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Pandemic working conditions lead to future job exodus for young workers

Half of young workers aged 18-34 are planning to quit their jobs in the next 12 months as a result of working conditions experienced during the pandemic.

Research by HR software company Personio found that 49% employees in the age bracket, who work for SME’s across the UK and Ireland, plan to leave their job in the next year. Almost two thirds of those surveyed – 59% - also felt that they’d missed out on deserved promotions.

The pandemic has been a major contributing factor to the unrest felt by younger workers.

In addition to 66% of those surveyed believing the pandemic has stunted their career progression, Personio’s chief people officer Ross Seychell believes that remote working has had an adverse effect on workers’ happiness.

He told HR magazine: “Many younger workers who have primarily worked remotely since the onset of the pandemic will have missed out on crucial socialising and team building, which may have led to them feeling isolated, disconnected or even at worst, ignored by their management teams.”

“HR professionals should pay extra attention to ensure culture, communication and performance management do not fall prey to being ‘out of sight and out of mind’.”

FIA CEO and senior advisor Norman Pickavance added: “The game has shifted. Three days in the office and two days working from home - which sounded good pre-pandemic - is no longer cutting it. Such ‘Inflexible flexibility’, doesn’t go far enough. Lifestyle has become critical in attraction and retention.”

The research also showed that younger workers felt undervalued, with 70% saying they didn’t receive enough recognition from their employers on their performance over the pandemic - compared to 38% of those aged over 45.

“I would encourage my fellow HR peers to spend time with these groups to better understand their needs and expectations,” added Seychell. “Regular performance and development talks play a particularly critical role – not only in understanding the priorities of employees, but also in developing and engaging younger talent who need that much more guidance on their progression and careers.”