More than half the respondents to a recent survey say their firm had no plan to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, and 25% cited poor communication as part of their dissatisfaction.
“It took a while for the firm to comment on the situation internally,” one respondent says. “They were very slow to allow the work-from-home option until someone tested positive.”
The survey, by the Hinge Research Institute, drew responses from 217 employees from more than 200 professional services firms between March 20 and March 31.
Respondents rated their current employer’s response to COVID-19 on a scale of 1 to 10. Among respondents with positive sentiments toward their firm’s crisis response, 36% indicated their remote working capability prepared their firm for large-scale telework in response to stay-at-home orders; 23% lauded their firm’s proactive, decisive measures; and 15% said that their employers clearly communicated plans to team members.
“Our research over the last several years has consistently shown that a growing number of professional service firm employees want flextime and telework options to achieve better work-life balance,” says Hinge MP Lee Frederiksen. “The professional services are built on people marshalling their expertise wherever their clients are. Firms that offered telework perks before the pandemic have been quicker to scale up remote working in response to shutdowns. However, firms that haven’t prepared a crisis response plan are going to be slower to adapt to emergencies like this one, even if they already offer a telework option.”
The report, How Professional Services Firms are Responding to the COVID-19 Disruption, is available for download.