Generational careers divide opens up in wake of pandemic

careers divideAlmost half of UK employees aged between 18 and 24 think that COVID-19 has decreased the importance placed on their careers, compared to 35 percent of 55-64 year-olds. And more than half think the pandemic has negatively impacted their career progression, compared to just 35 percent of 35-44 year olds and 17 percent of 54-65 year olds. Those are the key findings of a poll presented in a report from Employment Hero, shows that COVID-19 has caused a widening generational divide in the career motivation and wellbeing of UK employees.

The 2022 Wellness at Work report carried out by Employment Hero, surveyed over 2,000 UK employees and claims to highlight the stark impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had across generations of the workforce. The report also highlights a sea-change in the attitudes of both younger and older workers towards the importance of career: 45 percent of younger workers aged 18-24 said COVID-19 has decreased the importance they placed on their career, compared with 35 percent of respondents aged 55-64.

Younger generations have also felt the impact of the pandemic more than any other generation on their wellbeing, with 68 percent of employees aged 18-24 stating that COVID-19 had negatively impacted their mental health, compared with just 35 percent of employees aged 55-64.

COVID-19 has also negatively impacted how people work and how they feel at work. The research reveals that 72 percent of 18-24 year olds agree that COVID-19 had negatively impacted stress levels at work, compared with 63 percent of 35-44 year-olds and just 46 percent of 55-64 year olds.

In terms of productivity, 61 percent of 18-24 year olds stated that COVID-19 had negatively impacted their productivity at work, compared with 52 percent of 35-44 year olds and 33 percent 55-64 year olds.

Most employers have invested more in the health and wellbeing of their employees over recent years, alongside better training and development and career progression plans to help employees feel supported and encourage individuals to stay and develop their careers with them. The spread of remote working has provided more support and a better work-life balance for many, with remote workers 11 percent more likely to agree they were happy with their mental health.