In April Eurofound launched an online survey Living, working and COVID-19 to investigate the impact of the crisis on well-being, work and telework and the financial situation of Europeans. With over 85,000 people across Europe taking part in the survey and about 62,755 complete replies, the first results have been announced and highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people’s quality of life and work.

The initial results shows that many Europeans are reporting high levels of loneliness coupled with low levels of optimism about their future. Overall, people are showing some decrease in their well-being. People across the EU are also reporting very low levels of trust in the EU and in their national governments. The survey findings also confirm an increase in telework and, for a growing number of respondents, a feeling of insecurity regarding their jobs with a dramatic decrease in working time. For instance, more than one-quarter of respondents across the EU at this stage report losing their job either temporarily (23%) or permanently (5%), with young men most affected. Half of those in work are also seeing their working hours reduced, especially in Romania, Italy, France, Cyprus and Greece. The Nordic countries have reported fewest reductions in working time.

The social impact of this pandemic will require ambitious, sustained and co-ordinated action at European level. We therefore call on the European Commission to establish a task force or similar to analyse the social impact and propose responsive actions using all the legislative, policy and financial tools at the European Union’s disposal.

Eurodiaconia will continue to report and follow the social and economic impact of the current pandemic and will come forward with additional recommendations and proposals as the situation develops.  We and our members are ready to work with the European Commission and others to ensure that we mitigate as much as possible the social and economic implications of the COVID 19 pandemic. By working together and responding to the realities on the ground we can make a difference.


To find out more about the first results of the survey Living, working and COVID-19: First findings – April 2020 please visit Eurofound’s website.

To learn more about Eurodiaconia’s work on COVID, please refer to our policy briefing and recommendations paper titled “Protecting the vulnerable – supporting our people“.