AHS-P3-5. The Challenges Navigated by Frontline Workers During Covid-19
Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Nehls, Ph.D.2
1Lee Business School, Department of Finance
2Lee Business School, Department of Marketing and International Business
During the coronavirus global pandemic, the frontlines have navigated challenges of unprecedented market, social, and cultural disruptions. The objective of the study was to investigate different challenges experienced by the frontline workers during the early stages of the outbreak and what are the transformative changes in their jobs that they had to undergo from the first wave of the pandemic to the present. Here I conducted qualitative research among three frontline workers representing human services, education, and hospitality industries. They participated in semi-structured interviews by telephone. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed manually. Six theme categories emerged from data analysis. Participants experienced physical, psychological, and financial distress, health concerns, social exclusion, and job insecurity. The most common challenge for all was the safety of their health and financial distress. Consequently, each of their jobs has transformed dramatically and employee morale has decreased for a lot of employees while others have realized the value of their job. The study found that frontline workers’ resilience and the spirit of professional dedication despite being drained physically, emotionally, and financially during the covid-19 outbreak. This suggests the need to understand and target involvement for the specific risks and challenges faced by different groups of frontline workers in order to have a better contingency plan for future events of this nature. Strategies should be implemented to support and to meet the unmet needs such as physical and mental health, reasonable pay, job security, and the overall quality of life of the frontline workers.