Data Drop: How Employees and Businesses are Handling the Pandemic

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Despite all of the optimism of the last few months around vaccines and the eventual easing of the Coronavirus pandemic, the reality of the situation is that there is still a long, long way to go before much of anything returns to normal, assuming that it ever does.

As usual, my inbox is full of the latest studies and surveys being conducted by HR vendors, researchers and employers of all sizes. In today’s data drop, we’re going to take a closer look at how companies are handling the pandemic according to executives as well as workers and what kinds of shifts should be expected in the labor market. 

Evolution of Roles

SilkRoad Technology, a Chicago-based HR tech company, released results from a survey it conducted regarding office workers’ transition to remote work, pandemic-era onboarding and corporate pandemic responses. Nearly 1,500 office workers and 500 C-level executives based in North America were surveyed.

Compared to before the pandemic, 64% of C-level executives felt that their connection to their company and coworkers was much better or somewhat better, compared to only 34% of office workers.

Around 40% of office workers plan to resign and get a new job based on how their company handled the pandemic. Part of that may be related to frustration with the changing nature of their role. Around 63% said they had taken on new responsibilities during the pandemic, but only 27% said they had received adequate training or support to cope with those changes.

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Of workers who started a new job during the pandemic, 52% felt like they didn’t receive enough training, and 56% still have unanswered questions about their role.

Employee Wellness

Wellbeing is a growing concern in the age of the COVID era workplace. Burnout is rampant, isolation is wreaking havoc with mental health and the employee experience has shifted to a place where employers have to think beyond productivity now more than ever.

Research from the Limeade Institute shows that employer efforts to focus on employee wellness have not gone unnoticed as wellbeing has become a greater concern.

While manager and employee wellbeing has dropped, respondents still felt their wellbeing is supported by employers, with 66% saying they at least “somewhat agree” that their employer cares about their overall health and wellness.

Among managers and employees, 72% also said their employers have engaged in initiatives or offered services to support employee wellbeing since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, 77% of respondents said they feel at least “somewhat comfortable” asking their employer for a day off to benefit their own wellbeing.

While these were encouraging statistics, the news wasn’t all good, particularly for females in managerial roles.

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According to the study, one-third of female managers said they have feared losing their job during the pandemic while 26% of male managers felt the same. Additionally, 73% of women feel equipped to support the emotional needs of their team compared with 94% of men. These feelings from female managers are then only exacerbated by the pressing effects of remote work.

The Job Market

Job search platform iHire released a report which details the top hiring industries, popular career titles, most desired candidate skills, and the top hiring geographic areas, top industries for remote jobs, and more trends in the wake of COVID-19.

Findings worth noting include that more than 61% of workers are considering making major changes in their career in 2021, many in industries severely impacted by the pandemic such as hospitality and tourism.

The report also detailed the growth of remote jobs. At a time when 82% of companies say they are going to continue allowing employees to work remotely even after the crisis, remote hiring increased significantly. In 2020, the iHire platform saw more than 776,000 postings for remote work opportunities.

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