Companies and employees in the country expect a new business freeze by the end of the year; employers are considering measures to retain their employees.
Today ManpowerGroup Bulgaria announced the results of its study "Fourth COVID-19 wave", in which 185 companies and 366 employees from all business sectors and regions in Bulgaria share their expectations and concerns related to the possible imposing of new measures dictated by the pandemic.
The data show that 61% of employers and 76% of employees expect certain industries and business functions to cease operations in the last quarter of the year. The only sectors who share an optimistic forecast are "Information Technologies", "Business Process Outsourcing", "Consulting" and "Trade and FMCG" (less than 5% of respondents), and the biggest concerns about possible closure are shared by organizations (75% ) and employees (50%) in the sector "Tourism, hotels and restaurants".
"COVID-19 continues to dictate the dynamics of the business environment, and the difficult-to-predict situation of a new epidemic boom naturally provokes fears in many companies and employees regarding their future. The good news is that most companies in the country have already employed various measures in case of a temporary closure and are ready to develop their business in a different direction, as well as to reassign their employees to alternative projects or functions within the organization in order to maintain their most valuable and scarce assets”, said Maria Stoeva, Sales and Business Development Team Manager at ManpowerGroup Bulgaria.
Other key survey results:
- In the event of closure, 31% of employers plan to place some or all of their teams on forced leave, 10% would lay off staff and only 6% would consider a reduction in the monthly wages and additional benefits. At the same time, as many as 43% of the surveyed employees believe that new measures related to the spread of COVID-19 will affect their income in the form of lower wages or fewer benefits, a third of them fear that they will be placed on forced leave, and 30% fear losing their jobs.
- In the last quarter of the year, 60% of organizations plan to use a hybrid working model. 12% intend to leave the choice to work from the office, remotely or both entirely to their employees, whereas 41% of the employees would like to decide for themselves whether and when to work in the office and / or remotely.
- 80% of the surveyed companies cover employees’ additional costs when working remotely by providing office equipment (e.g. printer, scanner, office chair) or refund them for their monthly internet subscription. Very few organizations cover other costs, e.g. for utilities.
- 23% of companies that have suffered financial losses expect to return to the optimal level of their profits around the middle of 2022, and 15% believe that this will happen at the end of next year. At the same time, nearly 40% of the surveyed employees say that they have not experienced a negative impact on their income from work, and another 12% - that they did, but it has already returned to normal.
- Most employers (62%) do not expect significant changes in the number of employees by the end of the year, while another 24% plan to increase the number by 5-10%. A quarter of them are IT companies, another 22% - Manufacturing, and 15% operate in the sector "Trade and FMCG". The companies that share plans to increase their work force by more than 10% are 7% of all surveyed employers and they operate mainly in the sectors "Health and Pharma", "Business Process Outsourcing" and "Information Technologies".