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Perks of Telework: Many Employers Keep Paying Infected Workers

March 20, 2020, 9:45 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.

Making Ends Meet

Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc across the economy, sparking sudden closures, trillion-plus-dollar relief packages, and general confusion about what comes next.

Businesses are attempting to ease jittery staff with the best tool at their disposal: steady paychecks.

Global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson surveyed 805 companies, employing over 4 million workers around the globe, about how the current health-care crisis is affecting payroll.

Most North American participants reported that they intend to pay hourly workers at their regular rate for the next 10-15 days.

Those in the running for no change to their near-term income stream include: employees who test positive for the virus (72%), those whose offices/workplace have closed indefinitely (54%), and working parents taking a crack at homeschooling (36%) while regularly scheduled classes remain cancelled.

Meanwhile, one in 10 respondents said they’re trying to figure out how to reward hourly staff still trudging into HQ while everyone else is required to stay put. Additional perks under consideration include situational overtime pay, paid time off valid after the outbreak dies down, and “other forms of recognition.”

Can’t Beat the Commute Time

Job hub Monster polled employers and employees about how working conditions have changed since the onslaught of coronavirus.

The best news for pajama-clad telecommuters is that 57% of employers said they would consider loosening up remote working restrictions indefinitely “if it proves productive during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The idea that continued remote work is tied to productivity might strike fear in the hearts of the slackers in the bunch, but working parents are pretty sure they’ve got this. Around a third of those juggling home-bound kids on top of their daily workload expressed concern “about their ability to do both at the same time.” But the majority just slammed some coffee and was like: “Bring. It. On.”

Fear of the unknown, however, is creeping up on all sides. More than 80% of the employees surveyed said they’re worried about losing their jobs before this all blows over. Around eight in 10 employers are weighing their survival chances as well.

High Art

Social distancing got you down?

Collaborative community HITRECORD aims to quash the quarantine blues by getting everyone’s creative juices flowing.

One timely project challenges contributors to describe working from home in just five words.

Solid contenders include:

  • This should be the future
  • Time for a snack break
  • My cat is my assistant
  • Nope, I am a firefighter

Perks’ current favorite: No need to wear pants!

Flex those writing muscles by submitting your hot take here.

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; Peggy Aulino at maulino@bloomberglaw.com

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