Survey shows COVID-19 has changed how we think about work; flexibility, working from home is now key
If you’re afraid having a flexible work schedule during the pandemic has spoiled you for future jobs, you’re not alone.
According to a new survey, nearly three-quarters of Americans feel the same way.
A new study of 2,000 Americans who are employed or currently looking for work examined how people are adjusting to the rapidly evolving workplace.
And results revealed 78% of respondents agreed that scheduling flexibility has become an “absolute necessity” for them the next time they search for a job.
The survey, commissioned by GigSmart and conducted by OnePoll, also revealed a clear shift in the way various aspects of the workplace are valued when compared to previous data collected in March.
At the beginning of the year, half of respondents reported a desire for greater acceptance of schedule flexibility at work.
Several months into the pandemic, that number is up an additional 15 percentage points.
The new survey also identified the option to work from home (61%), socially distanced workspaces (58%) and health care benefits (58%) as workplace attributes that are more important to respondents than ever in light of the pandemic.
Respondents also revealed the top ways they have gotten creative in order to make ends meet during this time.
Four in 10 have taken on new work, and 53% of respondents have cut back on unnecessary spending.
Twenty-nine percent have asked friends or family for financial help, while one in five has taken out a loan.
More than half of respondents, moreover, said they were likely to consider working a side gig or generating extra cash from a side hustle.
Making money from a creative skill (46%) and cleaning (45%) were among the top side jobs that respondents would consider, followed closely by running errands (37%), handyman work (35%) and childcare (34%).
“With millions of displaced American workers needing additional ways to generate income, the gig economy offers a solution,” said Rich Oakes, President of GigSmart.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, we’re seeing the number of companies exploring the gig economy model grow, which in turn is increasing the demand for gig workers who can fill those shifts.”
Not surprisingly, survey data also revealed 65% of respondents would stop working full-time if a side hustle could support them financially.
Of the respondents who had worked a side hustle or gig in the past 12 months, they called their other job their “passion project.”
And almost half (48%) of these respondents hoped to transition their passion project from a side job to their full-time job.
“With so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic,” Oakes added, “one thing is certain: the labor market is evolving and it’s evolving quickly. Americans are looking for ways to monetize their skills and the number of them who wish to do so as their primary source of income is rapidly increasing.
“Companies that incorporate flexible labor sources, like gig workers, into their staffing strategies will certainly benefit. ”
SINCE COVID-19, WHAT RESPONDENTS SAID THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF A JOB ARE
1. Schedule flexibility — 65%
2. Option to work from home — 61%
3. Socially distanced workspace — 58%
4. Health care benefits — 58%
5. Structured assessments for position growth and salary increases — 45%
LIKELINESS TO CONSIDER WORKING A SIDE GIG AS A RESULT OF COVID-19
1. Very likely — 31%
2. Somewhat likely — 33%
3. Neither likely or unlikely — 17%
4. Somewhat unlikely — 5%
5. Very unlikely — 3%
6. N/A — 11%
PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS WHO HAVE WORKED SIDE JOBS FOR EXTRA MONEY IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS
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