On April 11, 2020, we launched the Evive National COVID-19 Consumer Behaviors Survey. This was the first of two surveys we have conducted in this time of uncertainty where there are more questions than answers. The purpose of this initial survey was to investigate the behaviors and outlooks of 750 respondents in relation to their risk factors, attitudes, and daily habits around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ultimately, the survey found that while worry remains high, many have been practicing preventive behaviors in efforts to stay safe. Employees reported being open to solutions like telehealth that would allow them to seek help while complying with stay-at-home orders. Moreover, the results showed that people’s spirits were buoyed by strong employer communication practices during the crisis.
So what else should employers be cognizant of right now? Here’s a peek at the top concerns on employees’ minds during COVID-19.
General anxiety about the virus
When asked about their general level of concern around Coronavirus, the majority of respondents reported being “extremely” concerned. This attitude stems from a number of factors, with the top two being fear of contracting COVID-19 and risk of running out of home essentials. Anxiety across other areas appeared to correlate with whether those factors were relevant to the respondent’s personal circumstances. For example, those with children in the household were more likely to indicate childcare as a reason for concern.
Another key finding about anxiety was identified in the high-risk household group (those where a member of the household or the respondent themselves meets high-risk criteria for contracting COVID-19). Respondents in this group reported worry about accessing non-COVID-19-related medications. This section of the survey report demonstrates just how many sources of anxiety for COVID-19 abound.
Adapting to new norms
The high levels of concern appear to influence instances of preventive behavior, with 95% of respondents supporting social distancing as a necessary tactic. Additionally, 81.6% of respondents claimed to have increased their practice of hand-washing with soap and water, and nearly 60% were increasingly avoiding touching their face at the time of this survey.
These changes in behavior revealed that people are more willing to adapt to new norms in hopes of slowing the COVID-19 spread and staying safe—but that doesn’t take away from the energy and resources needed to make these changes a reality.
Safely accessing healthcare
When this survey was conducted, many were hesitant to visit physical sites of care—like a hospital or doctor’s office—but were willing to explore digital options. In fact, 82% of respondents said they felt open to trying telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis. This percentage only went up with respondents with children, as 86% of parents surveyed reported they would try out telehealth.
With this overarching positive sentiment on remote healthcare, employers have an opportunity to promote telehealth programs to their populations.
The employer connection
On that note, let’s further examine employer communication; opportunities for it are abundant, but the actual execution is not. Nearly 1 in 4 people in the employed or actively furloughed population reported only having received company communications about COVID-19 operational impacts “once or twice” or “never”—and that appears to have affected employer net promoter score (NPS) ratings.
The survey found that 53% of respondents who heard from their employer daily about COVID-19 updates fell into the NPS promoter category, versus 23% who’ve only been communicated to “once or twice” and 25% who have “never” been communicated with about such updates. Bottom line: communication has an impact.
This is just a glimpse of the sentiments employees have shared throughout this challenging time. Dive into the full survey report for relevant insights on employer communication and resources people have been seeking. (And stay tuned for our second survey report on employee sentiment regarding return-to-work.)
It’s more important than ever to listen to the voice of the employee as companies strive to keep their workforce connected and their business afloat.