Impact of COVID-19 on Service Workers: Work Experiences & Concerns of food retail, food services, and hospitality workers
Online in Zoom
Online in Zoom

Dr. Rosemberg is an Assistant Professor at UM School of Nursing. ABSTRACT Objectives: COVID-19 presents a unique burden specifically for workers in service industries not only because they are disproportionately at risk for contracting the virus but also because of their work-related burdens. We aimed to understand the impact of COVID-19 on these workers. Methods: This was a mixed-method study with a congruent triangulation design. Participants were recruited through social media. Each interview lasted up to 20 minutes. The survey data included demographic questions along with items from the CAGE and PC-PTSD questionnaires. Results: Twenty-seven individuals completed audio-recorded phone interviews and 28 completed the survey. Participants were mostly women with an age range between 19 and 65. Participants worked in food retail (n=23), restaurant (n=25), and hospitality (n=7) industries. Length of time on the job ranged from two months to 25 years and 60% of the participants worked full time. Participants reported experiencing symptoms of depression and maladaptive coping. Job insecurity, change of job tasks, and work hours were the most common ways that COVID-19 affected the workers. Themes that emerged about participant’s concerns included being infected and/or unknowingly infecting others, the unknown, isolation, and work and customer demands. Constant changes relating to communication and protection measures were a major source of stress. There was discordance in the perceived level of threat of COVID-19. Most participants reported that their workplace complied with their state’s mandates for protection measures. While others reported lacking basic supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, and masks. Conclusions: In addition to their work experiences, COVID-19 has affected service workers at the financial, physical and mental levels. This study has implications of employers, occupational health and safety professionals and policy stakeholders.

Integrated Health Sciences Core of M-LEEaD (Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease)

Impact of COVID-19 on Service Workers: Work Experiences & Concerns of food retail, food services, and hospitality workers

Environmental Research Seminar presented by Marie-Anne Rosemberg, PhD

November 24, 2020
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm
Online in Zoom
Online URL: https://umich.zoom.us/j/96688985313
Sponsored by: Integrated Health Sciences Core of M-LEEaD (Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease)
Contact Information: Meredith McGehee (mcgehee@umich.edu | 647-0819)

More Information

Dr. Rosemberg is an Assistant Professor at UM School of Nursing. ABSTRACT Objectives: COVID-19 presents a unique burden specifically for workers in service industries not only because they are disproportionately at risk for contracting the virus but also because of their work-related burdens. We aimed to understand the impact of COVID-19 on these workers. Methods: This was a mixed-method study with a congruent triangulation design. Participants were recruited through social media. Each interview lasted up to 20 minutes. The survey data included demographic questions along with items from the CAGE and PC-PTSD questionnaires. Results: Twenty-seven individuals completed audio-recorded phone interviews and 28 completed the survey. Participants were mostly women with an age range between 19 and 65. Participants worked in food retail (n=23), restaurant (n=25), and hospitality (n=7) industries. Length of time on the job ranged from two months to 25 years and 60% of the participants worked full time. Participants reported experiencing symptoms of depression and maladaptive coping. Job insecurity, change of job tasks, and work hours were the most common ways that COVID-19 affected the workers. Themes that emerged about participant’s concerns included being infected and/or unknowingly infecting others, the unknown, isolation, and work and customer demands. Constant changes relating to communication and protection measures were a major source of stress. There was discordance in the perceived level of threat of COVID-19. Most participants reported that their workplace complied with their state’s mandates for protection measures. While others reported lacking basic supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, and masks. Conclusions: In addition to their work experiences, COVID-19 has affected service workers at the financial, physical and mental levels. This study has implications of employers, occupational health and safety professionals and policy stakeholders.

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