Six key findings of our lockdown survey
Timewise recently surveyed our jobseekers, to find out about your experiences during lockdown - particularly how you are all feeling about work and the impact of the virus on your future job prospects. The survey was kindly sponsored by Grant Thornton.
Here are our six key findings:
Those of you who are still in work have found that you’re working harder than ever during lockdown. There could be a number of reasons for this. Transitioning to remote working caused a lot of extra work initially. Line managers in particular had extra tasks, dealing with issues such as furlough and re-thinking work processes. But we have also heard stories of employers who cut back on staff to survive financially, but have then loaded the workload of furloughed people onto the remaining staff.
But the good news is that most employers seem to have been sympathetic to their staff during lockdown, and supportive of the extra stresses that the virus has brought. The vast majority of employers were either ‘very supportive’ or ‘quite supportive’ across all measures. However, it’s worrying to see that 1 in 5 (22%) of people who were unwell or stressed by lockdown felt that their employer was ‘unsupportive’.
Interestingly, a significant minority of workers (26%) would like to reduce their hours following lockdown. This wasn’t just a finding amongst full-time employees – many are already in part-time contracts. So we’re wondering if people’s values have changed as a result of spending more time with family, or perhaps simply because we’ve all had time and reason to reassess ‘what really matters in life’.
Unsurprisingly, for jobseekers on a flexible jobs website, 4 in 5 of you would like increased home-working permanently, including 1 in 5 who want to work from home completely. However, we think this may have shifted since the time we ran our survey – there’s been a lot of commentary recently suggesting that people are increasingly stressed by feeling cooped up in their homes. Even in early June when we started our survey, a small minority of people agreed with the statement that “Home-working may become permanent, and I'm not happy with that.” The importance of the routine of going to work, and the camaraderie of the workplace, are missed by some – and perhaps this will increase.
We’re impressed by those of you who have used lockdown to further your skills, as it will stand you in good stead when you’re applying for jobs in the future. Of course, many of you may not have had the time – whether because you’ve been working, been ill, or run off your feet looking after a family. But if you get the chance, do have a think about what you can do to improve your CV.
Unemployed people in our survey are more concerned about the job market than they are about the virus - 92% worry that ‘it will be a long time before they can get a new job’, compared to 66% worrying that they might catch the virus either on their commute or in the workplace. Both concerns are of course scoring highly for people – individuals are having to grapple with getting the right balance between their health and their livelihood.
Let’s hope for a better economic outlook before long, and for a medical solution to this terrible virus. In the meantime, stay safe.