Latest Mercedes Business Barometer reveals impact of COVID-19 on van drivers

  • Coronavirus pandemic has seen significant increase in working hours
  • But van drivers feel appreciated by their colleagues, employers and the public
  • Time away from home has now become their greatest concern

Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer explores impact of coronavirus on van drivers' working lives - driver in cab, 2020

The average van driver’s working week has increased by almost five hours during the coronavirus pandemic, as the van community has stepped up to keep emergency services, businesses and households running. This is according to research by Mercedes-Benz Vans, revealed in the firm’s latest Business Barometer report.

It’s not all bad news, however, as Mercedes says van drivers have also been feeling the love – with plenty of support from colleagues and appreciation from British public.

That’s nearly an extra 20 hours a month…

Absolutely right. Which has seen ‘being away from home for long periods’ overtake mental wellbeing and physical health as the major worry of the van community.

Almost 50% of those surveyed said that being away from home was now their biggest concern, with mental health troubling 38% and physical health 36%. Worth remembering that everyone’s work/life balance has been disrupted by this crisis next time a delivery driver knocks at an inconvenient time.

Are van drivers getting enough support?

Many say that they are, with 50% commenting on the positive impact the wider van community has had on their ability to deal with the current situation, and 43% agreeing that their employers had helped by clearly communicating the necessary new working practices created by the need for social distancing and related lockdown developments. This has made the ‘new normal’ easier to cope with.

However, Mercedes reports that ‘it’s the goodwill of customers that really shines through.' An enormous 82% of van drivers and operators polled said that they felt their efforts were appreciated by customers – including 27% who have been thanked on social media and 21% having received applause while out on delivery. That’s over a quarter and fifth, respectively.

Do van drivers think that what they’re doing in response to the coronavirus is necessary?

It would seem so, as 78% believe they are ‘helping to keep the general public safe at this time.’

Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer explores impact of coronavirus on van drivers' working lives - Citan being loaded, 2020

Mercedes-Benz Vans UK managing director Steve Bridge commented: ‘You’d be hard pushed to find anyone that the van community hadn’t reached at some point, let alone during the pandemic; they deliver goods, enable services and transport people often behind the scenes and unnoticed, so we’re delighted that so many are now being recognised and thanked by the public for their hard work.’

He added: ‘It is important that we continue to support this vital sector with kindness, because without them, quite simply the country would not be running in the same way; rather than spending time engaging with their families and friends, they have selflessly put the country first and willingly gone above and beyond the call of duty.’

What is the Mercedes Vans Business Barometer?

These are periodic reports on the state for the van industry from the people who work in it. According to Mercedes it ‘monitors the opinions of more than 2,000 people in van community’, helping us, businesses and the general public to understand what it means to be a van driver or operator in the real world.

The mental and physical health of the people who work in this important sector are among its primary concerns.

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