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August 19, 2020 | Tom Ballard

MomSource Network releases findings from recent workplace and workforce survey

We reported in early June that Courtney Jones and the team at MomSource Network were gathering information on the workplace and workforce of the future. Those results have been released, and we talked last week with the Founder of the company about them.

Jones told us the most significant finding was how much change has occurred in the nature of work since COVID-19 disrupted many offices in March. “Prior to the pandemic, 81 percent of respondents worked in an office, either full- or part-time,” she said. “Now, 81 percent are working remotely, either full- or part-time.”

Roughly 150 individuals in the Knoxville-based company’s database of employers and employees from throughout the country responded. Jones and the team are continuing to review the data and will continue to share findings in the future.

MomSource Network was founded in August 2013 with a focus on helping women who had left the workforce for reasons such as parenting responsibilities to reenter the workforce and find jobs that aligned with their professional expertise and work-life needs. Over the years, the company’s entrepreneurially-minded Founder has still found time to tackle several new projects, including the Bundled Initiative in collaboration with Launch Tennessee that we featured last week in this post.

“Finding the ideal work-life blend has never been simple, but it seems even more difficult in a remote world,” Jones told us. That finding was highlighted by respondents who had not been working remotely and suddenly found themselves doing so earlier this year.

“Thirty-nine percent of the respondents reported the transition to remote work has been difficult,” Jones reported. Challenges ranged from technology to lack of a quiet workspace and familial distractions.

“While the average American works 47 hours a week, 26 percent claim to work outside of normal business hours and struggle with ‘being on’ all the time in this remote landscape,” Jones says, noting, “The fear of burnout is real.”

Another not so surprising finding is how much harder the pandemic has been on women, considering the challenges that working mothers already faced before virtual education and remote work added to the mix.

“Most office workers are hoping to continue to work from home after COVID-19 is no longer a concern,” Jones said of the responses. “Many prefer a hybrid approach with some office days and some remote days. Long-term studies have shown remote workers save businesses approximately $10,000 a year per employee and have higher productivity and job satisfaction which leads to less turnover.”

In terms of employers, the survey showed that existing or prospective clients of MomSource Network would like assistance in managing productivity of their “work-from-home” employees.

The results, published on the MomSource website, offer some suggestions for employers to follow. In addition, the MomSource team will be publishing several additional job aids in coming weeks.

“We’ve been at this (remote work environment) before the pandemic forced it,” Jones says. “Many companies had discussed what they described as ‘unmovable barriers” earlier. Now, they are being forced to act.”

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