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COVID-19 and Reimagining Work

Wall Street Journal|SurveyMonkey poll: coronavirus

Wall Street Journal|SurveyMonkey poll: coronavirus

Coronavirus fears are causing offices around the country to encourage or even mandate that their employees work from home, but data from a new Wall Street Journal|SurveyMonkey poll indicate that not all workers have this flexibility. Nearly four in 10 workers in the U.S. (37%) say it isn’t possible at all for them to do their job by working from home for a period of multiple weeks; at the opposite end, 29% say it is “very possible” for them to work from home for an extended time.

Just under half of workers (45%) say they’ve received guidance from their company about how they will handle business complications due to the coronavirus.

Similarly, 45% of workers say they are “very” or “somewhat worried” that their company’s operations will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. That’s just less than the percentage of people who are worried that they or someone in their family will be exposed to the coronavirus (49%), and significantly less than the number of people who are worried there will be an outbreak of coronavirus in the U.S. (63%) and that the outbreak will have a negative economic effect on the U.S. (74%).

One in five workers in the U.S. (20%) have already canceled or changed upcoming work travel plans (6%) or say they will likely do so (14%). A quarter (25%) say they are not likely to cancel or change upcoming work travel, and just over half (54%) say they don’t have plans to travel for work. 

Of those who have canceled or will likely cancel, 41% say their planned travel was to attend meetings or presentations, 33% said the travel was a regular part of their job, and 27% said they had been planning to go to a conference or trade show.

For more detailed results, click through the interactive toplines below.
Read more about our polling methodology here

Question text:
How worried are you that you or someone in your family will be exposed to the coronavirus?
How worried are you that there will be an outbreak of coronavirus in the United States?
How worried are you that the coronavirus outbreak will have a negative economic effect on the United States?
How worried are you that your company or organization’s operations will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak?
Has your company or organization given you any guidance regarding how they will handle business complications due to the coronavirus?
Given your company or organization’s current capabilities, how possible would it be for you to do your job by working from home for period of multiple weeks?
How likely are you to change or cancel any upcoming travel for work as a result of the coronavirus outbreak?
What was the reason for your work travel? (Select all that apply.)

*employees