How did the coronavirus affect your work? What does the future look like? See what the members answered!

We asked about your situation in a Jäsenpulssi questionnaire* in early summer. We got to hear about the employment situation, finances, moods and future views of more than 21,000 of our members. A great number of respondents, thank you for that! We also asked for feedback about our operations and services – we have humbly taken in thousands of thanks and useful criticism. Each answer and feedback is valuable to us and will help us to support you in all turns of the working life, also during the coronavirus epidemic.

Remember to respond to the next Jäsenpulssi!

Last spring the coronavirus spread and took all of us by surprise. The familiar routines and everyday practices changed in one go. Our feeling of security and trust in the future in terms of employment was also put to a test. We have now been living for a while in a situation in which we continuously need to adapt to changes. The much talked about “new normal” understandably makes all of us think and continues to create insecurity. Insecurity and uncertainty about the future also emerged in the responses to our members’ questionnaire. But is there hope for the better on the horizon?​​​​​​​

The situation is worrying, but also opens up new opportunities

”The coronavirus generates uncertainty, so I can’t be sure whether my employment will continue in the autumn. Without corona it would.”

“Maybe some temporary jobs in the summer, the autumn is a question mark.”

“I believe that I can get a job and will also start as a light entrepreneur.”

“My job will remain partially, which means fewer hours.”

“I will get a permanent job in late summer in a completely different branch.”

The answers of the members and the results of the questionnaire show that the employment situation was quite worrying for many people in early summer:

  • As many as 40 per cent struggled with lay-offs, irregular employment relationships, and unemployment.
  • 35 per cent felt to be in a difficult situation and believed that lay-off or unemployment would continue or be very likely.
  • Only 54 per cent were in full-time employment.
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) were laid off full-time or part-time.
  • Around 13% had no job.

The expectation for the rest of the year involved a lot of uncertainty, but also some optimism:

  • Around 60–65 per cent of the respondents have a fairly stable employment situation.
  • 55 per cent believed that they will keep their job as before (also regarding part-time and seasonal work).
  • A larger share (21%) believed that their employment situation will improve, while 12% believed that it will become worse.
  • The majority expected their situation to remain unchanged, regardless of whether they felt it to be good or bad.

Although there is some hope in the air, the employment situation was not expected to improve radically during the rest of the year:

“7 months of fixed-term employment left, and after that no idea of what work there is/I can get.”

“My employment will start again two weeks from now and continue to November, then there may be lay-offs.”

“I work in a temporary employment which is not for a long time and will not solve my challenges.”

  • Those in full-time or part-time employment are in the most stable position; 77 per cent of them expect their employment situation to remain unchanged.
  • Nearly half of the laid off persons expected their employment situation to remain unchanged, i.e. that their lay-offs would continue at least to some extent. However, more than one-third (35%) of the laid off persons believed that their situation will improve.
  • The situation is nevertheless challenging for the laid off: only one-third of those laid off part-time expected their situation to improve. Slightly higher share (39%) of those laid off full-time expected their situation to improve.
  • More than half (54%) of the unemployed answered that their situation will remain unchanged. A little over one-third (37%) of the unemployed believed that their situation will improve.

Unemployment and lay-offs concerned specific fields and groups

  • Those hit hardest by unemployment included members aged over 55 years, the advertising and marketing industry, and the services sector.
  • Unemployment was more common than average among those who had only completed comprehensive school and in one-person households.
  • Lay-offs concerned particularly the tourism and catering industry, advertising, marketing and retail trade in which the majority of employees are women.
  • Young people aged under 35 years and those in an employee position in particular were laid off most commonly.
  • The jobs were the most stable at the service of the state, banking and insurance industry, in the public sector, and among those working at infrastructure.

“Unemployed for the summer, the work will continue if the schools stay open in the autumn.”

“I’m seeking for more part-time work.”

“I believe that I will be employed again in the autumn in my previous workplace for the winter season as in previous years.”

The majority of the respondents considered their financial standing to be still reasonably good

Especially those working in fields disturbed by the coronavirus, laid off and unemployed persons, those in part-time employment and students, however, felt their financial standing to be poor:

  • 29 per cent of the respondents said that they have financial difficulties.
  • The financial standing was also affected by education, own position in employment, and the line of business.
  • Nevertheless, the majority (71%) still considered their financial standing to be good in early summer. More than half (58%) said that they get along reasonably well by careful household economy.
  • The group of well-off persons was characterised by those with an academic degree, those in a good employment position, those in full-time employment, as well as lines of business that were better sheltered from the coronavirus.

Situation regarding employment and economy was shown in the moods

All in all, the positive feelings emphasised in answers to questions about different emotions were gratitude, significance, usefulness, peacefulness and trust which were felt by more than 20 per cent of the respondents. The most common negative feelings were distress, uncertainty, stress and frustration which were felt by around 15–20 per cent of the respondents.

Most of the members who participated in the survey nevertheless felt good about their own employment situation:

  • Up to 69 per cent felt good or quite good. It was significant that positive feelings were felt by a higher share of the respondents than the total share of those in employment (62% in full-time of part-time employment).
  • 31 per cent said that they felt bad about their current situation.

The employment situation was naturally a key factor that defined the work feeling:

  • 82 per cent of those in full-time employment felt good or quite good, while only 43 per cent of the laid off persons and the unemployed said the same.
  • Those with a higher education and a good employment position felt better than the respondents on average. Those in employment and students associated more positive feelings than average with their own employment situation.
  • In certain lines of business the mood seemed to be considerably better than on average. Those lines of business were on average such stable industries that were not hit so hard by the coronavirus. Employees in the construction industry, technical services, municipalities/federations of municipalities, industry and the ICT field associated more positive feeling than average with their own employment situation.
  • Feelings were bad especially among young people aged 18–24 years, laid off and unemployed persons, and respondents in lines of business hit hard by the coronavirus, such as advertising, marketing and communication, personal services, accommodation and restaurant business, trade and transports, as well as warehousing.
  • Among laid off and unemployed persons the feelings were more negative than on average.

Young people had the strongest feelings about the situation:

  • Among 18–24-year-olds and to some extent also among 25–34-year-olds uncertainty, distress, anxiety and stress were emphasised more compared to the average of all respondents. On the other hand, also relief, gratitude, good mood and cheerfulness were more common than on average among young people.
  • The gender of the respondent did not affect the emotions significantly. Women were slightly more grateful, but on the other hand slightly more worried and stressed regarding their own employment situation than men.

According to the feedback we have done well also amidst the crisis

We asked the respondents to evaluate YTK’s operations and services, and the feedback was mainly very positive and encouraging – thank you for that! It motivates us to develop YTK to suit even better to the needs and wishes of our members, and to serve the ever increasing membership base.

We received positive evaluations for our services:

  • 96 per cent considered our customer service friendly
  • 93 per cent felt that we care
  • 93 per cent considered our communication to be good
  • 93 per cent intended to remain our member
  • 89 per cent felt that we provide services for their money’s worth
  • 75 per cent felt that our services are fast

We received steadily good school grades for our operations:

  • Communication to members and our OmaYTK service received the highest excellent grades.
  • Communication to members received particularly positive ratings: 64 per cent of the respondents gave it grade 9–10!
  • OmaYTK received a very good grade from 57 per cent of the respondents.
  • Smooth flow of operations (applying for and receiving daily allowance) was given the lowest average grade, although it was 8.0. (15% of the respondents rated it from 4–6, and 43% rated it from 9–10).
  • So no area of operations is failing, but we received good grades quite steadily.

There is still need for development:

  • The effects of the coronavirus epidemic were understandably manifested as criticism from under 35-year-olds, laid off persons, and those working in lines of business hit hardest by the coronavirus.
  • Young people felt our services to be slower than older age groups.
  • In the lines of business in which the processing of applications had to be waited due to the congestion caused by the coronavirus our services were considered to be slower than in all lines of business on average.
  • The below average grades received from laid off persons also indicate the challenges of the coronavirus epidemic. The experiences of the unemployed in turn were considerably more positive.
  • The membership fee is generally considered to provide service for the money’s worth. Members aged under 35 years felt that this is realised slightly less compared to other respondents.

How will we move on?

Based on the feedback received from our members we will develop our services continuously in order to be able to provide better services to all of our members.

We will try to do the following also in the future:

  • Improve the speed of the services, smooth flow of operations, and accessibility of customer service.
  • Continue the communication to members which was rated excellent.
  • Communicate about the benefits and values of membership even better.

*About the Jäsenpulssi survey

The first round of the Jäsenpulssi survey was implemented from 26 May – 31 May 2020 as an online survey, and a total of 21,715 members responded.

Member surveys are part of normal customer service, looking after and caring for our members, although especially during the coronavirus epidemic the importance of support and security is emphasised. Member surveys and feedback allow us to anticipate the needs of our members, respond to them better, and develop our operations further.