Benchmark for COVID-19 Wellbeing survey

Since releasing our COVID-19 Response survey in March and our dedicated COVID-19 Wellbeing survey in May, we’ve had close to 500 companies globally use the templates to help understand how their employee’s wellbeing is tracking during this time, including how they are adapting to remote work and balancing added personal life demands. We now have sufficient data to create a full benchmark (this requires a minimum of 20 companies and 20,000 responses). 

The insights we share below are based on the first 140,000 individual responses, and the data will be reviewed again once more surveys have been launched.  


Before sharing the insights from the benchmark data, it’s important to keep in mind some limitations in reference to the data set:

  • Location of the organizations who have launched: well over a third of the data (39%) comes from North America and a quarter from Oceania (26%) with fewer wellbeing surveys launched in Europe (18%) and Asia (14%), and with almost no data coming from other parts of the world. Given the different phases and severity of COVID-19 that each region is experiencing, we know that employee wellbeing will be addressed and prioritized differently in each region.  
  • Profile of the organizations that have launched: over a third of all surveys launched are from companies in the Tech and IT industry (34%). This reflects the pattern we saw in the COVID-19 Response benchmark data, whereby these types of organizations are likely able to pivot faster in their response and be more agile in gathering employee feedback. We also see a skew towards small and medium-size organizations with 62% of surveys launched by companies with up to 200 employees and 22% with between 200-500. In comparison, 16% is from larger organization's (500-5000 employees) who have launched the survey and just 1% from companies with 5000+ employees. 

How to use this benchmark

You can load this benchmark as a source of comparison within the platform. Our hope is the benchmark gives you additional context for how your wellbeing data compares to other organizations, but it shouldn’t be seen as a target to hit. 

As we’ve seen during COVID-19, each company’s experience will be unique. Some companies have had proactive employee wellbeing strategies in place and were set up for remote and flexible work well before COVID-19; others have had to adjust very quickly. Furthermore, the severity of the pandemic has been experienced differently across the world and across industries. Regions and companies that have been particularly hard hit may notice different trends when it comes to factors such as resilience and the ability to manage stress.  Whilst we are currently unable to split the benchmark by regional and industry differences, this may be something we can do as we continue to collect data. In these times it is however even more important to use your own data as a benchmark. That means seeing where you are scoring relatively low compared to your other questions, and how your results change over time. 

Trends we’re seeing

Overall we are seeing good levels of participation for wellbeing surveys, with the median participation rate at 82%. This is slightly higher than the participation rates we’ve seen for COVID-19 response surveys (78%) and is more in line with the participation we usually see for engagement surveys. 

Favorability scores range from 56% to 94% which is not dissimilar to the range we see in our standard wellbeing survey data. In relation to our other COVID-19 benchmarks, it is in stark contrast to the COVID-10 Response benchmark which typically saw very high favorability (around 80-90%) and is more closely aligned with our Prepare for returning to the workplace benchmark (31% to 88% range). Note that many companies who have been proactive in surveying employees about their wellbeing early during this time are likely to be a few steps ahead in terms of support and therefore we might expect to see the range drop as more companies survey over time. 

The outcome index - Overall employee wellbeing 

Overall employee wellbeing is defined using these 5 questions that measure productivity, positivity, stress, fatigue, and resilience.



Recently, my levels of stress feel manageable


During these challenging times, I feel able to bounce back as quickly as I normally would


At present, I have enough energy to overcome challenges at work


I generally feel positive towards work at %ACCOUNT_NAME%


I am feeling productive during this time


We’ve found that overall employee wellbeing is sound at 74%. Within the index, ‘
Recently, my levels of stress feel manageable’ has the lowest favorability (65%) and ‘I am feeling productive during this time’ with the highest (81%). This suggests that overall employee wellbeing in the companies that have surveyed is doing relatively well considering the circumstance, it is not far off the wellbeing scores we saw prior to COVID-19 (note - most question wording has been updated so we can’t do absolute comparisons). 

Top drivers

In the same way that you can’t just make someone feel more engaged, you can’t make an employee have wellbeing or just not burnout - you need to understand what things are impacting their overall wellbeing and focus on these. Our data tells us that supporting employees to better manage work and personal demands right now is most important. Aligned is being productive in their current environment (be that remote or on-site) as well as feeling that what they are doing at work is worthwhile and their company addressing their concerns. Interestingly, one area that we do not have enough data for yet but is starting to present as a very strong driver is employees feeling confident that they can make progress in their career aspirations in the current environment.

Driver Rank

Driver Question


Feeling equipped to manage both personal and work-life demands right now


A sense that the work we are doing is right now worthwhile


Being able to work productively in our current environments


Finding the current pace of work at our company energizing


Companies addressing the key areas of concern that employees have about COVID-19

Most favorable items

The data shows that items around the work environment, support and being treated fairly are among the most favorable, in particular having the resources to continue working from home if needed and feeling that their company is supporting employees. As we have seen in our Prepare for Returning to the Workplace data, this finding suggests that employees feel supported in their remote environment and companies may wish to continue some form of flexible and remote work in the future.




Social Connections

I have been treated fairly by my colleagues during this time


Manager Support

My manager shows that they genuinely care about my wellbeing


Work environment

I have what I need (i.e. space, set-up, internet) to effectively work remote on an ongoing/longer-term basis


 Least favorable items

The data shows that items around managing energy, work pressure, and social connections are among the least favorable;




Managing Energy

I am able to effectively switch off from work to make time for rest


Work pressure

Most days, I can accomplish all I need to during my normal working hours


Social Connections

I am spending enough quality time interacting with others



Please note: there are 6 COVID-19 Wellbeing questions that we do not yet have enough data for and therefore have not been included in the benchmark. These questions will be added as soon as there is sufficient data available.

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