While 77% of Workers Say They Have Proper Safety Equipment, only 40% Feel Employers Have Helped Them Financially
Research about frontline workers released today by SoapBoxSample reveals startling information about the experiences of essential employees. The survey of 416 essential workers, fielded May 8 – 13, 2020 highlighted the opinions of those who serve on the frontlines, either by dealing directly with the public in providing an essential service or by administering health care. Workers are slightly more likely to express concerns about bringing the infection home to their families (72%) than they are about contracting COVID-19 themselves (69%). They are less concerned about losing their jobs (45%).
Additionally, while most workers (77%) report that their employers have provided them with necessary safety equipment, and 70% say their employers are doing what they can to keep them safe, there are two key areas where employers have fallen behind. Only 46% of essential workers report that their employer has provided them with access to mental health resources. Among all the categories explored in the survey, financial support is the area essential workers feel least supported, with just 40% saying their company has helped them financially during the pandemic. As part of their ongoing research on the impact of COVID-19, SoapBoxSample released a special supplement on essential workers as part of their n=pandemic research journal, with an accompanying one-page infographic highlighting the findings.
“Essential workers face great risks every day,” said Jacqueline Rosales, COO of SoapBoxSample and icanmakeitbetter. “Too often we rely on news organizations or statements from companies for information about what’s happening on the front lines of the pandemic. By going directly to essential workers, and asking them about their experiences, we can gain a greater understanding of what’s really going on.”
When asked how they feel about working on the frontlines, sentiments ranged from scared and stressed to frustrated. Many expressed that they felt fortunate to have a job and shared feelings of humbleness and pride at being able to help others during these unprecedented times. One survey respondent who works as a nurse treating victims of COVID-19 commented, “This is why I became a nurse. To be there for people when no one else will.”
“I feel like I am putting my life and my family’s life at risk by working, but I don’t have a choice,” commented one worker. “Customers don’t respect your space…uncaring at times and rude, “stated another. When asked how the public can help make their jobs easier, many mentioned wearing a mask, social distancing and embracing cleaning procedures. One respondent commented, “Remember that those of us still working have families that we are concerned about.”
To access SoapBoxSample’s comprehensive report on COVID-19, visit SoapBoxSample.com/pandemic. Visitors can download the 68-page journal, which covers the US public’s perceptions of the virus, shopping habits, work life, experiences with quarantining, finances, government, business owners, and many more. SoapBoxSample has made this valuable research available at no charge, in the hope that the data they have gathered can help communities understand the fundamental shifts caused by the pandemic.
Recently SoapBoxSample gained national attention for their work in helping communities evaluate the spread of COVID-19 through antibody testing. In March 2020, they released the results of a comprehensive study that measured the presence of COVID-19 antibodies in hundreds of Los Angeles County residents. That study was featured on the KTLA Evening News, Business Insider and The Journal of the American Medical Association. In August of 2020, SoapBoxSample released the results of a similar study involving Riverside County.