The Giant COVID Survey

Work, Work, and the Future of Work

Hello and welcome to the next set of results from the Giant COVID survey!
If you’d like a recap of survey details and results so far, check out our first summary on the built environment

Today’s topic is work, work, and the future of work.

How has COVID affected workers’ views?

As we mentioned last time, 12% of our respondents stopped working between January 2020 and the time they filled in the survey--between April 22 and May 22, 2020. However, 71% were still working at the time they responded to the survey.

For those still working, many reported that their view of their employer has become more positive since the start of COVID (perhaps because they still have a job?). Nearly 47% reported feeling more positive about their employer, while only 18% reported feeling more negative (the rest reported unchanged views). 

Given that most respondents have jobs that are not deemed ‘essential’, we wonder if this may correspond to the people that have been told that they are able to work from home indefinitely. In line with this idea, those who reported feeling more positive about their employer tended to work in technology, banking & financial services, and education & training -- industries that were working remotely this spring.

What’s ahead for jobs?

Perhaps due to a re-evaluation of life goals and priorities, some people plan on using the next year to look for a new job -- 37% of respondents believe they will start a new job before June 2021. That number was much higher for those who are currently unemployed, rising to 59%. 

For those who currently have a job, what are their reasons for striking out into the unknown in this harsh economic climate? Most frequently, those who plan to leave their current job before June 2021 plan to do so to switch roles (38%), to switch industries (34%), or to start their own business (14%). Big moves ahead! 

What industries will do well during and after COVID?

We asked each person to predict how COVID would affect opportunities in their line of work. Nearly half believed there would be fewer opportunities for work after COVID, 28% believed there would be no change in opportunities, and only 24% believed there would be more opportunities for work after COVID. 

Who are the people who believe more opportunities are coming their way? Most frequently, it was those in consulting & strategy and technology industries. With crisis comes opportunity, and people are ready to roll up their sleeves and respond to the new challenges of our time.

About the Surveyors

Packy and Anja worked together at Breather, where both were focused on improving people's experience at work. Packy was the VP, Experience and Anja was the Director of Research. Kristen worked on the other side of the flexible space world at WeWork, where she was a Project Manager and Global Sustainability Advisor. We're teaming up to learn and share what all of us are thinking about the impact of COVID on our lives.

Anja has a PhD in Cognitive Science, and she is a research consultant helping to optimize people’s experience in their environments. She is the brains behind the operations. You can read more of Anja's work at her website.

Packy is just an optimist who believes that we are going to come out of this stronger than before. You can read Packy's takes on business strategy through a pop culture lens in his newsletter, Not Boring.

Kristen is a sustainability expert by profession, but a dot-connector by passion. Her goal is to bridge partnerships and convert data into recommendations that will catalyze sustainable action and maximize positive impact. Find out more about her work to effect positive change withRecipric.

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