High rate of employee confidence in business to get through pandemic

Seventy per cent of UK employees are confident their employers can get through the pandemic crisis, according to consumer intelligence firms Toluna and Harris Interactive

When asked how employees in the UK are coping with the shift in working conditions, 77% said they felt their employer was “at least somewhat prepared” to handle a crisis and 90% felt reassured their employers were “doing everything they can” to protect the personal safety of them and their colleagues.

This is despite many companies furloughing staff and in some cases already making redundancies.

Fifty-four per cent said they were still highly motivated to do their best job and 64% committed to achieving what their organisation is trying to do.

Productivity levels seemed to remain following the shift to remote working, despite self isolation restrictions meaning children are at home and many spouses are having to work in the same space.

An impressive 90% of workers said they felt just as self-disciplined or more since working from home and 61% said they felt just as productive, if not more so, compared to their normal place of work before the COVID-19 crisis.

Workplaces have also supplied their employees with the correct tech before shutting the office.

Ninety-four per cent said they had the proper tools and technology provided by their employer to work effectively from home.

However anxiety and uncertainty was also a constant among the study, yet this is where HR can make a difference.

Respondents said they would feel less anxious if they received more communication from employers on HR issues such as working arrangements, partial employment and unpaid leave (25%) and the wellbeing of colleagues (23%).

A further 23% also said they would like more information on current company performance and business plans as the pandemic unfolds.

Speaking to HR magazine, Amir Liberman, CEO of tech provider Nemesysco, said HR should understand the changes to the emotions of employees forced to work at home.

He said: “An employee may tell a manager that everything is okay working from home for which the manager will accept at face value and assume that everything is indeed okay. However, in reality the employee, who is used to only working from an office and interacting with other staff members on a daily basis is completely frustrated or struggling to get work done.

“By understanding these dynamically changing emotions of employees now working remotely, businesses can constantly take corrective measures to ensure productivity remains constant.”

Despite uncertainty, Vijay Mistry, head of employee experience research for Harris Interactive and Toluna, said the survey’s results were something to be celebrated.

“While UK employees have concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and the new working from home landscape, they are adapting successfully and are even increasingly committed to their company’s goals," he said.

“Businesses must remember that consistent and accurate communication is paramount to employee engagement, personal wellbeing and, in turn, productivity levels. This is where an organisation’s shared values and strong culture will shine through, ensuring the business survives during difficult times.”

The study surveyed 598 employees across the UK and was carried out on 1 April.