Here’s how The Local readers rate their workplaces’ response to the coronavirus

Here's how The Local readers rate their workplaces' response to the coronavirus
The majority of readers who responded to our survey had been working from home during summer, but many had been asked to return to the workplace from September. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT
When The Local asked our readers in Sweden how their working life had changed due to the coronavirus, and how they rated their workplace's pandemic response, we received many detailed answers.

Out of 100 people who responded to the survey, 72 had been based at their workplace all or almost all of the time before the pandemic, and only three worked remotely all or most of the time.

In spring that changed, with 67 saying they worked remotely all or almost all the time between March and August, but that number fell to only 35 from September onwards. A total of 22 said they were based at the workplace all or almost all the time from September, despite only four people saying they would do this if given the choice.

That's despite no change in the Public Health Agency recommendations regarding working from home. Home-working is currently recommended for everyone who is able to do so, although the agency has suggested policies such as flexible hours or working on-site for only a few days per week if needed either for business reasons or to support employees' mental health.

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On the whole, most respondents to our questionnaire were happy with measures taken at their workplace, with more than half saying they “strongly agreed” that their employer had taken sufficient precautions, though 17 strongly disagreed. Asked if their colleagues were taking sufficient measures, 26 strongly agreed and 14 strongly disagreed.

The responses were more split when it came to how well the Swedish authorities in general had responded; 40 either slightly or strongly disagreed their response had been sufficient, while 45 either slightly or strongly agreed.

Some of the measures which employees praised their workplaces for introducing included regular contact from managers with an update on the situation; strict limits on the number of people allowed in the workplace; provision of ergonomic equipment for remote-working; and clear information about the policies in place.

Although the questionnaire was not scientific or representative of the Swedish population as a whole, we heard from a wide range of people. Sharing age or nationality was optional, but we heard from people aged between 22 and 63, from six continents, and living all across Sweden although most said they lived in Stockholm, Gothenburg, or Skåne.

Exactly three quarters of the respondents said they worked for a large company (over 50 employees), while 19 worked at a small company, and the remainder selected 'Other', including employees of universities, national agencies, regional and municipal government, and the healthcare sector.

We received replies from people in a range of jobs in the private and public sector, but the three most common professions were engineer, developer and project manager, although we did not measure it scientifically.

Thanks to the readers who responded to our questionnaire. Hearing directly from you helps us to report on the issues affecting you; we read every single response. A more detailed article based on the responses is available here.


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