COVID-19 Combined 2020 Benchmark

Since we launched our Emergency Response and COVID-19 Response surveys in March and our dedicated COVID-19 Wellbeing and Prepare for Returning to the Workplace surveys in May, we’ve had ~1200 companies globally use these templates to proactively seek feedback from their employees. Companies have used this feedback to understand their response, how their employees are tracking, and their preferences for returning to the workplace. We’ve noticed that companies have been combining questions from multiple surveys depending on their COVID-19 response and unique situation so we’ve now created a Combined Benchmark, including data from all of the survey templates. 

This benchmark contains 100 questions. Data is taken from over 1,200 surveys and over 500,000 responses (more than half a million!). The insights we share below reflect all data collected since the launch of our survey templates to mid-July. We previously released single benchmarks for 3 out of the 4 templates as the data became available prior to creating this combined benchmark. Moving forward we plan to only update this combined COVID-19 benchmark, which you can use no matter which survey you are running. 

About the benchmark data set

Before we get into the valuable benchmark insights, we wanted to pause and outline some descriptive statistics and limitations to keep in mind in reference to this data set. 

  • Location of the organizations who have launched: well over a third of the data (40%) comes from North America, followed by Oceania (31%), then Europe (20%), with much fewer COVID-19 related surveys launched in Asia (6%) and the Middle East (2%), 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, this data should not be overly generalized or assumed to represent the employee experience in less surveyed regions. 
  • Profile of the organizations that have launched: around a third of all surveys launched are from companies in the Tech and IT industry (36%). This reflects the pattern we saw in the early COVID-19 response survey participants, whereby these types of organizations are likely able to pivot faster in their response and be more agile in gathering employee feedback. The remaining data is spread somewhat evenly across a range of industries, including Non-profit (4%), financial services (3%), investment banking (3%), insurance (3%), marketing (2%), hospital and healthcare (2%), food and beverage (2%) Real estate (2%) and construction (2%). We also see a skew towards small and medium-size organizations with 52% of surveys launched by companies with 200 employees or lower and 23% between 200-500. 22% is from larger organization's (500-5000 employees) and just 2% from companies with 5000+ employees who have launched the surveys. 

How to use this benchmark

Regardless of which COVID-19 survey template questions you have used, you can load this benchmark as a source of comparison within the platform. This means that you are able to mix and match questions across our different COVID-19 survey templates and will only need to upload a single comparison file. 

While interpreting, keep in mind the limitations mentioned above. This benchmark gives you additional context on how your response compares to other organizations. It shouldn’t be seen as a target to hit.

Each company’s experience is unique, especially during this time. While some organizations have been working remote for years, others are unable to complete their roles from home. Some businesses are growing 10x while others have seen their business slow to a trickle. In these times, it’s even more important to use your own organization as a benchmark. See 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 a good level of participation for our COVID-19 surveys, with the medium participation rate at 81%. This is inline with the participation we see for our standard engagement surveys.

Favorability scores range from 34% to 97% which is a broader range than what we see in engagement survey data. Our original COVID-19 response benchmark saw very high favorability (around 80-90%) and the range increased as we added the Prepare for returning to the workplace and COVID-19 Wellbeing survey templates. Keep in mind that many companies who have been proactive in surveying employees about their experience 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. 


As this is a combined benchmark and therefore contains multiple outcomes indexes, there are no specific drivers. For insight into the top drivers for the individual survey templates, check out the relevant Insights page: 

Most favorable items

Across the different COVID-19 survey templates, here are some of the highest scoring areas. 

Template Question Favorability
COVID-19 Response I know what I need to do to keep safe and healthy during the COVID-19 Pandemic 97
I am able to access the work systems/technology I need to do my role from home 94
I have been treated fairly by my colleagues during this time 94
COVID-19 Wellbeing My manager shows that they genuinely care about my wellbeing 89
I have what I need (i.e. space, set-up, internet) to effectively work remote on an ongoing/longer term basis 87
I understand my company's current policy on flexible work arrangements 87
Prepare to return to the workplace I have the resources/equipment to continue working remote should I need to 88
I believe our team/department would benefit from some degree of remote working in the future 86
I feel confident that I would receive support from coworkers if I needed it 85

From this we can see that organizations are demonstrating strength in how they equip their people with regards to keeping safe and healthy and having access to the resources needed to work from home on an on-going basis. Employees are also feeling very positive towards remote work overall. Kudos to the HR and IT teams who have likely pivoted quickly to respond on this front. And despite reports of increased xenophobia across the globe, employees appear to be being treated fairly in their organizations. Managers have also stepped up to support their direct reports.

Least favorable items

Across the different COVID-19 survey templates, here are some of the lowest scoring areas. 

Template Question Favorability
Prepare to return to the workplace I would feel comfortable traveling for work related purposes (e.g. attending offsite meetings) when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted 34
I will feel safe being in the workplace when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted 38
I would feel safe traveling to the workplace when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted 38
COVID-19 Wellbeing   I am able to effectively switch off from work to make time for rest 55
Most days, I can accomplish all I need to during my normal working hours 60
During these challenging times, I feel able to bounce back as quickly as I normally would 61
COVID-19 Response  I feel equipped to manage both personal and work life demands right now 73
I feel equipped to look after family/dependents should I need to 81
I know where to find [Company]'s most up-to-date COVID-19 Pandemic policy 84

In relation to preparing for returning to the workplace, employees are concerned about their safety traveling for work and being in the workplace. On the wellbeing front, employees are struggling to switch off and manage their workload. And when it comes to the initial COVID-19 response data, the lowest scoring items are around those with dependents being about to juggle their caring responsibilities. Additionally, companies are struggling to keep employees up to date on changes to policies. 


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