As U.S. government and health officials take actions to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), there is a critical need for second responders – workers who support essential services in communities during times of crisis. Staffing leader PeopleReady is helping companies connect with gig workers for essential services around the clock with its JobStack app, which is currently filling a job every 9 seconds. The company is also providing helpful insights for workers and employers, and sharing the results of its latest nationwide survey on working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by COVID-19, particularly those who are sick and trying to recover across the globe,” said Taryn Owen, President of PeopleReady. “Our communities need second responders – people who can serve hospitals, restock stores, manufacture essential products, deliver meals, and sanitize schools, among other roles. Many people are raising their hands to help as long as the right safety precautions are taken. We’re all in this together, and we all want to do our part to help keep our communities healthy and safe.”
PeopleReady conducted a nationwide survey of 2,266 gig workers from March 10 to March 22, 2020 and found many are ready to help:
- The vast majority (85%) of gig workers said they are not afraid to go to work because of concerns related to COVID-19.
- Nearly 3 in 4 (72%) are willing to take on temporary work cleaning/sanitizing an environment where someone had COVID-19 if the proper protocol and safety gear is provided. Among these workers, 70% said that, as long as safety measures are taken, it would be like any other job; 40% wanted to help stop spread of the virus, while 39% said they expected to be paid more.
PeopleReady offers the following tips to help companies and workers mobilize and connect:
Tips For Companies
- Fully assess whether your business can stay open during a “shelter in place” mandate: Whether you are in the midst of a “shelter in place” mandate or preparing for one, it’s important to understand the full scope of the definition of essential services in your area and if your business qualifies.
- Leverage technology and local staffing branches to quickly access gig workers: Companies in need of workers can easily post job assignments via the JobStack Customer App 24/7 and instantly see which workers accepted the assignment. JobStack has filled 6.7 million shifts since its launch. PeopleReady’s 600+ branches are also ready to help with local employment needs.
- Clearly communicate health and safety measures you are taking up front: Gig workers want to know they’re protected. For example, PeopleReady closely follows and recommends that workers adhere to guidance from the CDC and other health authorities: stay home if you are sick, wash your hands often, stay six feet away from others, disinfect surfaces, etc.
Tips For Workers
- Explore your options: Various workers are needed, including in areas with “shelter in place” mandates. Unloading trucks, stocking shelves for grocery stores and pharmacies, packing and delivering goods, cleaning hospital sheets/gowns, helping production lines, and sanitizing businesses and schools are among gigs providing essential services.
- Sign up for apps to view jobs as soon as they are posted: PeopleReady’s JobStack Worker App instantly serves up jobs related to your skills, interests and location preferences 24/7, so you can accept an assignment via your mobile device anytime and get paid quickly.
- Make sure the firm you’re working with is following proper safety protocols: Ask the staffing firm and/or site manager about the measures being taken to protect the health and safety of workers.
- Know the difference between W2 and 1099: Depending on the work arrangement, you are either considered an employee of that firm (W2) during the duration of the assignment or an independent contractor (1099). Different rules will apply. For example, staffing firms are W2 employers and offer medical benefits and workman’s comp and handle taxes.
The SurveyMonkey survey was conducted online in the U.S. by PeopleReady between March 10 and March 22, 2020. It included 2,266 gig workers across regions, industries, and company sizes.
PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE:TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor, as well as highly-skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform, PeopleReady serves more than 130,000 businesses and puts more than 300,000 people to work each year, operating more than 600 branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Learn more at www.peopleready.com.