New researched has revealed that one in five New Zealanders have cancelled or changed their travel plans, due to ongoing concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak hitting the globe, while many businesses are providing laptops to enable employees to work from home.
The national research, by online research agency Opinion Compare, was conducted from 6-11 March 2020 surveyed 858 people and revealed key concerns and fears New Zealanders have about Coronavirus, and how it is affecting their life and work.
According to the research, planning for the outbreak seems to be taking up a lot of staff time for many and those who work in education seem most affected with students not coming from overseas.
Procedures and special measures that have been taken on by businesses are reminders about general health and safety and hygiene policies with hand sanitisers readily available in all businesses, the survey found.
Some businesses are also getting ready for more staff to potentially work from home by providing laptops or remote access. Businesses have also cancelled international travel for staff and non-essential domestic travel.
The survey found that while 73% of New Zealand respondents do not feel that Coronavirus has affected them personally, 69% are worried it is going to affect the status of the economy in the next 6-12 months.
Of those who felt personally affected by the virus, 43% are somewhat or very fearful of Coronavirus. The survey showed they are most fearful of passing it onto their elderly family/ relatives or their children;, how it will affect themselves, or family members with autoimmune disease; having to cancel travel plans; and job losses or being unable to work because of the virus.
Despite worries about the economy and the fears of those affected, the majority of respondents to the survey haven't changed or delayed any major life decisions like buying a house or car, changing job, or investing in property or shares. However, 18% have cancelled or changed their travel plans.
Over half (53%) believe the government is accurately reporting the severity of Coronavirus. Interestingly, only 10% have taken to stockpiling essentials and 85% believe the media has contributed to the hysteria around stockpiling.
From a business perspective, 60% of respondents feel the business they work for or own has been affected by Coronavirus. 20% have supply chain issues, and 13% say wellbeing of staff is down. Interestingly there are a few businesses that say they are busier than ever due to their competitors having stock issues.