COVID-19 Economic Recovery Survey Results
ACEC/MW shares the results of the survey conducted amoung its member firms in June 2020.Greetings ACEC/MW Members & Friends,
I hope that this message finds you healthy, productive and enjoying the season as best you can! As we have been doing over the past months and will continue to do so moving forward – we are making sure to keep your firms up to date with all of the effects that COVID has brought us. Below is a great summary of our most recent industry survey. Please take a look below, use it and pass it on as you see fit and let us know if we can be of any additional assistance! Take care and “See” you very soon!
Hugh “Mac” Cannon, MPA, CAE
ACEC/MW Executive Director
COVID-19 Economic Recovery Survey Results
ACEC/MW reached out to our member firms in June 2020 to gather information on how offices are handling reopening after COVID-19 pandemic closures. Overall, results show that firms are beginning to bring people back to their physical offices slowly and with many extra precautions.
Let's breakdown the specific questions and results.
Question 1 asked whether offices have begun to return employees to working in person. The majority responded that “some” have returned. Many continue to work from home as the need for physical distancing continues.
Question 2 dealt with formation of a plan for reopening. Most have a plan, but some are still in the formulation stage.
Respondents generally outlined plans to allow a small number of essential employees in the office, and then gradually increasing the number of people over time. In the office, social distancing is the strategy, with most firms continuing to promote working from home.
Question 3 asked whether offices are aligning their reopening plans with the governor's (or DC Mayor's) phases, and more than 60% will follow the governor/mayor. The others will follow their own plans, often commenting that their plans will be more conservative than the governor/mayor's phases. Some offices that are headquartered in other states will follow the guidelines of the primary office's state while taking into account local standards.
Question 4 inquired as to what safety measures will be put in place when the office reopens. Meetings conducted virtually was the most prevalent response, followed by masks to be worn in common areas and additional sanitizing to be done either by employees or a cleaning service.
“Other” responses included daily employee self-assessment to be noted at computer login, touch-less hand sanitizer stations, one directional traffic in the office, and delineating cubes or offices adjacent to high traffic areas as off limits. Some plan to close lunch common areas, and others will document who is in the office and at what times.
Question 5 asked whether offices will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) when it is required, and 100% responded that the office will provide required PPE rather than relying upon employees to provide it themselves. The most commonly listed types PPE to be provided were masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray, and gloves. Several commented that employees could choose to provide their own masks, but that there would be a supply available if needed.
Question 6 asked how the pandemic has impacted staffing levels for the remainder of 2020. 68% of offices that responded did not furlough any employees. The majority of those that did furlough employees plan to bring them back before the end of 2020.
Question 7 showed that COVID-19 may change the office landscape, with 78% of respondents indicating that they plan to allow employees to work from home on a long-term basis. Several commenters said that work from home would be part time, or dependent on the individual's situation. One person shared that parents would be allowed to work from home if schools or camps are not available.
Question 8 inquired as to what additional compensation firms would provide to employees working from home. The vast majority will provide at least some additional compensation, with the most common being a firm laptop, followed by other peripheral devices (printer, fax/scanner, headset, etc.). 15% will provide no additional compensation, with one commenter sharing that the money saved by not having to commute should offset the employee's home office costs.
Lastly, Question 9 inquired as to different policies regarding travel. Most responded “other” and commented that travel will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with air travel extremely limited. Many will require one person per vehicle.
We appreciate everyone who took the time to respond to our survey. We hope that your office will find these results helpful when formulating and assessing your reopening plans and procedures.
- ACEC/MW Immediate Past President Rizwan A. Siddiqi, P.E.
- ACEC/MW Staff
- Kyle Urda, P.E., Facilities Chair
- Arthur Jones Dove, PE, PMP, CCM, MBA, PgMP
- Hanif Drzal, P.E., CJP
- Michael A. Perrotta, P.E., AICP
- Aaron Smith, P.E., LEED AP, Maryland Municipal Committee Chair
- Erin Donovan, PE, CQA
- Mary Searing, PE, DWRE, CFM and Norelis M. Florentino, PE, MBA, PMP
- Pedro Capestany, PE
- Hanif Drzal, P.E., CJP & Jenny Bowers