing it as an option that may become a necessity in the future.
Research firms, Axios and Ipsos, found that more workers have been moved to remote-worker status by employers. Even with more workers at home, a recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that just one-third of small businesses that participated said that they could continue their operations remotely.
Even for those workers who have made the transition from the office to working from home, some are finding it challenging to deal with the increased stress levels of being able to work and deal with constant disruption while working from home. This, according to the results from the Axios/Ipsos survey, had a higher number of respondents (41%) complaining of worsening job stress and mental health during the current crisis compared to the 34% of workers who regularly report to an office or job site.