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Worker optimism shaken in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, but future outlook is positive in India: Survey

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The Economic Times
29th April, 2021 17:03 IST

Financial and job security among workers in India has been shaken in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but their outlook on the world of work in the years ahead remains broadly positive, reveals the ADP Research Institute’s ‘People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View’ study.

A statement shared by the company says that the survey of more than 32,000 workers in 17 countries found that almost 95% of workers in India have felt concerns over their financial or job security during the pandemic, yet around the same amount say they feel optimistic about the next five years in the workplace.

Interestingly, workers are more inclined to think that Covid-19 will have a positive rather than negative impact on issues such as obtaining greater flexibility and developing their skills. Almost two thirds of respondents felt that they would benefit in both these ways over the next three years.

Similarly, if they were to lose their job, two thirds of workers surveyed were extremely or very confident that they could find another job offering the same job satisfaction (68%), flexibility (65%) or better pay (65%) as their current one.

“Despite all the pressures of the pandemic and the lack of clarity around how much longer its impact will last, worker sentiment remains upbeat and the general mood appears to be one of measured confidence about prospects for the future,” said Peter Hadley, president – Asia Pacific, at ADP.

“Although many people have been hard hit professionally, there’s a sense that what has been an extremely dark cloud could have a silver lining in various ways when it comes to the world of work. Particularly in terms of accelerating the shift towards flexible working patterns or enabling workers to develop new skills which should stand them in good stead for whatever the ‘new normal’ looks like as the global economy recovers,” Hadley added.

However, in the current landscape, the report also indicates that unease around financial and job security dominates how workers feel since the pandemic hit. Almost the entire workforce (95%) say that during the course of the pandemic they have had concerns over their financial or job security.

These fears are understandable, given that almost nine in 10 (86%) report having been impacted professionally in some way due to Covid-19. Of these impacts, half of the respondents (50%) either lost a job, were furloughed or were temporarily laid off by their employer. Almost a third took a pay cut (30%), while a quarter (25%) reduced their hours or responsibilities.

The report explores whether the effects of the pandemic have impacted employees’ attitudes towards the current world of work and what they expect and hope for from the workplace of the future.

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