Study: COVID-19 Workplace Experience Gaps Exist Between Employers and Employees

WorkForce Software, a leading global provider of cloud-based workforce management solutions in Livonia, has released a new workplace experience report that details gaps between what front-line employees — 80 percent of the global workforce — and what management believed they were providing.
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workers in a warehouse
Workers in a warehouse. // Stock Photo

WorkForce Software, a leading global provider of cloud-based workforce management solutions in Livonia, has released a new workplace experience report that details gaps between what front-line employees — 80 percent of the global workforce — and what management believed they were providing.

Although many white-collar employees transitioned to remote work at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, blue-collar employees found themselves reporting to work to keep businesses operating. The report indicates that blue-collar employers either were not prepared for the complexity the pandemic brought on or overestimated their business’s ability to adapt.

Four areas stood out in the report: frustration generated by lack of flexibility in shift-scheduling, COVID-19 response, pay rates, and outdated tools and technology for time tracking and other required online activities.

“Our current business environment demands employee empowerment defined by better training, easier time-tracking, and control over scheduling and leave management,” says Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software.

“For employers and employees alike, the disconnect leads to considerable business impact in the form of increased employee turnover and reduced productivity and engagement, and will continue to be an impediment to resilience and organizational success now and in the future. Companies must actively engage their employees through improved workplace experiences to more quickly and easily meet evolving workforce challenges.”

According to the survey, employees were less optimistic about their company’s approach to scheduling than employers.

  • 81 percent of employers surveyed believe their company has effectively adapted to pandemic-related scheduling issues.
  • 64 percent of employees surveyed felt their organization had successfully adapted to shift-scheduling intricacies, a vast difference in perception.
  • 82 percent of employers believe they offer scheduling flexibility, while 59 percent of employees agree. Simultaneously, 87 percent of employers indicated they help hourly workers deal with personal circumstances that affect work schedules, while 60 percent of employees agree.
  • As a result, more than half of employees stated they would prefer to work for an employer that offers more flexibility in scheduling, showcasing just how integral understanding and finding flexible solutions are in a post-pandemic world.

Communication was the key issue surrounding the response to the pandemic and pay rates — specifically task-based pay rates. Of employers, 81 percent believed that adapted to COVID-19 well, while 64 percent of employees felt similar. Task-based pay, or different hourly rates for different tasks, were reported by 70 percent of employers, but 26 percent of employees.

In turn, 50 percent of those surveyed indicated their company had an online portal to log hours and attendance, while 56 percent of employees indicated their methods were severely dated, including punch cards and paper forms. Employees who used online portals reported their scheduling flexibility was better due to the immediacy of the interaction.

This global survey was conducted by Pollfish on behalf of WorkForce Software in Q1 2021. It includes responses by 1,300 employees and 1,420 employers from a wide range of industries across 8 countries.

To view the workplace employee experience gap, visit report here.

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