Workday Study: Frozen Careers and Poor Growth Opportunities Worry

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In-depth investigation into the impact of the pandemic on work life and the workforce shows the main concerns of employees

Interesting are the results of a study on the impact of the pandemic on working life and the workforce,conducted for Workday,a company active in cloud applications for financial and human resource management.

According to the study, conducted by Yonder at the end of 2020 on over 17,000 people in nine European countries including ours,in 2020 two thirds of employees in Italy worked from home (65%),a figure higher than the average of all the European markets monitored.

49% of these workers had never worked remotely before the pandemic, a figure once again significantly higher than the European average (27%), but most of them managed to carve out their own workspace (79%).

More than half of people (56%) believe they have been more productive and less worn out by working from home, despite the fact that being always connected was a major disadvantage declared by 59% of respondents. Despite the situation, a third of employees said they felt more isolated in the contingent situation, a significantly lower percentage than in the rest of Europe.

Motivation, however, was not lacking, even if two out of five workers found it difficult, especially in the 18-34 age group (47%) and to fall in the following age groups (38% in the 35-54 range; 32% in the 55+ age group). What were the origins of these difficulties? The response of leadership in work teams that have not been perceived as capable of responding adequately to the crisis (declared by 29%). To this negative perception was added in part the fear of not receiving fair and deserved salary increases (19%), making cancellations of bonuses or delays (21%), so as to influence the possible consequences on the choices of the future,such as the evaluation of looking for a new job in the following 12 months.

However, remuneration was not among the biggest concerns.

Almost half of respondents (49%) said they perceive fewer opportunities to acquire new responsibilities and skills in 2020, a relatively important figure compared to the European average (38%). Young people between the ages of 18 and 34 had the perception of seeing career opportunities crumble and the acquisition of skills (54%) while older age groups felt that a focus on personal career growth was selfish given the situation. The impact of the pandemic has been managed in a positive way by companies,which have ensured their employees adequate access to information, the necessary tools and training courses, greater than in other European countries.

A relevant figure – more than half – concerns the guarantee of safe return to the workplace.

Of the next 12 months, employees do not have an entirely rosy vision. 31% feel trapped in their current role due to economic uncertainty and half do not think their salary could increase (18%). In the more immediate future, one in five is pessimistic about the safety of their current job in the next 6 months. “Thepandemic has created an emergency situation to which the entire workforce has had to respond promptly in some way,”commented Federico Francini, Country Manager at Workday Italy.

“InItaly, the leadership of companies has proven to be able to cope quickly with change despite the strong insecurities perceived by younger workers. We have seen how much motivation related to training and professional development affects, how reskilling and upskilling are the key to a good balance in organizations. Good planning is now a priority.”