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88% of U.S. Workers Are Concerned About COVID-19, but Businesses Can Help Ease Employee Concerns

March 19, 2020

by Kristen Herhold

Senior Content Developer & Marketer, Clutch

In response to the spread of COVID-19, U.S. businesses are shifting to remote work and expanding their sick leave policy.

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2020 — Nearly every U.S. worker is concerned about the current coronavirus outbreak, according to a new survey from Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews platform.

Clutch surveyed 512 employees between March 13 and 16, 2020, and found that 88% of employees are concerned about COVID-19, including 29% who are very concerned.

How Are Businesses Reducing the Spread of Coronavirus?

Many businesses are doing their part, however, to ease these employee concerns. In response to the spread of COVID-19, businesses are:

  • Encouraging sick employees to stay home (61%)
  • Improving office hygiene and cleanliness (52%)
  • Reducing business travel (36%)
  • Asking employees to work remotely (26%)
  • Expanding sick leave policy (13%)

“We need to do what we can to contain it and stop it in its course,” said Sara Spector-Brown, director of operations of 3 Media Web, a digital agency in Boston. “Even if it may seem too cautionary, you can never be too careful.”

Businesses should do their part to keep their employees safe and healthy.

Businesses Are Asking to Employees Work Remotely When Possible

One of the best ways to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus is to ask employees to work from home.

Already, 26% of U.S. companies are shifting to remote work, a number that grows every day as the outbreak continues.

Although some industries, especially service-based ones, aren’t conducive to remote work, businesses should not make employees who are able to work remotely come to the office.

Denver marketing agency encite branding + marketing + creative asked all employees to work from home starting March 16. The company moved all meetings to video conferences and pushed back necessary in-person appointments.

“I definitely feel better knowing that I won’t be expected to be in an office of 25-50 people on any given day,” Vice President of Strategy Sophie Mann said. “It’s absolutely better to be safe than sorry.”

Businesses Are Expanding Their Sick Leave Policies

Employees who are sick should not feel pressure to coming to the office — especially during a pandemic.

As a result, some companies (13%) have expanded their sick leave policy.

An extensive sick leave policy can ensure employees take enough time off to get healthy. This reduces the chances of them coming to the office while still sick and spreading the virus to other employees.

Community Health Charities, in Alexandria, Va., is letting employees “go negative” on their sick leave days and take additional time off as needed.

“It lets employees know they can take care of themselves if they are sick,” Chief Operating Officer Molly Gravholt said. “The policies and procedures put in place ... let people know we hear you, we care about you.”

Businesses can take steps to ease employee concerns about the novel coronavirus and reduce the spread of the virus.

Read the full report here:

For questions about the survey, reach out to Kristen Herhold at [email protected].

About Clutch

Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. Each month, over half a million buyers and sellers of services use the Clutch platform, and the user base is growing over 50% a year. Clutch has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the U.S. and has been listed as a top 50 startup by LinkedIn.


Kristen Herhold

[email protected]

(202) 840-6690

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