Living, working and COVID-19 data
On 9 April 2020, Eurofound launched an e-survey, Living, working and COVID-19, to capture the most immediate changes during the pandemic and their impact, with the aim of helping to shape the response to this crisis. The survey looks at quality of life and well-being during this difficult time, with questions ranging from life satisfaction, happiness and optimism, to health and levels of trust in institutions. Respondents are also asked about their work situation, their work–life balance and level of teleworking during COVID-19. The survey also assesses the impact of the pandemic on people’s living conditions and financial situation.
Explore the data on quality of life, work and teleworking, and the living conditions and financial situation of respondents during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe.
- Data: Quality of life and COVID-19
- Data: Work, teleworking and COVID-19
- Data: Financial situation and COVID-19
- Countries hardest hit by the pandemic see most significant impact on their well-being . Results from some countries are particularly striking, with life satisfaction in France now at its lowest compared to surveys carried out before the crisis.
- Lowest levels of mental well-being are reported among young people and those looking for work. Loneliness is emerging as a key aspect of mental health with one-fifth of young Europeans feeling the strong impact of pandemic restrictions. Overall levels of loneliness are currently highest in France at 23% and lowest in Finland at 9%.
- Over half of Europeans are concerned about their future as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, with only 45% feeling optimistic. In contrast to surveys carried out before the pandemic, countries like France, Belgium, Italy and Greece are seeing optimism drop below the EU average.
- Europeans are reporting dramatically low levels of trust in the EU and in their national governments, particularly in several traditionally pro-EU Member States such as France, Italy and Spain , raising fundamental questions about perceived EU action during the crisis.
- Highest trust levels lie with healthcare systems in combating the COVID-19 crisis. Even countries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as Belgium, Italy, Spain and France, are reporting trust in healthcare systems above the EU average and well ahead of trust in their governments, the media and the EU.
- More than one-quarter of respondents across the EU at this stage report losing their job either temporarily (23%) or permanently (5%) , with young men most affected. Half of Europeans in work are also seeing their working hours reduced, especially in Romania, Italy, France, Cyprus and Greece. The Nordic countries have reported fewest reductions in working time.
- There is growing uncertainty surrounding additional job losses, ongoing reductions in working time and furloughing . Highest levels of job insecurity are reported in eastern and southern Member States with 20% in Bulgaria and 15% in Greece stating they feel they are likely to lose their job as a result of the crisis.
- Teleworking takes off in all EU countries with over a third of those in employment starting to work remotely as a result of the pandemic. Addressing the needs of remote workers who cannot avail of care services will be a key requirement as a new working context emerges . Over a quarter of all those working remotely have children under 12, with 22% of this large group reporting they struggle much more than other groups to concentrate on work and achieve an adequate work–life balance.
- Almost 40% of Europeans report their financial situation as worse than before the pandemic – double the numbers reported in surveys before the crisis. Close to half are indicating their households cannot make ends meet and over half report they cannot maintain their standard of living for more than three months without an income. The situation is even more dramatic for three-quarters of those unemployed who cannot get by for more than three months with 82% reporting their household has difficulty making ends meet.
- Gearing policy measures to support European households and businesses will be crucial as people’s fears about their financial future continue, with almost 40% of Europeans believing their financial situation will worsen in three months. Concerns vary greatly between Member States with the lowest levels of anxiety reported in Denmark (10%) and highest in Bulgaria (62%), especially among those aged 35–49.
Stay tuned for more on this survey
The first wave of the survey is now closed and the second wave will be launched in late June.
- Forthcoming publication: Living, working and COVID-19
Background and data collection
- Fieldwork: 9 April – 30 April
- Sample size: 86,457 (62,755 complete response)
- Target population: people aged 18 and over
- Spatial coverage: EU27 and the UK
- Data collection mode: online
- Respondent recruitment: snowballing and advertisements on social media
- Publisher: Eurofound
- Copyright: Copyright policy
- Working paper: Living, working and COVID-19: Methodological note of Wave 1
Eurofound (2020), Living, working and COVID-19 dataset, Dublin, http://eurofound.link/covid19data
Comments, feedback, questions? Let us know!
In light of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020, it should be noted that much data published on the Eurofound website continues to include the 28 EU Member States, as the UK was included in earlier research. This will be progressively amended to reflect the current composition of the 27 EU Member States.