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Half are Surprised the Pandemic is Still at Critical Stage; Only 20 Percent Are Following Through on Vacation Plans
As the world continues to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, professionals in a new Korn Ferry survey weigh in on their biggest concerns.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61 percent) say they are more worried about the economic fallout from the virus than the health risks.
The situation is also putting a strain on relationships, as more than half of professionals (55 percent) say concerns about work during the pandemic have caused friction with their family members.
Nearly half (48 percent) say they are surprised the pandemic is still at a critical stage, and it is taking a toll. Sixty percent say it is more difficult to concentrate at work now than it was at the beginning of the crisis. When asked why it is difficult to concentrate, 45 percent say they are dealing with too many responsibilities, and nearly a third (31 percent) say they feel overwhelmed with the pandemic and the issues surrounding it. A change in the work environment is not the issue - only 9 percent say working from home is the top reason they find it difficult to concentrate.
“With all of the social unrest, health concerns, and economic issues being thrown at us right now, it’s no surprise many feel overwhelmed,” said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry’s global solution head for leadership development. “A key job of the company is to understand where employees are – are they safe? Are they engaged even if working remotely? More than ever it’s critical to project empathy and listen carefully to help people navigate the crisis.”
Despite a slowing of business in many industries, more than two-thirds of respondents
(67 percent) say they personally are busier at work now than they were pre-pandemic.
Most are not going to take a break from their job. Only 20 percent say they are going to take a vacation, with 35 percent saying they are staying home because there is no place to go. Only 17 percent say they are foregoing a vacation because they are worried about catching the virus.
“It is difficult to stay fully engaged at work over extended periods of time, even when there is so much going on at home, on the job and in the world,” said Baltzley. “Yet, even if employees don’t take lengthy vacations, they must find ways to disconnect and relax in order to recharge and be productive.”
About the survey
The Korn Ferry survey of 1,064 professionals took place in late July 2020.
Is it more difficult to concentrate on your work now than it was at the start of the pandemic?
It was more difficult to concentrate as this was all starting 40 percent
It is more difficult to concentrate now 60 percent
If you find it hard to concentrate at work, what’s the top reason?
Dealing with too many responsibilities 45 percent
Working remotely makes it hard to concentrate 9 percent
My priorities have shifted to factors outside work 15 percent
I feel overwhelmed by the pandemic and issues surrounding it 31 percent
Are you more busy at work now or pre-pandemic?
Now 67 percent
Pre-pandemic 33 percent
Compared to the beginning of the pandemic, how often do you take calls with the video turned on?
Much more often 48 percent
Somewhat more often 22 percent
Somewhat less often 14 percent
Much less often 16 percent
What worries you more, the economic fallout of the pandemic or the risk to your health?
Economic fallout 61 percent
Health risk 39 percent
Have your concerns about work during the pandemic caused friction with your family?
Yes to a great extent 9 percent
Yes to some extent 46 percent
No 45 percent
Are you putting off a vacation? If so what’s the top reason why?
Yes, I worry about my job 14 percent
Yes, there’s no place to go 35 percent
Yes, I’m worried I will catch the virus 17 percent
Yes, I’m worried about money 14 percent
No, I’m still taking my vacation 20 percent
How surprised are you that the pandemic is still at a critical stage?
Extremely surprised 12 percent
Somewhat surprised 36 percent
Somewhat unsurprised 22 percent
Not surprised at all 30 percent
About Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.