"Citizens´ prosocial behavior in times of crisis"
This project is funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds - WWTF), through project COV20-039.
During the COVID-19 pandemic (April/May 2020), we surveyed people living in Austria about their satisfaction, prosocial and societal behavior, and concerns and challenges because of the crisis.
Jurgen Willems presented an overview of the main results at the WWTF event “Vienna researches Corona”.
Austrians felt they could help others less in the corona-lock down, compared to one year before the crisis, but still feel helped by others. This is the output of a quantitative comparison of survey data collected in 2019 and 2020. Further qualitative exploration suggests that the social distancing is a major reason for not being able to help others, as social contact is often seen as a condition to help others. However, having the feeling of being helped by others – and thus be more dependent on others – relates negative with how people help others themselves, and with prosocial intentions and public service motivation. Moreover, people that felt more helped by others were also less satisfied about the corona measures and how other citizens (did not) comply with these measures. Find the presentation here.
Austria in the COVID-19 pandemic: Satisfaction on government measures and communication
We assess satisfaction about various aspects of the 2020 COVID-19 crisis for a representative sample of 1798 respondents living in Austria.
Overall, people living in Austria are satisfied with the various crisis management elements of the COVID-19 pandemic, as answers are mainly at the positive side of the response scale that ranges from -3 (Very unsatisfied) to +3 (Very satisfied). Citizens are most satisfied with how well they implement the measures of the federal government themselves (and/or their employer) to overcome the Corona crisis, and about how they are able to comply with these measures. In contrast, they are least satisfied with how national media report on the measures (Newspapers, TV, etc.). Splitting-up satisfaction evaluations for gender, age, region, level of education, occupation, or sector of employment does show no or some small (but no substantial) differences for particular subgroups. We can observe an age effect for satisfaction on how others deal with the government's COVID-19 measures. This means: the older people are, the more satisfied they are about how others comply with the COVID-19 measures. Self-employed respondents are least satisfied with how the government is dealing with the crisis and communicating the measures. Students are most satisfied about that. However, it has to be noted that this data is from 17 April to 29 April (2020), which is just before loosening, in a second round, many of the restrictions on small businesses.
Full report and data: https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/y37s
A citizens' perspective on the COVID-19 Shutdown - Personal and social disadvantages
The survey (482 persons living in Austria) focused on the personal and social disadvantages during the COVID-19 shutdown in the form of two open questions. The data have been analyzed in terms of content and frequency for the whole group and stratified by age and gender. This analysis aimed to identify the direct social, economic, ecological, and political consequences of the crisis and the government measures taken to overcome it. The results show a certain divergence between the perceived individual disadvantages and the social disadvantages: While the three most important personal disadvantages mentioned are social distancing, everyday life in the new situation, and restricted freedom of movement, the economic turndown, social distancing and the areas of politics, media, and society are primarily mentioned at the social level.
Full report and data (in German): https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/m7r4h
Never waste a good crisis - Which work-related COVID-19 changes are here to stay?
Which work-related COVID-19 changes are here to stay? We were able integrate a 9-item scale in the eleventh wave (12 June 2020 – 17 June 2020) of the large-scale data collection process of the Austrian Corona Panel Project. The items for the construct that we analyzed focused on whether respondents were in favor or against particular COVID-related changes in the work environment.
Respondents are in general in favor to keep particular COVID-related changes in the working context, such as more flexibility with respect to home office, working hours, and part-time work. Respondent are also in favor for less bureaucratic procedures for sickness leave, and less business trips and outside appointment. However, this should not come with more employer control, nor with increasingly fading boundaries between personal and professional life contexts. These results mainly show the overall challenges for the future of work, where more autonomy and flexibility is desired, but not at the cost of losing a clear delineation between professional and personal contexts.
Moreover, women are for several aspects more in favor to keep COVID-related changes, such as keeping distance in the work environment, less business trips, and flexibility with respect to part-time work and home-office. Younger respondents (under 45) are also in favor of less business trips and external appointments, however not as much as respondents above 45. Except for the reduction of business trips and external appointments, no significant differences are reported between employees of the private and the public sectors. This suggest how challenges are similar across these sectors, and both public and private organizations can learn from each other to shape new attractive work environments.
Results and graphs (in German and English): https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12570623.v2
Read more on the Austrian Corona Blog page: https://viecer.univie.ac.at/corona-blog/corona-blog-beitraege/blog69/
Re-investing in the public sector; to avoid lock-downs in the future and boost economic recovery
In debate with four Nobel-Prize winners at the Lindau Online Science Days, Jurgen Willems askes the Nobel Laureates’ opinion on whether more (re-)investments in the public sector could help to avoid large scale lock downs in the future and be a way to boost economic recovery.
See the full debate here: https://vimeo.com/433475168/0e5db38c9c