Impacts to Members on Workforce, Commercial Office Space and Remote Work

Since March 11, 2020, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has conducted six “Pulse Surveys” of member companies to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and employees, and what decisions they are making, and action steps they are taking, to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

The survey concluded on June 5 – responded to by 83 CEOs and C-suite executives – concentrated on workforce trends and the future of the work environment. A broad spectrum of start-ups, small, mid-sized and large employers participated in the survey.

Here is what we learned:

COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE: We asked if, in the medium to long term, COVID-19 has changed their plans regarding commercial office space.

  • 6 out of 10 (60.2%) said they have no plans to increase or decrease office space, and are planning to stay the same.
  • Nearly 3 out of 10 (28.9%) are thinking about decreasing office space

We asked what impacts, if any, has COVID-19, and the resulting economic downturn, had on their hiring in the Bay Area

The silver lining: More than 4 out of 10 (43%) said that they are not currently experiencing negative impacts on their workforce.

  • Layoffs or furloughs: Instituted layoffs (20%), were considering layoffs (16%) or had furloughed workers (16%).
  • Other steps to cut costs: cut salaries of the executive team (33%), across the board (11%) or cut or reduced 401k employer match or similar programs (12%).

TELEWORK: We asked what members were planning, already have in place, or would consider, to encourage continued telework after SIP is lifted and what percentage of their overall Bay Area workforce they would commit to teleworking,

  • 93% of surveyed members are actively planning or considering the development of office or workplace reintegration plans in the Bay Area to accommodate the physical distancing needed during COVID-19.
  • 3 in 4 employers are receptive to continuing telework policies into the future
  • Nearly 7 in 10 would allow at least 10% of their workforce to telework at any given time, with nearly 1 in 5 who would allow all or nearly all of their employees to do so.

SURVEY DEMOGRAPHICS: Member companies with Bay Area employees who are working more than 30 hours per week. 

Stephen Tu, Director of Transportation Policy, June 29, 2020

Author’s Note: More to come on a recent survey concluded June 26, specifically on employer attitudes towards remote work.