STAT OF THE DAY
In a new survey from Bospar, 52% of workers in the U.S. say they would be willing to return to an office job after COVID-19. Almost half (48%) are undecided about whether to go back to the office.
On why they are concerned about returning to the office, 44% are afraid of being exposed to COVID-19 and 28% have concerns that employers won’t make changes to reduce the risk of infection.
- At the time of reporting, The New York Times showed 1,186,978 cases confirmed in the U.S. and 68,843 fatalities. Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker showed 1,208,674 cases in the U.S. and 69,680 deaths.
- Scientists say a mutated version of the coronavirus could imperil people who have recovered from the virus that first spread around the world in late 2019.
- As New York’s infections have started to decrease, other numbers show a steady rise in the infection rate across the rest of the U.S.
- California is the first state to borrow from the federal government to make its unemployment payments.
- Goldman Sachs says the global economy has probably “bottomed out” as it sees many foreign countries starting to ease lockdown restrictions.
Be a source of serenity for your workforce and network. “Calm is contagious,” says Home Instead CEO Jeff Huber. Here’s how this leader infuses his messages with comfort and compassion during this crisis.
Does your message fit the moment? Here are six rules for evaluating whether your brand messaging is helpful and necessary for your audience or you’re just muddying the waters during a global pandemic. Plus, check out the rubric for measuring how your audience is weighing risk.
Businesses that plan to continue remote work must address loneliness. In studies of workers who telecommute, the longing for collaboration and social interaction often drives many back to the office. Companies planning permanent WFH solutions must address this need for connection.
In Bloom’s research on Chinese call-center workers, only half of the workers who were asked if they wanted to participate in the study by working from home volunteered to do so, and half of those who volunteered to work from home eventually returned to the office. They said they feared they’d be lonely if they never left the house—something Americans are now acutely realizing.
Get more out of your videoconferences with these tips. Make sure you keep your energy up, and encourage interaction and collaboration to get more out of your virtual meetings. See the full list of ideas here.
BMO Harris sees the future of work as “blended” on office and WFH operations. The bank says it will act on lockdown lessons by changing how work is done in many of its offices. See how its leaders are talking about the change here.
Lack of trust leads some employees to refuse to return to work. At a meatpacking plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin, some workers say they won’t return to work out of concern for their health and the safety of their families, despite employers’ promises of safe conditions. The report shows the dire need to foster trust among employees so businesses can be at full strength when it is time to reopen.
Safety measures are under scrutiny as stores report COVID-19 outbreaks. When a Walmart in Massachusetts became the outbreak node for 81 cases of COVID-19, reports surfaced of employees not wearing face coverings despite a mandatory policy. The company addressed the outbreak with a crisis statement:
Employees will continue to earn wages through the company’s COVID-19 paid leave policy “so they can take the time they need to get well,” the company said in a statement issued to the paper.
“We will continue working with local officials, taking the steps needed in addition to the extensive measures we have in place, to help ensure the safety and well-being of our associates and customers before we reopen the store,” the statement said.
New employee expectations require gathering input from workers. Make sure your leaders are providing a seat at the table for your employees and that communication channels remain open. Here’s how some experts say the game has changed for managers and employee communications.
Pitching media outlets requires brevity and social awareness. During this crisis, your story might still have a place, but you had better do your homework on a reporter’s beat and previous coverage. Here are tips for getting media hits in this unique PR climate.
Schoolteachers remain unpersuaded by messages about reopening May 18. In Gwinnett County, Georgia, the school system has tried to reassure employees that the schools will be safe to reopen in coming weeks. The message has been met with sharp resistance.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shared this message from Sloan Roach, Gwinnett’s executive director of communications and media relations:
While we understand some staff members may be apprehensive about returning to their buildings, our schools are working to put in place sensible and safe measures to ensure social distancing and to keep our folks safe and well.
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