Our #pandemicEX research project has now completed its first field period in Europe. From March 25 to March 27, we fielded a survey to a random sample of 1,032 European adults who work part- or full-time. We collected roughly equal samples in each country: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK.

Here are our key takeaways:

  • More than 40% of employees across Europe believe their governments are reacting too softly to the COVID-19 crisis, adding weight to their fears of job losses.
  • Fear of the further spread of COVID-19 and its economic impact is more pronounced in Southern Europe, with up to 40% of Spanish and 45% of Italian employees fearing their company will make layoffs.
  • UK and Spanish business leaders are instilling more confidence in their workforces than their French and Italian counterparts.
  • More than 50% of European employees prefer to work from home during the crisis, but a similar amount want to go back to the office once this is over.
  • European workers are adapting quickly to their enforced work-from-home culture, with many preferring the flexibility it brings.
  • Skype is the collaboration tool of choice, but Microsoft Teams and Zoom are fast growing in popularity across Europe.

The current crisis reveals and accelerates forces that were already in play. The massive economic crisis that will follow COVID-19 will dramatically widen existing gaps in companies’ responses to the multiple transformations of the past decade. Many companies — not just startups — will fail to emerge from this crisis; those that do will make critical decisions in the coming weeks and months. Employers will need far more than work-from-home policies to help workers adapt. While the focus in the first few days and weeks was on crisis management, now is the time to anticipate the world after COVID-19 and to truly rethink how to engage employees while reinventing customer experiences.

The full write-up on the #pandemicEX findings is available here.

You’ll find a lot more analysis on how the crisis is changing consumer and employee behaviors and expectations, how it will impact businesses moving forward, and how to react to the current crisis here.