The Pandemic’s Impact May Change our Behavior Forever
The economic impact of the pandemic has had a profound impact on the livelihood of individuals and small businesses across the country. The longstanding national lockdown has altered the daily lives of Americans and shifted the norms of modern society.
It’s been no secret that health concerns regarding the volatility of the virus are widespread, with 90% of consumers in the US and UK report feeling concerned about threats to their health. It’s also estimated 60% of Gen Z and millennials are either very or extremely concerned, and 40% of baby boomers share a similar perspective.
Needless to say, the impact of the pandemic is pervasive and will change the way Americans not only view their physical health, but how they will carry on with their lives beyond the virus outbreak. In fact, a study conducted by Accenture found that 8 in ten people have changed their behavior because of the virus.
So, what are these changes?
For those still employed, the majority of the workforce has transitioned from working in the office to working remotely in order to effectively flatten the curve. According to a Gartner survey, 88% of organizations have encouraged or required their employees to work from home.
Studies show that transitioning to remote work has posed obstacles for employers and employees alike. A study by SHRM conducted at the on-set of the pandemic found that 70% of employers are struggling to adapt to remote work. In addition, half of employers are struggling to overcome challenges pertaining to employee morale and transitioning communication to fit remote needs.
Changes are not only occurring in the workplace but the pandemic is also offering Americans a different way to participate within their communities. Social distancing coupled with the mandatory lockdown has slowed the pace of daily life and changed the way people are interacting with their peers.
Specifically, people are embracing technology more than ever to guide them through this period of increased isolation. Technology has been the crux of how people continue to stay well informed and provides an outlet for exchanging information and even social interaction via social media platforms. In fact, 61 percent of those surveyed plan to continue watching more news after the pandemic has ended. However, 55% will prioritize more time with family.
Despite this, the pandemic has impacted employees’ mental health dramatically in recent months. A recent KFF poll found that 45% of adults in the United States reported their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus.
According to the same study, people who lost income or employment reported negative mental health impacts from stress due to coronavirus; and lower income people report higher rates of major negative mental health impacts compared to higher income people.
Above all, financial stress has taken on a new level of concern as America enters a period that has been consistently compared to the Great Depression. Unprecedented economic downturn has resulted in the unemployment of 40 million Americans in addition to millions of furloughs. In total, 1 in 4 Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the course of the last few months with no promise of when they’re able to join the workforce again.
Even prior to the pandemic, money was the main cause of stress among employees. According to a study from Thrive Wallet, half of individuals feel unable to control financial aspects of their lives. Furthermore, money is the number one stressor in the US with 90 percent of individuals saying that money has had an impact on their stress levels.
But now, financial stress is becoming even more prevalent than in previous years. Resonate discovered that 56% of respondents are worried about suffering an economic loss or reduced earnings from their jobs and their investments as a result of the pandemic.
In response to this, Americans have changed their financial habits by sticking to a stricter budget. In fact, more than 70% of respondents said they have increased budgeting in recent weeks. Nearly 80% said they are spending less and roughly 77% said they are saving more.
Employers are able to guide the transition into this new normal by offering benefits that help address new issues that are beginning to arise as a result of the pandemic whether it’s remote challenges or financial burdens. Offering the right program can maximize employees’ productivity and could reduce the stress they bring to work.
TrueConnect is a voluntary financial wellness benefit that puts employees first. TrueConnect allows employees to access affordable, low-risk loans without the need of a credit score.
TrueConnect was designed to help promote financial health starting in the workplace so employees are able to focus more on their career and less on personal financial troubles at home. It costs nothing for the employer to implement and can be entirely automated through payroll deductions.
To learn more about the benefits of implementing a financial wellness program like TrueConnect within your organization watch our OnDemand webinar.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the view of our Issuing Partners.