Americans show a new appreciation for essential workers
From grocery clerks to delivery drivers, America’s essential workers are recognized as the real heroes on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eight in 10 Americans respect healthcare workers more.
Americans say that, during the pandemic, their admiration has increased for essential workers more than it has for their own family and friends. A survey of 1000 U.S. adults nationally conducted by Reputation Leaders and Over the Horizon Strategies finds that healthcare workers are currently admired the most (80%), but followed by grocery store workers (77%), and delivery drivers (73%), reflecting a true appreciation for those working on the frontline during the pandemic.
One third (33%) of Americans also now admire their employer more than before. The majority say their employers have been communicating clearly, appropriately, frequently, and credibly during the pandemic – and 61% have found the information they have provided useful.
Americans post-COVID-19 are fundamentally changing how they work, live, and play.
From work to social activities, nearly all (95%) of Americans have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way. Fourteen percent have missed important life events, such as funerals (26%), weddings (25%), and births (8%). However, three quarters (75%) said they were now connecting more with either family and friends, their partner, and/or children on social media or video calls, e.g. on Zoom.
Due to the pandemic, nearly a quarter (24%) of part time workers have lost their jobs, and 2 in 5 (44%) have also started working from home. However, Americans are thinking creatively with two thirds (60%) looking to pivot or reskill in their job: 12% have started a side-hustle or gig-work since the pandemic began, and nearly half (48%) are looking to develop new skills or focus on training online.
People are actively increasing their use of technology and e-commerce brands: Zoom and Amazon are the leading services people have started using in the last month. Online pharmacies and medicine delivery businesses also appear to be benefitting from the switch to online channels which could positively affect Walmart, CVS, and other dotcom pharmacies.
Protecting employees, keeping the business running, and not profiteering from the crisis are ways to protect brand reputation during the pandemic. Americans say it is most important for companies and brands to prioritize employee support and the availability of products during the pandemic. Nearly half (46%) also say companies must not be exploitative or increase prices. Amongst Americans surveyed, online retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target are seen to be acting the most responsibly among American companies during the pandemic.
Most Americans think life won’t go back to normal before summer or fall. What is more, one in eight (12%) says things will never go back to normal with women and older generations most skeptical.
Using the ThoughtBite™ framework, Reputation Leaders and Over the Horizon Strategies ran a U.S. national online study to explore consumer opinions amid the COVID-19 pandemic from April 20-21, 2020. Interviews were conducted among 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and over, matching the U.S. demographic profile by age, gender and region. The survey was conducted using the fieldwork panel of Dynata U.S
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Reputation Leaders is a thought leadership consultancy that causes people to think differently about your brand. We specialize in global thought leadership studies that help our clients lead on essential issues, shape brand strategy and earn media headlines.
Over the Horizon Strategies advises leaders and their teams on how to build, protect and strengthen their brand to have greater impact. Through thoughtful understanding of strategy and the role of purposeful communications, we anticipate and identify opportunities to help clients create connections that foster lasting value for their brand.