1 in 3 of Belgians does not want to return to the workplace yet – 22% considers quitting their jobs due to corona approach of employer


18.05.2020

While 1 in 3 of Belgian employees is not ready yet to return to the workplace, the same number of respondents fears long-term financial & mental problems.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, a staggering 22% also considers quitting their job due to how their employer handled the current pandemic, according to a study with over 2800 respondents by jobsite StepStone.

 

Belgian employees are split about the return to the workplace

While more than a third (34%) is (very much) looking forward to returning to the workplace, 39% is (not at all) ready for it yet. For 27% of the respondents, the question was not applicable, mostly due to continued homeworking.

When asked why they do want to return, human interaction (48%) was the primary motivator, followed by re-balancing work/private life (33%) & workplace dynamics (28%).

 

No return to the workplace? Employees enjoy homeworking & are worried about their health

For those that do not want to return to the workplace, homeworking is a driving factor. More than half (53%) enjoy remote working and would like to carry on working like this. 43% fears getting contaminated if they go back to the workplace, while 26% thinks their employer won’t be able to guarantee their safety.

 

Right away, September or next year are the three return dates according to employees

For most employees, there are currently three preferable starting dates for their return to the workplace:

  • Right away – in June (57%)
  • In September (19%)
  • Next year (11%)

 

Employees expect social distancing, flexible hours & testing

An impressive 91% feel that their employer is responsible for their safety when they are asked to come back to the workplace. To ensure this, employees would like:

  • Social distancing (56%)
  • Flexible hours (53%)
  • Antibody testing for COVID-19 (50%)
  • Remote working for any employee (48%)

However, when asked what their employer will actually do, 35% says their manager will ensure no additional measures for the return to work – additionally, 45% said they do not know what their employer will do.

 

A staggering 22% considers quitting their job because of the company’s response to the crisis

In some cases, the lack of additional measures or communication also tends to have a more tangible effect on employees. Despite the crisis, 22% of respondents considers quitting their job right now due to how their employer handled the current pandemic.

 

Mental & financial issues as long-term effects

StepStone also investigated the long-term effects of the corona crisis on the well-being of employees. For them, personally:

  • 37% is experiencing/thinks they will experience financial
  • 28% is experiencing/thinks they will experience mental
  • 28% is experiencing/thinks they will experience long-term physical problems.

 

A forever changed working life? More homeworking and flexibility

With these potential negative effects, an important question is when the old status-quo could return. Here, 76% of the respondents expect a forever changed working life. However, this shouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, according to them:

  • 71% of respondents say their employer is now more open to homeworking and flexible working conditions, thanks to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • 61% says every employee should give their all and 110% at work now to overcome the crisis.

 

Methodology

StepStone completed this survey on Thursday 14th of May 2020. As the study is a snapshot of thousands of Belgian employees’ current situation, this data is time sensitive and the situation may change. Our analysists have screened the data to ensure both the representation and the validity of respondents’ answers are accurate.

In total, there were 2857 filled in surveys submitted in Dutch, French and English.

For specific inquiries, please contact:
Killian Cramers
+32 2 209 97 44 or +32 472 55 00 97
killian.cramers@stepstone.be