Our first wave of outreach from our PandemicEX survey is back, with responses from more than a thousand employees across UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to help us find out how they feel their firms are responding to the coronavirus. UK employees:

  • Are well informed — and nervous. With daily announcements of more national disruption and the looming threat of an increased level of lockdown going into a potentially sunny Easter weekend, UK employees think the worst is yet to come. Seventy-eight percent of UK workers, compared to 65% of Europeans, expect further disruption to work.
  • Trust that their business leaders have their well-being at heart. Trust in business leaders and politicians is pretty much equal. Only 35% think the government isn’t taking strong enough measures, compared to 42% of Europeans in general. UK business leaders have stepped up, with 65% managing crisis communications to their workers. As a result, 60% of workers believe their firms have their well-being at heart. Public examples of supermarkets such as Asda and Tesco putting precautionary measures in place to protect both their customers and their staff resonate.
  • Are skeptical about what they read on social media. In the fallout of Brexit and recent hard-fought election campaigns, trust in social media is low — only 40% of UK workers trust Facebook as a source of data around the coronavirus compared to 52% of Europeans.
  • Are less productive working from home. Just over a third of UK workers are now working form home in some capacity, but with 60% of UK employees unable to work from home, the lockdown is biting. Only 54% of firms are equipped to handle remote workers, so growth in openly available tools such as Skype, Zoom, and the like is an obvious conclusion. No one tool dominates in the UK, and firms will need to do more in the coming weeks to enable remote working and to secure their remote employees’ health, well-being, productivity, and information security.

Check out our findings on the COVID-19 impact on UK employee experience, and read more publicly available COVID-19 coverage here.

There, you’ll find more on our European and global PandemicEX surveys, as well as our analysis and planning assumptions on how firms need to be responding now while also thinking strategically about the longer-term impact of the current crisis.