NEW YORK, June 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Only one in three Americans feel they have heard all that is required from their government and employers (32% and 33% respectively) in order to feel safe returning to work, according to the June edition of an international opinion survey tracker conducted by leading global strategic communications firm Kekst CNC.
The dynamics are similar among American workers specifically: 31% and 23% respectively feel they have not yet heard enough. What's more, this sentiment is especially true among lower-earning Americans, of whom only 18% agree their employers have made them feel safe enough to return.
American office workers identified a range of specific barriers, including the continued fear of contracting the disease (54%) and skepticism regarding the possibility of socially distancing while at work (47%). Approximately one third identified the continued desire to work remotely as a main barrier to return.
Americans have also grown more pessimistic about the expected duration of the crisis, with 59% now predicting the impact to the economy to last one year or longer, compared to 36% in April.
Across several critical sectors of the economy, pluralities now say they do not expect to feel comfortable spending at similar or higher levels until at least 2021 on: airlines and travel (61%), luxury goods (57%), tech gadgets/equipment (44%), restaurants and entertainment (41%), and clothing/apparel (35%).
Against this backdrop, a super-majority of Americans (75%) collectively believe businesses should shift toward a focus on environmental, social, and/or governance (ESG) measures post-crisis. This figure includes 37% who call for a focus on social measures, 21% who call for a focus on governance, and an additional 17% who call for a focus on the environment. By contrast, just 14% say it is most important for businesses to focus on business-as-usual.
The research, carried out among a representative sample of 6,000 adults, including 1,000 in the U.S. between June 1st and 5th, alongside similar numbers in the U.K., France, Germany, Sweden, and Japan, also found that staff and leadership diversity is one of the top three most important social changes to Americans post-crisis—behind health and safety measures and mental health.
Commenting on the findings, Nicholle Manners, Global Head of Knowledge, Insights, Research & Analytics (KIRA) at Kekst CNC said: "This research makes clear that Americans would benefit from further reassurance from government and business leaders that their health and safety will remain a top priority as states continue to reopen. It also sheds light on specific environmental, social, and governance measures both consumers and employees will expect to see post-crisis. A simple return to 'business-as-usual' may no longer suffice."
The U.S. in International context (as of the time the latest survey was conducted)
- Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) expect a second wave of the virus – the second-highest figure globally. Almost half (46%) expect that wave to hit in rural and suburban areas. Yet despite a persistent belief that the virus is dangerous, levels of concern about the personal impact of the virus have continued to wane.
- The gap between Americans advocating for protecting the economy and those advocating for limiting the spread of the disease further narrowed: 52% now favor limiting the spread and 30% favor protecting the economy. This data compares to 61% and 20% who said the same respectively in the April edition of the study. Of note, Republicans for the first time now solidly favor protecting the economy at a rate of 46% to 37%.
- Although the U.S. and U.K. are viewed by those in other nations as having done the worst job at handling the pandemic, Americans disagree. They rate Italy and China below their own country.
- Americans believe U.S. institutions and businesses have generally performed well during the crisis, with the exception of the Federal Government. President Trump received the lowest approval score in Western countries surveyed.
Methodology and Full Results
- Nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults in The United States, 1,000 adults in Great Britain, 1,000 adults in France, 1,000 adults in Germany, 1,000 adults in Sweden, and 1,000 adults in Japan
- Fieldwork took place June 1st – 5th, 2020
- Quotas and weights on gender, age, and region in each country
- Margins of error of +/- 3.3% for all countries
- Full results of the global survey available at:
About Kekst CNC
Kekst CNC is a leading global strategic communication consultancy. The team of over 250 experienced professionals serve clients from 13 offices in New York, London, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Brussels, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Stockholm. As trusted advisors, the firm contributes its expertise on such high-stake matters as: M&A, shareholder activism and governance, crisis communications, restructurings, regulatory investigations, litigation support, investor relations, IPO communications, issues and reputation management, change management and employee engagement, as well as digital and social communications. For more information, please visit: www.kekstcnc.com.
For the U.S.
For the U.K., France, Germany, and Sweden
SOURCE Kekst CNC