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Asessing career options

As we emerge into a new norm, the jobs market is likely to become increasingly competitive as a result of rising levels of unemployment in the short term.  Despite this, employees remain confident about their long-term career prospects despite rising job uncertainty as a result of COVID-19, according to new research by Robert Half UK (, the international recruitment consultancy.

Though the ‘war for talent’ may have shifted to a ‘war for jobs’ in the last few months, Robert Half research shows that businesses must continue to prioritize attracting and retaining key talent as they look to rebuild post-lockdown.

According to the research over 70% of UK workers are currently reassessing their career options despite COVID-related job insecurity.  In addition, 28% are assessing their work-life balance and considering alternative options; 42% of workers said COVID-19 had not impacted their confidence in their career prospects, while 14% are more positive now compared to before the pandemic.  The research also found that only 28% of respondents claim to be happy in their current role.

The findings also revealed a mood of positivity and resilience with 66% of survey respondents saying their longer-term career prospects are unaffected by COVID-19, although 53% remain concerned about losing their current job as a result of the pandemic in the short term.

The Working from Home initiative is working well with the majority of employees surveyed not only working from home recently due to social distancing requirements (65%), but realizing their job offers a better work-life balance (57%) and is actually do-able from there (54%).  In addition, 80% of those surveyed said they would like to continue working from home post-COVID because they can save time and money by avoiding a daily commute (57%) and feel more productive (49%).

“The term ‘unprecedented times’ has been used a lot over the last few months to describe the COVID-19 pandemic and this is particular true for both business owners and employees alike.  However, these ‘unprecedented times’ are not only being felt now but will likely influence working practices and recruitment planning well into the future, given the strength of worker sentiment we are finding in our research,” comments Matt Weston, Managing Director of Robert Half UK.

“Whilst no-one knows precisely what the post-pandemic future will bring, the silver lining is that we are all discovering new ways of working together.  With many businesses re-opening their offices and beginning to navigate a path back to normality – or, at least, the next “new normal”, post-pandemic – the need for companies to  evolve their flexible working policies and practices; (re)assess employees’ core skills, competencies and behaviours in response to evolving business priorities; and foster a supportive and inclusive workplace culture in order to retain and attract the best talent has arguably never been more urgent.”

Robert Half recently spoke with renowned wellbeing expert and statistician Nic Marks about the impact of COVID-19 on workers. The video can be viewed (

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