Pandemic working from home has made many office workers fearful for their careers


MORE than half of all office workers are worried about their careers as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Research suggests remote working has intensified concerns about keeping skills up to date and career opportunities.

Some 6,000 office workers at small and medium sized businesses across Europe were interviewed.

Job importance survey
More than half of all office workers fear career damage as a result of the pandemic and home working (Image: Scott Graham on Unsplash)

But the results were not all negative, particularly among younger workers.

Most employees under the age of 30 feel remote working has made them more productive (51%).

This group say the technology that supports home working has enabled 63% to do their job more effectively.

Younger workers did feel it had become more difficult to find out what was going on in their company and many felt “cut off” from their team. Staying motivated was also identified as a concern.

Future of work organisational psychologist, Viola Kraus, said: “There is a growing trend that the youngest generation of workers, as ‘digital natives’ who know how to use tech, can be left to their own devices, to figure it out alone.

“This generation not only need to be taught the skills to get the best from technology, but need to be taught general business skills to progress in their job.”

Krauss added: “These young workers’ fears for career development likely stem from a lack of connection and direction from their team and senior colleagues while working remotely.

“So it’s important to ensure that while we continue to work virtually, employers provide guidance and a formalised platform where peer-to-peer learning is encouraged, and eventually it happens naturally.”

The research was commissioned by Sharp Information Systems Europe.

Rob Davis, solutions and services business manager, said: “There is a clear concern from younger people in our workforce for long-lasting impact of the pandemic on their career development.

“As businesses plan for the future of work, it’s important to make sure the fundamentals of work that are key to career development aren’t left behind for the ‘digitally savvy’ generation, and ensure technology is used to support this learning and collaboration as the way we work continues to change.

“At Sharp, we believe people are the true power behind a successful business, and we see this as an opportunity to implement positive changes and ensure that we are better prepared for future generations to come.”