The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work. That statement usually brings the new wave of remote workers to mind, but in reality it has affected everyone, including blue collar workers who weren't able to take work home with them. These professionals have had an entirely different experience, one that brought its own set of challenges and concerns.
Our 2022 Voice of the Blue-Collar Worker survey was recently released and included in the plethora of insight was how workers are viewing the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to their jobs.
With around 19,500 surveyed, and workers (about 55% male and about 43% female) consisting mainly of production and warehouse workers, assemblers, machine operators, manufacturers, maintenance technicians, welders, etc., this sample of information can be considered indicative of the mindset of most blue collar workers.
In 2022, about 32% answered "Not concerned," about 25% answered "Slightly Concerned," about 17% answered "Concerned," and about 26% answered "Very Concerned," when asked how they are feeling about the pandemic.
Most of those who are very concerned (42% to be exact) reported that it was because of their family's health, and 18% said it was because of mask wearing.
As you can see, the responses are all across the board, with the most answering "Not Concerned," followed by "Very Concerned." Blue collar workers are not the only ones to have varying viewpoints on the pandemic, so these answers may not be shocking. However, what can be confirmed is that the concern is lower than the previous two years, 2020 and 2021. In the past two years, 71% of those surveyed were consistently worried about endangering themselves, and health and safety when it came to the pandemic.
Another important note is that only 3% of survey takers said that COVID-19 precautions would be a major factor in accepting a new job. Presumably, this means that they would want there to be precautions taken. So for 97% of people, they wouldn't take COVID-19 precautions at a new job into consideration.
The reason for this dropoff in concern can be tied to a few things, one of them being general pandemic fatigue. People have spent so much energy avoiding and fighting against the pandemic that they may feel weary or like giving up. However, according to CNBC, this fatigue could have a detrimental effect, leading to additional surges and prolonging the pandemic as people tire of abiding by precautions.
And although people seem to be less concerned when it comes to their jobs having COVID-19 prevention and precautions in place, about 16% said at least one of their last 3 absences from work had to do with COVID.
This is important information to keep in mind when hiring and moving forward amid the pandemic no matter your role.