COVID-19 has dented the general public’s perceptions of trust in the US and the UK. While down on 2019, some 65% of people still trust small businesses, way ahead of Government which remains at a consistently low 32%, according to a special study conducted by Echo Research on trust and expectations.
Echo Research, conducted an integrated study of trust and expectations amid the coronavirus pandemic that consisted of 300 FTSE c-suite business leaders and financial analysts, 1,000 members of the general public in UK and US and global social listening to assess trends, media sentiment and key influencers on COVID and business analysing 7.1m social media and online items.
The Echo study found that few trust the Government to get the response to COVID-19 right, with Americans at 33% slightly more supportive of the Trump administration’s COVID management than Briton’s 27% belief in Boris Johnson’s government’s handling of the pandemic Gen-Z (those aged 18-24) in the UK are by far the least trusting of the Government at 17% compared to 38% among their US cohorts, perhaps reflecting anger of the UK’s A-level results mismanagement and greatest concern for their future.
In all, 49% of UK adults say they are confused about the rules of COVID compliance, compared to 31% across the US.
Contrary to what might be expected, the researchers also found that focus on climate change has not slipped, as the majority of adults agree that they are changing their behaviour to lessen their impact on the environment – 62% of adults in the US and 52% of adults in the UK. And nearly half (47%) of all UK business leaders surveyed say they are addressing climate change actions.
Although companies have put culture as the number one learning from the pandemic, most people disagree that employers are thinking of people more – just under half (48%) in the US agree that that employers are thinking of people more, while only 36% in the UK feel that way.
Echo Research’s report showed that while the flexibility of remote working has been welcomed, the fairness of furlough continues to be questioned in online discussions and media. It concluded that nearly two thirds of adults polled do not believe that society will change for the better as a result of COVID-19.