Everyday Heroes


An exploration into the sentiment of essential workers, and how this could reshape the American workplace.

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The New Shape of American Patriotism: Everyday Heroes

In order to control the spread of the COVID-19, governments have relied upon stay-at-home orders that require a segmentation of the workforce into essential vs. non-essential functions. This dividing line has led to the rise of the Everyday Hero. Despite stay-at-home orders, Everyday Heroes leave the relative safety of their homes to keep our daily lives functioning. These aren’t the people on the medical frontline, but those serving, manufacturing and moving America in a host of other ways.

Harris explores the Everyday Hero sentiment to understand the implications for public and corporate policy. It is a critical topic for understanding both the current reality they are facing as well as a lens into considerations for what will eventually be “the new normal.” There are notable implications for corporate communicators, HR strategists and reputation managers.

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Fill in this form to explore the Everyday Hero sentiment to understand the implications for public and corporate policy.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll from April 6-7, 2020 among 530 “essential workers” who are not in healthcare or government. “Essential workers” are defined as individuals ages 18 and older who have been deemed essential by their employer and/or state and who must leave their home to go to work. Business areas include supermarkets/grocery stores, big box stores, restaurants/bars, transportation, gas stations, warehousing, manufacturing, construction, agriculture and food processing, among others. A separate online survey was conducted among a general public sample of 1,024 adults (ages 18 and older) during the same time period for a comparative viewpoint. These two online surveys are not based on probability samples and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

This report summarizes the key findings of the research. For more information about this survey, contact us.

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