Frequently Asked Questions - Corona Work Life project - WageIndicator

1.1. Why WageIndicator brings a global Corona Work Life Survey?

WageIndicator is surveying/ interviewing people around the world to discover what makes the Coronavirus lock down easier (or tougher), and what is the COVID-19 effect on our jobs, lives and mood. The results are shown in maps and graphs for 110 countries, updated on a daily basis. The Corona-survey addresses not only changing working conditions and circumstances, it also covers aspects such as the development of the corona-disease given manifest symptoms in individual cases, living and working space at home, family composition, and the impact pets may have on our moods in times of confinement. More? Check Projectpage.

1.2. What makes the WageIndicator Corona survey different from many other surveys on this issue?

The Coronavirus pandemic is worldwide. The health of many is at stake, the world of work is heavily affected too. There is a need to survey the impact on people's working life. Given its global online infrastructure, WageIndicator (https://wageindicator.org/) could undertake a global web-survey. Thus, we have developed a continuous, volunteer web-survey for 143 countries with in total 38 languages. There is no other institution that we know of that undertakes to do something similar. Check the list of current surveys here: https://wprn.org/item/417152. The WageIndicator survey has questions such as:

  • Is your work affected by the Corona crisis?
  • Are precautionary measures taken at your workplace?
  • Do you have to work from home?
  • Has your workload increased/decreased?
  •  Have you lost your job/work/assignments?

1.3. How does WageIndicator reach out to respondents?

On March 30, 2020, the survey was officially launched through press releases and a range of social media activities. Partners supported the launch by using their own channels and networks. WageIndicator facilitates this by offering a page with country and language to select from. https://wageindicator.org/salary/living-and-working-in-times-of-the-coronavirus. The survey is posted in dedicated Corona Work Life sections in 140 websites, and 38 languages. These websites receive 40 million users a year.

1.4. WageIndicator gives daily updates of data? Why?

Daily updates? Check here for maps and graphs. Why? The patterns in the pandemic are changing every day. 

1.5. And can I get daily updates as well in my own sheet?

Your own data sheet? For academic, check this: The data of the survey "Living and Working in Coronavirus Times" is free available for non-commercial research at the IDSC Research Data Center of IZA - Institute of Labor Economics. Check this page.

1.6. Can researchers access the dataset?

For non-commercial research the data is free available at the IZA data-archive in Bonn:.

1.7.Where is the code book?

1.8. How reliable is this data?

Due to time and budgetary constraints, it is impossible to undertake a representative global survey through samples drawn from national populations. Instead WageIndciator uses special statistical weighting and regression techniques to be as reliable as possible, given present constraints. WageIndicator is an expert in weighting data. When that will be done with the Cornona Work Life data depends on the quantity of data intake. The more and the quicker, the better. The more reliable results will be. In general: smaller countries are soon more reliable than bigger countries. Czech Republic and Slovakia do good. Like Turkey and Spain. To get a more reliable insight in China we will do dedicated - paid - data collection in a set of large cities. For India WageIndicator will rely on its FLAME University interns who live all over India. Note: WageIndicator just started!

1.9. I was wondering whether you consider developing weights for proportionality for the Corona survey at some point?

When the sample size is very big, the estimated parameters in regressions like life satisfaction, job insecurity and wages are comparable to population parameters that estimated from a probabilistic sample. We have studied this for several countries using several reference samples such as the European Social Survey. See the papers:

1.10. Would you advise researchers to analyze the Corona survey data unweighted or to construct post-stratification weights to improve proportionality of the labor force?

Right now we are ready to team up with researchers to obtain conclusions from the data we already have and participate in a call for proposal to obtain funding.

1.11. Can I assist WageIndicator in collecting data?

Yes. Be in touch. We are used to interns. We are used to guiding data collectors on distance. Feel welcome. use the Contact form below in this page.

1.12. Where can I find the Cornona Work Life Video's, the press releases and Publications?

1.13. Can I contribute financially to this initiative?

Yes. Be in touch. Or show us the way for funding options. So far the WageIndicator team does the work for free.

1.14. On the basis of the WPNR- World Pandemic Research Network - this Corona Work Life survey is the only one held in so many countries, with a focus on work.

Yes. See https://wprn.org/item/417152

1.15. And what about the fate of the employers' businesses? Do you have any data yet?

WageIndicator has also developed a web survey for enterprises. This survey is conducted in Indonesia (garment), Ethiopia (garment, flowers), and Uganda (garment, flowers), and more countries and industries if financing can be found. The survey has questions for enterprises: whether they still exist, how the business has evolved since March 2020, whether the company has experienced a decrease in production, what staffing policies have been taken (dismissals, working hours reductions), whether there have been wage cuts, whether the export is affected, what measures are taken to protect the workers, how many employees are affected, and what the enterprise expectations are.

1.16. How can I follow your project on a regular basis, is there a Newsletter?

If you want to be updated, subscribe to the Newsletter.

1.17. Who is behind the Corona Work Life project?

Janna Besamusca (Survey), Huub Bouma (IT) , Laurent Boquet, Ludmila Caminha Barros , Daniela Ceccon (Data Viz), Pablo DePedraza (Survey) , Dirk Dragstra, Elvisa Drishti, Elana Golovko, Ceyhun Güler , Hossam Hussein, Rogerio Junior, Kim Chee Leong, Martin Kahanec, Marta Kanhancova, Maarten van Klaveren, Stefani Kostagianni, Minhaj Mahmud (BIDS), Petar Marceta, Rana Medhat, Birhanu Mekonnen, Ilona Mizsei, Simon Neira, One Hour Translations- team, Paulien Osse (Management), Gunjan Pandaya, Niels Peuchen, Nicola Pontarolla , Alina Popescu , Nadia Pralitasari, Stephanie Steinmetz (Survey), Ash R., Ulf-Dietrich Reips (Survey), Karen Rutter, Hien Dong Thi Thuong, Kea Tijdens (Survey ). International WageIndicator team

1.18 Help my country is not on your list!

Wageindicator runs the Corona Work Life Survey in 140 countries. Check the list here. In case your country is not on the list, be in touch.

1.19  What does that mean: working from home? Isn't that a concept what depends on the country?

The concept of 'working from home' can vary largely. It may include office work performed from home due to corona-related mobility restrictions. It may refer to working on family owned peasant farms, or to home-based handicraft work. Or to home-based manufacturing, formerly known as the cottage industry. The short Corona-survey does not have questions to identify the worker's situation however. But it asks people with paid jobs whether their work is affected by the corona crisis, and if so how? One of the items is 'I have to work from home' (Y/N). People who have always worked from home probably tick that their work is not affected (N). People who have always worked from home and have ticked that their work is affected (Y), most likely will tick that they have to work from home, just like those unaffected. So the item 'working from home' in the survey may be slightly overestimated.

1.20 Can you tell us anything about (temporary) labor legislation to assist the working population?

The Labour law specialists in WageIndicator continously work to complete a database of labour laws, presently comprising 104 countries. The next step, keeping track of what happens in all these countries related to Covid -19, is a logical one.

The topics:

  • Wage Replacement Program,
  • Sick Leave Benefit
  • Parental/ Family leave
  • Telework / Short Time Work
  • Unemployment Benefit
  • Employment Protection / Creation
  • Taxes

Check the Covid 19 Labour market Reforms here.


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