Danielle Kopecky
9 October 2020

The evolving impact of Covid-19 on the sector

Earlier this year, we surveyed members to help understand how the environmental science sector has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to explore additional measures to help support members during this time. The findings of this initial survey were published in our Covid-19 Impact Report in April.

As the situation continues to develop, and to help us to better understand the overall impact of the pandemic on the environmental science sector and on members’ personal and professional circumstances, a follow-up survey was circulated to professional members in September. The findings have now been published in the report: Working through a pandemic: the evolving impact of Covid-19 on the environmental science sector

The report explores the personal, organisational and sectoral impacts of the pandemic so far on members and their concerns for the future, and includes a comparison of these findings with the results of the initial April survey. 

Overall, members reported a variety of personal impacts as a result of the pandemic, with a negative effect on mental health, increased workloads, and challenges related to managing childcare amongst the most common impacts. At an organisational level, over half of respondents reported a negative impact on the operational status of their organisation and a reduction in workload, whilst senior managerial staff expressed concerns including staff wellbeing, impacts on external stakeholders and key projects, and the financial implications of the pandemic.   

Over half of those who completed the survey reported having worked solely from home since lockdown began. Just 6% of these respondents indicated that they would like to return to the office full-time when possible, whilst 42% expressed a preference to split their time between home and office-based working in the future, indicating a potential shift towards a preference for more flexible working.

The IES is committed to supporting members throughout this period of uncertainty, and the survey therefore additionally asked members about the IES’ response to the pandemic, as well as any additional resources or services that could be provided to members during this time. This will help us to make informed decisions about, and to tailor, the advice and services we provide to our members in response to the pandemic.

IES members can login via the members’ area to read about the findings of the survey in full.