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Moneypenny: U.S Workplace Trends as Businesses Work to Reopen

With many schools going back this week, summer vacations coming to an end and the COVID-19 pandemic entering its sixth month in the U.S., a new survey by leading outsourced communications provider Moneypenny, investigates the effects of this on US businesses and employees. One of the most notable findings is that more men than women are back in the office full time (42% vs 32%).

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The survey also demonstrates how certain roles have been affected by the changing workplace, as for example 10% of offices have eliminated the role of the receptionist, with many choosing to divert phone lines to mobiles instead or hire a virtual receptionist company. This trend was particularly marked in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector, where 38% of businesses have chosen to let go of this position. 15 % of men in Director and Senior Management roles have started using a telephone answering service compared to only 3% of women. The survey further showed that in the Clerical sector almost 7% of women have chosen to no longer have a receptionist and to either leave a message on their business line asking customers to contact their mobiles or to divert their phones lines.

Small businesses with 50-99 employees have been forced to return to the workplace quicker (74%) than companies with staff in excess of 500 people (59%), yet 22% of all companies are planning a full return to the office in the fall and a further 12% planning to go back in 2021.

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In other findings, one third (34%) of those who are back in employment (52%) are still working from home. However, there are large variations across different industry sectors. For those working in Human Resources, more than two-thirds (67%) are still remote working, compared to:

  • 56% in finance
  • 52% in IT
  • 43% of architects and engineers
  • 27% in sales, media and marketing
  • 21% in travel and transport
  • 10% in retail and catering

When it comes to remote working the survey further discovered that 58% of the U.S. employees surveyed were given no help by their employers when they were required to make the shift to remote working. In addition to not receiving support, close to a quarter of these workers (23%) were expected to buy their own equipment. In Georgia 61% of employees were left to fend for themselves at home with South Carolina close behind at 54%.

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