Employee Well-being and Shifting to Remote Work Have Been the Greatest Challenges of Business Leaders During COVID-19, Finds TriNet


TriNet’s recent survey results revealed the struggles of SMBs during the coronavirus pandemic

HR services provider TriNetOpens a new window , in partnership with the Harris Poll, conducted a survey from April 11 to 26, 2020 of more than 700 SMBs with an employee base of 5–249 to get a better idea of COVID-19 sentiment. Released in a whitepaper on May 13, 2020, the latest round of the survey focuses on how business owners balanced productivity and employee work-life balance during the crisis.

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The survey results reveal that about 58% of SMBs invested in workforce healthcare by either modifying healthcare benefits or providing healthcare guidance to employees. Also, 92% of SMBs have tried to shift to a remote workforce. 82% of SMBs have worked on enhancing employee well-being, which includes providing them with a proper work-life balance. 71% of SMBs have made several HR changes due to COVID-19.

The survey report reveals what employers think are the most effective actions to improve employee well-being:
• 44% believe it is the flexibility to balance work-life
• 10% believe it is virtual gatherings
• 10% think it is efficient decisions from leadership
• 7% think it is stress management information

74% of SMBs believe that their employees have taken advantage of the employee well-being offerings.

SMBs have invested in employees’ health and safety in different ways:
• Almost 58% of SMBs have modified their healthcare benefits or guided their employees
• 39% of SMBs have altered their healthcare benefits
• 53% are guiding employees who are losing healthcare coverage in areas like the Affordable Care Act, COBRA, short-term medical, and telemedicine

65% of SMBs regret their decision of not shifting to remote work earlier.

62% of SMB leaders are concerned with the productivity of the employees during the pandemic.

Some other challenges faced by SMB leaders:
• 24% found it challenging to maintain morale
• 14% faced the challenge of managing employee workload
• 9% struggled with employees’ working hours
• 9% experienced lower engagement level
• 8% faced technological difficulties

While 15% of SMBs expect to stick to remote work post-pandemic, 52% believe that some of the workforce will continue with remote work, and 33% say their employees will return to the office eventually.

HR is making some changes as a result of the pandemic:
• 48% is trying to enhance staff morale
• 42% is boosting employee health and safety programs
• 65% is planning to improve HR capabilities

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