Employees remain mixed on working from home (and going back to an office)

employees-remain-mixed-on-working-from-home-(and-going-back-to-an-office)

Both options pose challenges, new data from career site Monster finds.

Freelancing. Working from home

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Even with states now reopened and many employees having the option of continuing to work from home, a new poll finds that a majority (56%) of respondents are open to a mix of WFH and returning to the office. 

The June poll of 1,613 US respondents by career site Monster found that employees believe they will face challenges as they work from home more often. Specifically, respondents cited collaboration (34%) and productivity challenges just behind at 30%. 

“Although we adapted to working from home and relied on technology to work, essentially we are social creatures,” said Monster career expert Vicki Salemi, of the findings. “Although yes, we can learn new technology to boost our productivity and continue working as efficiently as possible given the circumstances, the lack of human touch and contact will be a hurdle to overcome in the new normal, as evidenced by collaboration being a big concern and also figuring out how to safely social distance while also working together.”

Considering the majority of respondent employees are open to a mix of both working from home and returning to the office with strict office guidelines, Salemi said it is likely we will see a hybrid approach in the future with employers offering options to work in the office or continue working from home or a combination of both, while juggling schedules to ensure social distancing guidelines in the office are adhered to.

As much as people want to continue working closely together and collaborating, there are lingering concerns we are concerned about how to properly do this with safety top of mind, Salemi noted. A poll Monster conducted in May revealed that although offices may reopen, the majority of workers (60%) said they did not want to conduct meetings in person.

“This will significantly impact how employers bring people back to work and how they evaluate how teams are effectively working,” she said.

SEE: Return to work: What the new normal will look like post-pandemic (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Employment trends 

Other Monster data from June shows that healthcare jobs are showing strong vital signs. Healthcare-related new job postings show signs of getting back to normal with an uptick in registered nurse jobs and medical and health services managers hitting pre-COVID levels of job postings, according to the career site. Opticians, optometrists, physician assistants, and phlebotomists have all seen an increase in new job postings—surpassing pre-COVID levels, the company said.

Additional Monster data from June also shows job seekers are focusing on business continuity versus “essential” services. For example, candidates searching for “warehouse worker” positions have dropped drastically, falling out of the top five keywords searched after entering in mid-April, the company said.

In contrast, “administrative assistant” increased in searches four weeks in a row, getting back on par with pre-COVID search rates, Monster said. Searches for the term “work from home” increased and it remains in the top three most searched keywords on Monster, as WFH becomes standard operating procedure for many businesses as they reopen, the job site said.

SEE: VPN usage policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Back to business

More candidates are seeking business operations positions than healthcare roles, according to Monster. Administrative, accounting, human resources, and receptionist all outranked healthcare and nursing job searches in June, the company said.

Similarly, business and financial operations job postings are on an uptick with finance managers and loan officers showing big increases. 

Managers appear to lead the charge for the return to work, Monster noted. Manager positions are on the rise as more companies reopen for business and play catch-up after many were put on hold over the past few months.

In recent weeks, construction manager roles increased followed by a demand for construction laborers, as newly hired managers start the process of building their teams, the job site said. Similar activities have occurred in the food service industry with an uptick in line cook, bartender, dishwasher, host/hostess roles.

 

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Operations remain at or above 80% of pre-crisis levels for 72% of CFOs

operations-remain-at-or-above-80%-of-pre-crisis-levels-for-72%-of-cfos

Recovery is not likely until 2021, and retail/wholesale and services finance leaders report the strongest challenges, according to Deloitte’s latest COVID-19 survey.

Business re-opening plan on notepad for after COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown flat lay arrangement

Image: Amy Mitchell, Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new Deloitte COVID-19 CFO Survey reveals that 72% of CFOs are currently operating at or above 80% pre-crisis operating levels–essentially even with the 73% who said so in April. Only another 12% expect to reach this milestone by the end of this year, according to the survey of 118 Fortune 500 CFOs across North America.

The retail/wholesale, energy/resources, and services industries appear better off than in April, the survey found.

While some industries have rebounded faster than others—most CFOs expect a slow to moderate recovery: Over half expect they will not reach pre-crisis operating levels until 2021, with 17% expecting 2022 or later, the survey found.

The respondent CFOs are mostly optimistic about their ability to operate effectively, safely, and profitably as the US economy continues to reopen, the survey found. But they are least optimistic about the ability of the US economy–and their companies–to get back to their performance levels before the pandemic, and they are mixed when it comes to staffing and liquidity, the survey found.

Reactions by sector

In terms of current workforce levels, the proportion of CFOs who said none of their employees are working at less than half capacity rose substantially from 26% in April to 37% in June–but one-third of respondents said at least 20% are at less than half capacity. Not surprisingly, the retail/wholesale and services sectors are the most challenged, the survey found.

Technology and energy/resources CFOs expect a faster return to pre-crisis operating levels. Thirty percent of tech CFOs reported they are already at or are above normal operating levels.

 

Manufacturing, retail/wholesale, healthcare/pharma, and services are the most likely to expect a return to pre-crisis operating levels by the fourth quarter of 2021 or later, Deloitte said, although the latter two are largely split, with some expecting a faster return.

SEE: 
As the workplace reopens, CFOs are focused on retaining/creating revenue and being agile

(TechRepublic)

The manufacturing, retail/wholesale, and energy/resources sectors are particularly pessimistic about their timing for reaching pre-crisis revenue levels. Retail/wholesale is relatively pessimistic about operating profitably and also about employee layoffs and furloughs, according to the survey.

Nearly 70% of CFOs believe US equity markets are overvalued, and only 6% said they are undervalued.

The survey also found that 55% of CFOs believe Congress should provide further assistance to workers, families, and small businesses, while just 19% disagree. Forty-two percent said the US Federal Reserve should take further steps to bolster liquidity, with 24% disagreeing. The numbers expressing a neutral view were high for both statements, Deloitte said.

“With a substantial reopening of the economy underway, CFOs are largely optimistic about their companies’ ability to operate effectively, safely, and profitably,” said Greg Dickinson, managing director of the North American CFO Signals Survey, in a statement. “But they indicate significant doubts about how quickly their revenue and the broader US economy will return to pre-pandemic levels.”

The Deloitte survey was conducted between June 18 and 19. More than 85% of respondents are at companies that generate over $1 billion in revenue, the firm said.

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