Everyday Work Strongly Affected by Covid

What impact has the Covid pandemic had on the relationship between employer and employee? How has everyday working life changed? What about the emotional bond with the employer? The special survey of the employee benchmark study “Employee Focus Germany” by the Mainz-based market research and consulting company 2HMforum. explored these and many other questions.

The result: Almost every second employee is strongly affected by the Covid pandemic in his or her everyday working life – be it through shortened worktime, budget cuts, personal fears, promotion freezes, the decline of the business situation, new home office work, etc. There are clear differences between the sexes: While 51 percent of women feel very strongly or strongly affected, only 44 percent of men do. However, the crisis has had the greatest impact on department and team managers. 55 percent say they are strongly affected, while only 38 percent of the managing directors feel affected.

Everyday work in the home office

In mid-March, employees and their bosses across all industries moved into the home office at short notice by the millions. 39 percent of the employees surveyed said they had worked at home in whole or in part in recent weeks owing to the pandemic. Of these, 27 percent are currently caring for their children at home – due to the closures of daycare centers and schools – and are thus reconciling work and family life under more difficult conditions. Yet childcare and homeschooling are not the only factors that affected productivity in the home office. One in five of the respondents criticized the slow Internet connection, inadequate technology and poor equipment in the home office. Poor accessibility to colleagues for coordination or even to superiors for approval of decisions had also been detrimental to productivity from the home office.

Connection to the employer

How committed are employees to their company? Do they burn for their company? The benchmark study “Employee Focus Germany” has repeatedly revealed in previous years that German companies have hardly any fans among their own employees. The 2018 study showed that only 21 percent of employees are fans of their employer, meaning they are highly satisfied and feel emotionally connected to their employer. 28 percent of employees even fell into the “opponents” and “disappointed” categories.

In the fan portfolio, 2HMforum segments. target groups according to their emotional attachment and performance satisfaction: fans, sympathizers, mercenaries, captives and opponents.

Emotional Attachment & Covid Crisis

Has the Covid crisis had an impact on this emotional connection  to the employer? “The special Employee Focus Germany  2020 survey shows hardly any change in the emotional bond between employee and employer. The proportion of highly satisfied employees remains consistently low at 21 percent. Among all employees in Germany, across all industries and hierarchy levels, only one in five is a fan of their employer,” explains Anita Saathoff, Head of Emotional Employee Loyalty at the market research and consulting company 2HMforum. in Mainz. And the number of opponents, disappointed and also company residents is enormously high. “These are not good signs, and they are becoming even more dramatic: because if you go deeper into the analysis, you can see from the study that the Covid pandemic has created new challenges that need to be solved, especially at the management level.”

In the July issue of the renouned HR magazine, Personalwirtschaft, you can read an article by Dr. Frederik Meyer, member of the management board of 2HMforum, and Anita Saathoff, head of emotional employee retention at 2HMforum (in German).

Study design

For the study “Employee Focus Germany – Special Survey Covid Pandemic”, the market research and consulting company 2HMforum. from Mainz surveyed a total of 1,000 employees subject to social insurance contributions in the first half of May 2020. The data was weighted according to gender, age, company size class as well as company sector. The study has been conducted regularly every 1 to 2 years since 2005 and examines the fan behavior of employees and the employee relations quality of German companies.


Further information on the “Employee Focus Germany” study.