Results of Employee Morale Survey #3

July 30, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for sharing your opinions in our third coronavirus Employee Morale Survey. 

The headlines this month are ‘steady as we go.’ With a few notable exceptions, your feelings remain largely unchanged as to the effects coronavirus is having on our lives. One of the big changes is in your view of working from home once shelter in place is lifted (more of you prefer to work from home) which is understandable given California’s recent surge in positive cases.

In this survey, we also wanted to get your thoughts specifically on child and dependent care issues. Over half of you responded to that portion of the survey and the results show how these stressful and uncertain times are, for many of us, overwhelming. Here are some highlights from the survey as a whole:

Summary of Survey Results

  • 52% identified your mood as “OK,” or “pretty good,” a decrease of 10% from our last survey. 30% said you felt “bad” or “not so great,” an increase of 8%. 

  • If shelter-in-place orders are modified and we begin to bring limited numbers of employees to work on-site, 77% of staff and 62% of academics would prefer to work from home, and 15% of staff (a 10% decrease from the prior survey) would prefer to work onsite versus 26% of academics.

  • 58% of you answered the Child and Dependent Care questions. And 24% of staff and 39% of academics reported spending 16 or more hours per week on caregiving during the normal working week. That indicates that almost a third of you are probably getting your regular work done by staying up late or working on weekends. We recognize that this is unsustainable and there is a working group actively exploring a range of solutions including the launch of a website that will help Cal affiliates with children find and support each other with personal “share-care” arrangements.

  • 65% of staff and 81% of academics feel that their career development would be negatively impacted by their current caregiving needs, and of that, 1%, or 33 people, said it would cause them to leave their jobs at Berkeley. That drives home the point that caregiving during this pandemic is having a massive career impact and gives voice to how stressed and anxious we are in the current situation and the career repercussions many of us will feel well into the future.

  • Finally, 42% would use a University subsidized back-up care program in your home versus 25% who would use on or near campus childcare centers. 33% would opt to use an online resource to create a ‘bubble share’ arrangement with other campus affiliates.

full report of the survey results is available on our People & Culture website.

All of us share in the responsibility to support our colleagues as we each do our best to meet the often overwhelming demands on our time and energy. As a reminder, routine work meetings should not be scheduled on Friday afternoons between 1 pm and 5 pm where possible. In addition, we strongly encourage you to schedule all meetings to end 5 to 10 minutes before the hour, e.g. 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., so that participants have an opportunity to take a quick break before they go on to the next meeting. 

Thank you again for participating. We’ll follow-up with our next survey in late August. As always, our goal is to make sure we are serving you in the best ways possible now and going forward. Your feedback really does help us do our jobs better.

Thank you,

Eugene & Ben


Eugene Whitlock, Chief People & Culture Officer
Benjamin E. Hermalin, Vice Provost for the Faculty

People & Culture