Majority of employers struggling to adjust to remote work: Survey

71% of employers are struggling to adjust to remote work while half of employers are not hiring, according to Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey.

The survey polled more than 2,200 human resource professionals to understand the top challenges employers are facing and examine the actions workplaces have taken to adapt to today?s evolving economic climate. 

The top challenges include:

  • 71% of employers are struggling to adjust to remote work
  • 65% of employers say maintaining employee morale has been a challenge
  • More than 1/3 of employers are facing difficulties with:
    • Company culture
    • Employee productivity
    • Leave regulations

Even as employers struggle with new challenges, many have had to close or change to stay solvent. The coronavirus has prompted 40% of employers to shut down certain aspects of the business, and 83% of employers to adjust business practices. Of those:

  • Half are no longer hiring;
  • 31% have laid workers off, while 15% have permanently cut headcount with no intent to rehire;
  • 38% have decreased employee hours and 19% have reduced pay rates;
  • 14% have hired more employees, while 10% are considering it;
  • 32% are offering additional paid leave for employees, while another 18% are considering it.

?Business is not as usual,? said SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP. ?Markets are down, companies are closed, and millions are working from home. It?s a time of change, challenge, and uncertainty. But it?s also impermanent?it will pass. The economy will recover, business will bounce back and, soon enough, workers will return to work.?

Taylor added: ?While I believe in the resilience of the U.S. economy, it will not rebound on its own. This new data underscores the importance of the public and private sectors collaborating to repair our damaged economy. And it?s going to take business and HR leaders on the front lines of workplaces to be strong, innovative, and agile as we all fearlessly face this hardship together.?  

Assessed by industry type, the survey also found food and accommodation services sectors have experienced the most significant setbacks. 82% are shutting down certain aspects of their business (average of 40%), 76% are laying off employees (average of 31%), and one third are cutting headcount with no intent to rehire (average of 15%).

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