New Limeade study finds 100% of employees are anxious about returning to the workplace, citing top concerns over exposure to COVID, less flexibility and commuting to work
The Limeade Institute released a global study, “Employee Care: Defining the New Normal.” The study delves into the current state of the employee experience, the level of care employees feel at this critical time and employee sentiment around how companies are planning to transition into the workplace in 2021.
Of the employees surveyed that were previously working on-site pre-pandemic but are currently working from home — all say they have some anxiety about returning to work. 77% cited being exposed to COVID-19 as their top source of anxiety, followed by less flexibility at 71% and commuting to work at 58%.
“Employees are hesitant to let go of autonomy when it comes to their well-being — and rightfully so,” said Dr. Reetu Sandhu, Senior Manager of the Limeade Institute. “Instead of focusing on the logistics of getting people back into the office, I encourage leaders to see this moment as an opportunity to ask employees, ‘what do you want work to look like in the future so that you can do your best work and take care of yourself?’ and then really listen and act accordingly. The outcome would be profound, both for people and for businesses.”
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The survey reveals employees are concerned about returning to the workplace as the need for flexibility, communication and care increases. Key findings across all participants regardless of current work location (4,553) include:
- 56% of employees say their organization hasn’t asked for their feedback about return-to-work policies and procedures.
- 29% say their organization shares employee feedback from surveys with them.
- 45% say their organization either doesn’t take action based on survey results, or to a small extent or uncertain.
- 81% say their productivity either stayed the same or increased since shifting to working from home.
- 82% say health and safety for themselves and their family is the top source of stress when looking at the year ahead.
Today’s study also revisits, employee perception of care from previous employee care reports, “The Hidden Causes of Employee Turnover,” and “Employee Care Still Missing the Mark,“ finding that only 55% of employees feel their organization cares about them, and only 16% strongly agree that their company cares about them — a drop from the 31% that strongly agreed in January. Additionally, burnout levels remain high and 60% of employees said their company doesn’t even discuss the topic of burnout with them.
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To better equip employers to navigate and care for their employees through this transition, today, Limeade is releasing targeted tools and resources. This includes:
- Stress Indicator: The Limeade Engagement Dashboard now includes a Stress Indicator, which measures employee self-reported current levels of stress levels, ranging from “low to manageable stress,” to “unmanageable stress.” This data can then be filtered, in a variety of ways, to show stress levels by specific groups. Based on these insights, the Limeade platform can be used to target those employee groups with actions that promote stress management.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Activities: Limeade is releasing 14 new targeted Well-Being activities as part of the company’s interactive video courses hosted by well-known reputable experts, navigating COVID-19 vaccines. Sample activities include: “”Prevention is the best medicine,” “How the vaccine works” and “Why get vaccinated?”
The survey was administered on an online global surveying platform. Data was collected from 7,846 participants from various countries. After data cleaning, the final sample consisted of 4,553 full-time employees, over the age of 18, representing France, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.
To ensure a representative sample, data was collected from 500 individual contributors per country and 200 people managers or above, from each country. The overall sample consisted of 3,006 individual-level contributors and 1,547 people managers or above. Participants represented over 17 different industries, from companies with 500 employees or more. Most participants fell between ages 25 and 45 (68%), with 31% over the age of 45.