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COVID-19 Impact Index v2

Kara Lowe
August 6, 2020

In April 2020, the KC Tech Council reached out to a carefully-selected group of approximately three dozen business leaders representing a cross-section of the region’s technology employers. We invited these CEOs, presidents and market leads to participate in the Impact Index, designed to measure their current perception and future predictions as they navigate their employees and organizations through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those findings were released in Impact Index, v1. Three months later, in July 2020, we again reached out to measure the same group’s responses as we embark on a new fiscal quarter. Those findings are now published in the Impact Index, v2.

Key findings in COVID-19 Impact Index v2:

BUSINESS DEMAND REMAINING STABLE: Though v2 findings don’t show a significant rebound of demand for businesses, a slight increase in responses indicated the economic environment had produced an increased demand, or no major change in demand in their core business, products or services.

HIRING TRENDING BACK UP: More index respondents in v2 have indicated that hiring has resumed or increased, with a 9% increase reported since v1. Nearly 7% fewer respondents indicated that hiring has been frozen, and slightly fewer have indicated that organizations were exploring or implementing layoffs, furloughs or pay reductions.

MANAGED EXPECTATIONS AROUND IN-PERSON WORK: In April, there was a rosier outlook for the resumed timeframe around in-person business events, office reoccupation and business travel. Now, expectations are much more conservative. For example, more than half of the respondents expected in-person business events to resume within three months (which would have been by mid-July). Now, more than 90% of respondents anticipate waiting four or more months from mid-July to resume these events. Timeframes for in-person office reentry and business travel look similar, with more respondents anticipating a longer runway back to pre-pandemic behavior.

CULTURE IS A CHIEF CONCERN: Business leaders certainly have a long list of concerns related to COVID-19. Our study found that one of the most common ones may be less obvious. While “Uncertainty of the Future” came in as the most cited concern, “Maintaining Culture” was a close second. In a remote environment that pulls employees’ home and work lives into the same plane, it can be a challenge to create and maintain a culture that unites, encourages and supports as effectively from a distance as it can when organizations share the same space.

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