Forrester’s PandemicEX survey revealed the employee experience of 470 US adults working part- or full-time. Below is the second post in a series sharing the most important early findings from the survey. To see the first two posts, click here and here.

Only Half Of US Workers Feel They Have The Flexibility At Work To Take Care Of Family Members If Needed

Most Workers Don’t Think Their Organizations Have The Technology Resources To Support Working From Home

The coronavirus (i.e., COVID-19) was officially declared a pandemic this week, which is hardly news to the thousands of companies around the world that are furiously updating their business continuity plans and making tough decisions, often on a daily basis. The first step was restricting travel and canceling conferences. The next step was — and still is — arranging for everyone who can to work from home. In many areas, the next step will be to support employees who have to take care of family members should they need to. Our PandemicEX study suggests this multi-step process is unlikely to proceed smoothly.

  • Twenty-eight percent of US workers said that their workplaces had asked “some workers to work from home more than usual.” This was measured a week ago, so we expect the number to have risen since. At 40%, those younger than 45 were the most likely to indicate this was going on at their workplace. And those with household incomes above $75,000 a year were also much more likely to say this, which reflects the white-collar nature of many of their jobs.
  • Forty-eight percent agree that their “company has the technology resources” needed to support working from home. That leaves a little bit of headroom over the 28% who are currently seeing this happen but not enough to reflect the huge numbers of work-from-home orders we’ve seen at all levels this week. It’s different for managers and executives; 62% believe the resources are sufficient.
  • Fifty-two percent of workers say that they have the flexibility in their work schedule and related obligations to “take care of family members should I need to.” Being productive while working from home is one thing, but simultaneously taking care of a symptomatic family member will present a challenge for nearly half of all workers who don’t believe they have the flexibility needed. Unsurprisingly, at 40%, rank-and-file individual contributors are the least likely to say that they have that option.(1)


(1) Forrester’s Q1 2020 US PandemicEX Survey 1