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.