At the critical moment when the current Coronavirus epidemic enters the most serious stage, in order to better implement the relevant policies and decisions of the central and local government departments, more effectively fulfill the social responsibilities of state-owned enterprises, more effectively bridging the communication between enterprises and government departments, and to help enterprises overcome difficulties, Shanghai Foreign Service Group actively makes use of its strength in terms of customer resources, and actively meets customer needs, in order to understand the difficulties faced by customers and to meet their expectations. The following research has been conducted mainly regarding customers' resumption of work, current challenges, the most concerning policy information and the most needed support from relevant government departments.
Survey sample size
The total number of customers participating to this survey is more than 200; in turn, these organizations have about 400,000 employees. As far as industries as concerned, the survey covers Food & Beverage, retail, manufacturing, trade, pharmaceutical, consulting, logistics, Internet, finance and tourism among others; as far as the scale of customer enterprises is concerned, the majority of respondents are large and medium-sized enterprises with hundreds to tens of thousands of employees; the survey also takes into account some small and micro enterprises. The relevant information is summarized as follows:
Resumption of work
In the survey, we found that nearly 80% of the customer enterprises had resumed work on February 10, and more than 10% of customer enterprises said they would resume work in accordance with local government regulations. At present, many provinces and cities have decided to return to work on February 10, so this is the major trend in terms of resumption of work. In addition, about 5% of customers said they would return to work on February 17, mostly those in the Internet, telecommunication, large-scale retail and tourism industry. Another 5% of the enterprises have already resumed working on February 3, largely those in the finance, medical and pharmaceutical industries.
In terms of the proportion of employees returning to work, the differences among enterprises are obvious, but the differences among industries are not. Most enterprises require employees to do their best to return to work (including adopting work-from-home solutions). At present, nearly 60% of the enterprises have had 80% or more of their employees returning to work; over 15% of the enterprises have resumed working with between 50 and 80% of the total employees, and less than 5% of the enterprises have returned to work with less than half of the employees. Finally, over 20% of enterprises have not confirmed the statistics related to resumption of work.
The survey showed that customer enterprises actively responded to the call-to-action of the government and took a series of measures to deal with the epidemic: more than 65% of customers have made it clear that they have implemented or plan to implement measures such as work-from-home solutions and special working hours, which can be considered to be a good response to the call-to-action of the municipal government. Among them, enterprises in the Internet, telecommunication, medical, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, trade and logistics industries. We believe that some of these industries are less affected by the adoption of work-from-home solutions, while some other industries are more affected by the epidemic. At the same time, about 20% of the enterprises haven't implemented relevant measures yet. These are mainly in the manufacturing, retail and automotive industries. It emerged that most of them find it difficult to adopt work-from-home solutions due to the characteristics of the industry.
Current challenges of customer enterprises
Almost all enterprises said that they were affected by the epidemic and faced considerable challenges. The difficulties were mostly related to daily production and operations, epidemic prevention equipment purchasing and the epidemic prevention needs of employees.
As far as operations are concerned, from the perspective of industry segmentation, the tourism industry, food & beverage industry, retail industry and consumer goods industry are faced with problems such as store closure, sudden decrease of customers and sales volume and inventory backlog; in the manufacturing industry, most of the customer enterprises say that due to problems such as workers' delayed return to work and quarantine, normal production is affected and many projects cannot be delivered on time. For the medical and pharmaceutical industries, the impact is different: some employees of enterprises have returned to work to fight the epidemic, enterprises are overloaded, and some enterprises reported that the follow-up orders were affected by the closure or reduction of sales channels. From the perspective of trade and logistics industry, the survey mostly indicates that exporting activity is limited, trade and order quantity are reduced.
Epidemic prevention measures taken by customer enterprises
Although facing various challenges, most companies have formulated a series of epidemic prevention measures in a very responsible way, including the establishment of an epidemic prevention emergency response team, a health monitoring system, strict disinfection procedures of the office environment, the provision of protective equipment to staff, work-from-home solutions and flexible ways to resume working. At the same time, despite various measures taken, many companies still report that it is difficult to purchase relevant protective materials. Employees are worried about going to and leaving their workplace as well as being infected in the office after returning to work.
Desired policy support from government
Based on the survey results, we know that production and operations of most of our customer enterprises are greatly affected, and that our customers are eager to receive relevant policy support, especially in relation to tax reliefs, social security rate reductions, financing support, capacity expansion, delayed payments, delayed payment of individual tax and social security, and health guidance for scientific prevention and control of the epidemic. In addition, most of the customer enterprises said that they would actively ensure the safety of their employees after they resume working, so they urgently needed to purchase relevant anti-epidemic protection materials, including masks and disinfectants.
Key policy information for customer enterprises
At the same time, customer enterprises support the policies issued by the government departments for prevention of the epidemic, but hope for further guidance and clarification on the details. For example, work resumption time, quarantine periods and areas affected by the epidemic; regulations concerning the payment of wages in the case of delayed work resumption, quarantine period, work-from-home period; policy details such as payment of stable post subsidy, online training subsidy; guidance on dealing with company operations after employees are infected.
We are very pleased to see that relevant government departments have frequently issued a series policies in support of enterprises, which have received positively by the business community. In the future, Shanghai Foreign Service Group will continue to follow up and pay attention to the relevant policy details and implementation regulations, and to provide our customers with timely and professional interpretation of such policies.
During our research, we deeply felt the determination and confidence of our clients to overcome the difficulties together with us at this critical time. At the same time, we also further understood the clients' desire for the renewal and interpretation of human resources-related policies throughout the country during the epidemic and their expectation for the government to provide preferential support policies for enterprises. Shanghai Foreign Service Group will continue to show professionalism and responsibility, and to bridge the communication between enterprises and government departments. In the follow-up to the survey, we will continue to track and pay attention to various adjusting policy information. At the same time, we will conduct further research on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, share our expertise, and provide our customers with all-round and all-weather services.