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Career changes post-Covid19

New research from Robert Half UK (, the international recruitment consultancy, reveals that over 70% of UK workers are currently reassessing their career options despite COVID-related job insecurity.

Despite the latest employment update from the ONS highlighting that job vacancies had fallen to a record low in April, Robert Half UK’s research shows that almost a quarter (24%) of workers surveyed are actively searching for a new role; an additional 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; and only 28% of respondents are happy in their current role
The jobs market is likely to become increasingly competitive as a result of rising levels of unemployment in the short term, with the ‘war for talent’ shifting to a ‘war for jobs’.  This demonstrates that businesses must continue to prioritise attracting and retaining key talent as they look to rebuild post-lockdown, says the Robert Half UK study.  

‘The term “unprecedented times” has been used a lot over the last few months to describe the COVID-19 pandemic,’ says Matt Weston, Managing Director of Robert Half UK.  “The implications of these “unprecedented times” for business owners and employees alike, however, 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’re seeing expressed here.’

Robert Half’s European and UAE survey results mirror its recent US- and Brazil-based polls, which similarly saw 57% of US professionals and 55% of Brazilian professionals saying they have experienced a shift in their feelings toward work due to the pandemic.  

Although 62% of those surveyed indicated that they are not worried about working in close proximity to their colleagues, European and UAE workers are also reassessing their personal space, post-COVID-19. Nearly 70% (67%) of those surveyed by Robert Half will refrain from shaking hands and an even larger number (74%) will be scheduling fewer in-person meetings moving forward.

In both surveys, workers expect employers to take action in response to shifting needs and attitudes.  Not only does an overwhelming majority want permission to work from home more frequently post-COVID-19 (90%), they also want better in-office cleaning protocols (76%), have staggered work schedules (70%) and revised office layouts (59%).
“Whilst no-one knows precisely what the post-pandemic future will bring, the silver lining is that we're all discovering new ways of working together,” says Weston.  “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.’

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