The Pandemic and Employees: A New Shift?

The Pandemic and Employees: A New Shift?

A new employee attitude caused by COVID makes me wonder if it will permeate all industries.

I’ve been reading lots of articles lately on how the pandemic has changed workers. The increased time at home with family has made them reexamine their priorities. The flexibility inherent in “working from home” is something they now still want even as they’re being called back into the office. As a result, some are quitting their old jobs and getting new ones. Some are even completely switching careers. They’re putting their foot down after years of “corporate profit taking” and stagnant wages; it’s as if the pandemic empowered employees and put the shoe on the other foot.

Of course, collision technicians did not have the luxury of working from home during COVID. They dutifully reported to the shop the entire time (or when needed, as some were furloughed when repair jobs declined significantly) to carry on an industry deemed “essential.”

But this new employee attitude makes me wonder if it will permeate all industries. Will it be infectious? Will employee demands become greater: pay, benefits, time off, flexible hours? The collision industry is already dealing with a tech shortage, will it become even harder to find qualified technicians? Or will it be status quo because the collision industry worked through the pandemic as if nothing had changed and no one ever really had the chance to reflect on whether they wanted to switch careers? In a survey we conducted in July 2020, only 13% of body shop owners said not everyone decided to come back after they furloughed and recalled them.

We’re in for a good year as miles driven is expected to rebound mightily. Hopefully you’re taking enough care of your employees that they’ll believe that continuing their collision career is a good choice.

You May Also Like

Employee Care: Beating the Heat

As an employer under OSHA’s General Duty Clause, you are responsible to provide a workplace free of known safety hazards, like high temperatures in the work environment.

Ten years ago, OSHA launched its Heat Illness Prevention campaign to educate businesses and their employees about the dangers of working in the heat. According to OSHA, the three key words when it comes to safety around hot weather are: water, rest and shade.

When thinking about the automotive industry, shade is not the first word that comes to mind as it applies to safety in this environment – though some workers move cars or work outside at times. But the other key words, water and rest, are worth a look as they apply to a potentially hot shop environment.

Maintaining a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Running three collision repair facilities, I’ve learned over the years that working toward a healthy work/life balance is critical.

Eight More Ways to Fight COVID-19 in the Workplace

Eight things you can do as a responsible business owner to ensure a safe and healthful workplace.

Hiring Veterans: Supporting Those Who Have Served

Although I didn’t serve in the military, I have many friends and family members who did. That’s why I’m committed to giving back to these veterans in my business and in my community.

Eight Effective Elements of COVID-19 Programs

OSHA recently released additional guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Other Posts

Stress at Your Auto Body Shop: This Too Shall Pass

As winter gives way to spring here in Northeastern Ohio, it comforts me to know that whatever strife is going on in your business or personal life will not last forever.

Collision Consolidation Craziness

The buying and selling of collision repair facilities has been fast, furious and ever-changing.

Building a Team: The Ratio of We’s to I’s

The next time you think about taking your business to the next level, assess whether you’ve truly built a team.

Motivational Quotes: Inspire Your Collision Staff

Sending inspirational quotes to your staff on a regular basis is a simple and easy way to show you care.