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Gartner HR Survey Reveals 88% of Organizations Have Encouraged or Required Employees to Work From Home Due to Coronavirus

Source | https://www.gartner.com/

Time Off, Remote Work and Cost Cutting Top Priorities for Business and HR Leaders

A Gartner, Inc. survey of 800 global HR executives on March 17 found that 88% of organizations have encouraged or required employees to work from home, regardless of whether or not they showed coronavirus-related symptoms. Nearly all organizations (97%) have canceled work-related travel, more than an 80% increase since March 3.

“As the COVID-19 crisis disrupts organizations across the globe, HR leaders must respond quickly and comprehensively, considering both immediate and long-term talent consequences,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice.

How Organizations Are Addressing Coronavirus-Related Absences

The Gartner survey shows that organizations, trying to balance employee needs with financial realities, are employing a variety of approaches to time-off policies in response to COVID-19. Nearly half (48%) of employers require employees to use sick leave first, then vacation leave and finally potential PTO for coronavirus absences. Twenty percent of organizations increased PTO for individuals who are sick and/or caring for a sick family member; 18% of organizations have granted additional PTO for parents who are caring for children whose schools are closed.

“Our research shows that only a minority of employers plan to downsize or ask employees to take unpaid leave,” added Mr. Kropp. “Instead, most organizations are focusing on measures such as more effective use of technology and freezing new hiring to cut costs.”

Organizations Are Employing Several Cost-Cutting Measures

The Gartner survey shows that most employers plan to cut costs while minimizing impact to pay for existing employees when possible. Seventy percent of organizations report that the main cost-cutting measure they plan to use is more effective use of technology. Nearly half of organizations plan to freeze new hiring. 

A greater percentage of organizations plan to reduce work for external partners rather than employees — one-fifth of organizations plan to stop or limit consultant spend and/or reduce the number of contract workers. Only 10% of employers plan to reduce working hours, and just 6% report asking employees to take unpaid leave.

To manage remote talent during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gartner recommends HR leaders do the following:

  • Provide direction, confidence and resilience. Employees are relying on leaders at all levels of the business to take action and set the tone. Communications from senior business leaders to managers should prioritize associate health and business sustainability. Communicate regularly with employees, maintaining an open dialog. Gartner’s survey found that 56% of organizations have communicated a plan of action to employees in the event the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Contextualize coronavirus for the organization. Leaders should be a trusted source for accurate and up-to-date information on coronavirus and how it is impacting the organization. Avoid sharing information from social media; leverage trusted resources such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Contextualize information and data as much as possible so that it specifically relates to the organization.

Click here to READ MORE the full article at Gartner

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