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Perks of Telework: Bracing for More Pain as Pandemic Rolls On

April 24, 2020, 10:31 AM

Time for Perks of Telework, our revamped recap of intriguing data, surveys, and trends about how the 21st century workplace is weathering the new coronavirus. Check this space every Friday to keep up with the latest coping with Covid-19 chatter.

Bad Moon Rising

With over 26 million Americans filing for unemployment over the past month, many of those still collecting a paycheck fear they’ll lose their job in due time.

A quarter of the full- and part-time workers Gallup polled in early April anticipate getting laid off within 12 months.

That’s triple the amount of doomsayers (8%) from a year earlier.

Once the ax falls, many foresee financial problems mushrooming in just a few weeks.

A full third of respondents (34%) said they could coast through summer sans serious budgetary strain.

Nearly three in 10 respondents (28%) predicted they could stick things out for up to month.

Those most at risk are the 13% who pegged their personal breaking points at about one week.

Nearly a quarter of respondents were confident they could ride out 2020, with 12% banking on remaining financially secure for at least one year, and 12% projecting they could stay afloat for 13-plus months.

Getting Sorted

Assessment hub Questionmark has categorized the five types of teleworkers propping up our shut-in economy.

The five classes include:

  • Seasoned survivors: remote working vets who’ve been at it for a while;
  • Paddlers: some familiarity with remote working protocols;
  • Newbs: first-timers struggling to get their bearings;
  • Anxious: stressed about working from home, and their productivity is suffering; and
  • Task-takers: having trouble focusing without management around.

According to the report, everyone could likely use some help adjusting to the new normal. Recommendations range from hosting tech tutorials to providing regular pep talks.

“A ‘paddler’ or a ‘newb’ may need more training on the different remote tools available. The ‘anxious’ may benefit from peer mentoring. The ‘task-taker’ may require greater accountability,” analysts advised team leaders.

Learning Swerve

Quarantine nation is spending a lot of time staring at screens.

Professional networking hub LinkedIn reports that three times as many people watched online courses in April as in January—streaming 1.7 million hours of e-learning materials vs. the 560,000 hours of educational programming consumed earlier this year.

The topics LinkedIn said self-improvers have devoured in recent weeks include: working from home tips, mindfulness, stress management, and, resilience.

LinkedIn is leaning into the quest for knowledge by offering free self-help sessions through the end of June.

“How to manage feeling overwhelmed,” “Managing stress for positive change,” and “Coaching employees through difficult situations” are part of that extended curriculum.

Hungry for more? Send any tips, polls, or story pitches to wrojas@bloomberglaw.com.

To contact the reporter on this story: Warren Rojas in Washington at wrojas@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fawn Johnson at fjohnson@bloomberglaw.com; Brent Bierman at bbierman@bloomberglaw.com

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