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Perks of Telework: Mulling Back-to-Work Trade-Offs

Aug. 7, 2020, 10:30 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 other Friday to keep up with the latest coping with Covid-19 chatter.

Currying Favor

Quarantined staff have moved from questioning the wisdom of reopening workplaces too early to speculating on who’ll benefit most from filing back into empty cubicles.

Background screening firm JDP polled 2,000 office workers about the health and security risks associated with returning to a public setting while the Covid-19 outbreak keeps ravaging the country.

If in-person appearances are once again required of them, workers anticipate problems may emerge.

Nearly seven in 10 respondents (69%) said they trust their colleagues to respect boundaries and adhere to the 6-foot perimeter prescribed by infectious disease officials.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63%) said they had an issue with employers testing them for coronavirus.

Six in 10 (62%) of respondents expect management will favor those who return to the office ASAP, creating conflict for those who may need to continue working from home because of shuttered schools, inadequate child care, or public transportation restrictions.

Meanwhile, 86% of respondents endorsed limiting the chances of exposure by cycling workers through the office at different times via a staggered, four-day workweek.

Riding Out the Storm

Employment hub Randstad USA polled 1,200 workers about how their finances have fared during the pandemic.

Nearly seven in 10 respondents (68%) said they’ve dodged pay cuts over the past few months.

Eight in 10 (80%) said they were satisfied with management’s response to their professional needs, while three-quarters of the respondents (76%) said management had done right by them in terms of personal needs.

That means everyone’s staying put, right?

Maybe.

Seventy-five percent of respondents reported having a “positive outlook on my employment options” over the next year.

Savings Shuffle

Staring at the same four walls for months on end has given workers plenty of time to ponder their financial future.

Investment firm Charles Schwab polled 1,000 401(k) plan participants about how they’ve adjusted to a world ravaged by the health-care crisis.

Two out of five respondents (41%) said they have tinkered with their retirement plans in the past few months—some in unexpected ways.

Twice as many participants (12%) said they’d increased their payroll-deducted contributions since the virus hit as those who reported cutting (6%) whatever amount they typically put in.

Comfort levels with public traded stocks remained fluid, with 8% of respondents adding more stocks to their portfolio while 7% reduced stock holdings.

Just one in 20 (5%) said they’d stopped contributing altogether.

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