Torch, a San Francisco based leadership coaching firm, recently commissioned One Poll to conduct a survey asking respondents how they envision the world will appear in the wake of COVID-19.
Overall, 75% of the 2,000 Americans surveyed said they fear life will never return to what was once “normal.”
Here were some other findings:
- 63% of employed respondents said they don’t think their job will return to normal and anticipate they’ll work remotely for at least the remainder of the year.
- 59% admit they would be far too afraid to start reporting to a shared workplace once again.
- 36% have concerns they’ll never be able to get back to the office without potentially putting themselves and their family in harm’s way.
- 67% think their employer doesn’t understand how hard it is to work from home, especially for parents.
- 64% don’t feel as productive as they should be due to intrusive feelings of pandemic-related anxiety.
- 70% of respondents say just the thought of using public transit stresses them out.
- 64% think their employer should be much more flexible regarding remote work, even when offices are fully reopened. (I’m surprised this isn’t 100%)
- Close to 75% of survey participants believe handshakes are now a relic of the past.
- 45% think companies should start administering temperature checks before office entrance is permitted.
- 41% believe there will be no hugs or physical contact of any kind allowed
- 38% are in favor of doing away with a physical office entirely and transitioning fully to remote work all the time
- 33% believe there will be less business travel
- 75% believe companies will start instituting fully virtual candidate screening and interview procedures.
I think one thing is clear from the survey; work will look and be different for the foreseeable future.
I also think the results show that people are concerned about their safety and the safety of their families.
I hope companies are aware of these findings or are conducting their own surveys to find out what their employees are thinking about returning to work. And once they have that data, they act accordingly.
It’s a chance to show that companies really do place people above profits.
My solution would be that if a job can be done remotely, and the person wants to work remotely, then let the person work remotely. Figuring out how to make it work for everyone should be the easy part of such a solution.
On a side note, I would hate to see the handshake go away; that may be a topic for a future blog.
It will also be interesting to look back on this time period in 10 years and see what has had a bigger impact on work, COVID-19 or Artificial Intelligence…