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Flexible Workers: Impact of the Pandemic

Nov 20, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • The pandemic has upended the way many organizations get work done, including relying more on “flexible work.”
  • Although not without drawbacks, flexible work has advantages for employers and workers alike.
  • By most measures, flexible workers were hit harder financially by the pandemic than the general population.


The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way many organizations get work done. Not only have many employers begun allowing full-time workers to work from home, many are relying more on “flexible work” — part-time and temporary work, seasonal work, independent contracting arrangements, freelance assignments, and jobs that were done remotely even before the pandemic. To find out how workers think about flexible work and what this might mean for employers, Prudential partnered with FlexJobs1 to survey more than 1,100 U.S.-based flexible workers in late June 2020: who they are, what they think, how they have fared financially during the pandemic, and what they plan to do from here.


Among the findings:

  • The pandemic has had a significant negative impact on the financial health of many flexible workers in terms of income, emergency savings, retirement savings, and benefits.
  • 40% of flexible workers are unemployed, reflecting the broad economic toll exacted by the pandemic.
  • 44% of flexible workers say they are struggling financially, nearly double the number (24%) that felt that way before the pandemic. By comparison, only 16% of traditional workers are struggling.
  • 53% of flexible workers are earning half or less of their pre-pandemic income, versus 14% of traditional workers.
  • Alarmingly, 24% of flexible workers say their emergency savings would not last one month.


All this means that flexible workers may need more help than traditional workers in bolstering their financial well-being. Flexible workers are looking to their employer for benefits – seventy percent agree that access to employer-sponsored health insurance makes a job “very appealing.” As employers review their staffing needs and consider the design of their benefits programs, they can use the findings from this research to better understand what flexible workers need and want.


Read More

To learn more, read Flexible Workers: Impact of the Pandemic   PDF Opens in a new window.

 You may also be interested in other Gig Economy  opens in a new window or Women’s opens in a new window topics.


  • 1FlexJobs is a premium online job service for professionals seeking flexible work, specializing in full-time and part-time remote jobs, employee and freelance jobs, and on-site jobs with flexible, part-time, and alternative schedules.

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