Survey: Will life EVER return to normal after COVID-19?

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Torch, a new survey found 63% of employed respondents said they believe their job will never return to normal. (Photo by Flavio Gasperini on Unsplash)

Three-quarters of Americans worry life will never return to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

The survey asked 2,000 Americans — about 1,700 of whom are employed — about how they anticipate the world will be after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they currently can’t use shared spaces in the workplace without fear.

Another 36% of respondents said they’re afraid they can’t return to normal work lives without putting their families at risk of potential infection.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents think the stay-at-home orders should remain in place until there is a vaccine for COVID-19

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Torch, the survey found 63% of employed respondents said they believe their job will never return to normal and they anticipate they’ll work remotely for at least the remainder of the year.

And just over six in 10 employed respondents believe their boss didn’t handle the transition to remote working as well as they could have.

Of employed respondents, another 67% of those surveyed said they believe their employer doesn’t understand how hard it is to work remotely when employees have children at home.

Even those without children are having trouble focusing while working from home; 64% of respondents shared they aren’t as productive due to their increased stress and anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

And the thought of using public transportation again to commute to work is a source of high stress and anxiety for seven in 10 respondents.

With all of this stress and anxiety, it’s no wonder 64% of employed respondents believe their workplace should allow for more flexibility on remote working once things start returning to normal.

Seven in 10 employed respondents even said that as they continue to work remotely, it would be helpful to have a work coach to help them.

“CEOs can provide resources for remote workers, update policies and make cultural changes, however, the support that your employee receives from a one-on-one relationship with a coach or mentor is irreplaceable,” said Cameron Yarbrough, CEO of Torch.

Respondents were also asked to look to the future and think about what the world will look like under the new normal post-coronavirus.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents believe that people should no longer shake hands in order to prevent the spread of germs.

And specifically in terms of office spaces, 45% of those surveyed shared they believe companies will start requiring employees to take their temperatures before entering.

Another 43% of respondents said they believe companies will start hosting more virtual meetings in order to limit the spread of germs.

Seventy-four percent of employed respondents also believe that workplaces will also transition to virtual interviews for new hires.

And when respondents themselves start returning to their pre-coronavirus work lives, 20% said they plan on greeting people with a wave six feet away to be safe.

“For years we’ve talked about the ‘future of work.’ This pandemic shows us that the ‘future’ is now,” added Yarbrough. “We’re in a stage where adopting remote work flexibility is the norm and not just the practice of progressive companies.”


  1. Companies will require employees to take their temperatures before entering — 45%
  2. Companies will increase the use of virtual meetings — 43%
  3. Companies will ban physical contact, like hugs or handshakes, to prevent the spread of germs — 41%
  4. Companies will fully transition to remote work — 38%
  5. Companies will sell bigger offices and downsize to smaller offices — 33%
  6. Companies will decrease business travel — 33%
  7. Companies will downgrade on social gatherings/celebrations — 32%
  8. Companies will allow fewer visitors — 30%


  1. Be able to use shared spaces without fear — 59%
  2. Not have to wear a mask and gloves all day — 53%
  3. Return to their normal workspace and stop working remotely — 52%
  4. Not have to worry about infecting their family after work — 36%

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