COVID-19 Business Response

More than three weeks into the pandemic-driven cascade of cancelations, closings, and social distancing, U.S. workplaces are experiencing unprecedented disruption — and it’s measurable.

Here’s what has changed in a stunningly short period of time (comparing Gallup Panel surveys conducted March 13-16 vs. March 27-29):

  • The percentage of full-time employees who say COVID-19 has disrupted their life “a great deal” or “a fair amount” has jumped from 58% to 81%.
  • 40% of U.S. employees say their employer has frozen hiring, and 33% say their employer has reduced hours or shifts because of COVID-19 — up from 33% and 27%, respectively.
  • The percentage of full-time employees working from home because of COVID-19 closures has increased from 33% to 61%.
  • The percentage of parents working full time who have kept their kids home from school because of COVID-19 has increased from less than half (44%) to everyone(100%).

The combined effects of frightening uncertainty about physical and financial health in the near future and the pressures of required self-isolation have led to record levels of stress and worry that far surpass those recorded in past years. Compared with 2019, reports of daily worry have increased from 37% to 60% among the full-time working population. Daily stress has increased from 48% to 65%.

On March 23, Gallup reported on five key elements that organizations can influence and measure to gauge their progress. They have been tracking how well organizations are doing on each of these five elements.

*Reprinted with permission from Gallup.