Skedulo, leading schedule and management platform, has released its report on the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on the workforce.
In a white paper titled "The 2020 State of Work Report: Defining a New Normal Amid COVID-19," Skedulo traces the changes in both deskless and desk-based roles starting from the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic last March. Researchers behind the study surveyed a total of 1,336 employees - 626 deskless workers, 610 desk-based workers, and 100 IT executives. The survey was conducted last October 2020 and spans workplaces in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and Australia.
Highlighting the inevitable adjustment for companies, IT departments, and employees in the name of survival in the middle of the pandemic, the report stresses the need for necessary technology in assisting both the people and the organization in making the shift.
Chilling Post-COVID Figures
The biggest threat of the pandemic against companies is that most employees are working in occupations that put them at risk of contracting the highly-contagious disease - this especially holds true for people at frontline jobs. Skedulo found out that up to thirty-one percent of the deskless workers included in the study said that they have personally contracted COVID-19, or have a colleague who was stricken with the disease as a result of their jobs. This report finds data that are significantly higher estimates compared to general studies.
In the survey, more than three out of five participants in the study felt that their work has become more difficult because of the pandemic. This finding agrees with both desk-based workers (62 percent) and deskless workers (58 percent). The opinion is shared more across Indians, with 78 percent of desk-based and 72 percent of deskless workers having a more difficult time because of the pandemic. On the other hand, the Australian workforce were found to share the sentiments for 44 percent of its desk-based and 43 percent of its deskless workers.
Across the different natures of work in the different countries, the main reason why working has become more difficult is caused by increased work hours, as reported by 38 percent of desk-based workers and 31 percent of deskless workers.
Businesses' Efforts To Help Employees
In an attempt to weather the adverse effects of the pandemic, companies have adopted varying policies and strategies to bring back employees to the office and get their companies running again. Almost half of the desk-based workers have already returned to offices with 33 percent of their companies instituting mandatory office work, with 17 percent mandating their employees to be in the office part-time.
Also, even deskless workers have found new technologies to aid in their jobs in the middle of the new normal. One significant increase was found in the use of communication and scheduling tools. Chief information officers surveyed shared that their investments mostly geared toward the following: virtual customer appointment tools (78 percent), messaging tools (72 percent), and online appointment scheduling (59 percent).
In conclusion, Skedulo strongly recommends against working more hours, calling the stopgap measure as "not sustainable." With a lot of companies either forced toward closure or furloughing its employees, imposing greater pressure on the remaining workforce is not advisable. Additionally, the study suggests the continuous support and investment of companies to help keep their employees safe and productive.