‘Seismic activity that shakes us to our foundation’
Like many of you, our editorial team and in fact all of America’s employers have spent the last few months adjusting to a difficult and sometimes brutal reality. Work in the era of coronavirus means disruption beyond what most people imagined, forcing profound changes to how we all work and live.
Our latest special report for instance was created with an entirely remote workforce, as writers, editors, designers, the production team, our sales and marketing staffs, and other colleagues worked from home and remote locations to bring you the latest analysis and news driving the benefits and HR industries.
As the coronavirus crisis continues, we are aware that you need our information and analysis now more than ever. I want to share an update on what the writers and editors have been doing to respond and keep you informed.
Our team meets daily to collect information, plan content and prepare articles on a wide range of scenarios that could impact your businesses. We have created a dedicated Coronavirus Impact webpage, to consolidate this content for readers to find it quickly. There you will find strategies for building a remote workforce, mental health resources, opinions on what employers and advisers need to know, and how technology and AI can be used to address employees’ concerns.
In our Special Report, we interviewed various professionals, employers and healthcare experts to make sense of the crisis that has engulfed the world. “In terms of seismic activity that shakes us to our foundations, this has changed the culture of the country, the culture of the workforce and the mindset of the workforce,” says Bill Gimbel, founder and CEO of Northbrook, Illinois-based LaSalle Benefits, a national insurance and employee benefits brokerage firm.
Gimbel, who has been in the benefits industry for over two decades, told us the crisis will hit the insurance and benefits fields particularly hard, not to mention U.S. retailers and restaurateurs.
The crisis also has welcomed in a coming age of sorts for mental health and telemedicine platforms, as employers seek to provide the resources for a workplace population seeking ways to cope with fear and anxiety. “The disruption in behavior and the uncertainty has led to a lot of anxiety,” Russ Glass, CEO of Ginger, a virtual mental health support platform, told senior editor Alyssa Place. “Obviously it’s a stressful time, and we’re seeing significant increases in sessions for therapy and psychiatry.”
Within our Special Report, associate editors Kayla Webster, Amanda Schiavo and Evelina Nedlund also interviewed employers and found expert voices to cover how the fallout will impact financial wellness, compliance issues, small businesses and caregiving. As social distancing becomes the norm, caregiving in America also will face particular challenges ahead. “The crisis has put a spotlight on caregiving and the importance of employers supporting employees with their family care issues,” Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, CEO of Wellthy, a caregiver benefits vendor that counts Voya Financial and Hulu as clients, told Schiavo.
See our industry pulse survey on employer attitudes in the wake of the historic crisis. A survey of 300 working professionals by Arizent, the parent company of Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser, found that 76% of professionals believe coronavirus is going to have an adverse impact on their businesses, and more than half are creating plans to tackle the workplace challenges posed by the outbreak.
Going forward, our editorial team will continue to meet each day to report stories and share insights that could impact your business. We know this is a worrisome time for you and your colleagues; we are devoted to helping you make smart, informed decisions.