Business

Covid-19 survey: Vast majority of workers in Northern Ireland rethinking their career

A new survey has revealed most people consider flexible working as a bigger factor than job security.

MORE than two-thirds of workers in the north say they are re-thinking their career following the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

Online recruitment website NIJobs.com said the research, which analysed data from around 1,200 people, showed 68 per cent admitting that the past year had made them reassess their work.

The same number (68 per cent) also said that flexible working is now more important to them than job security.

A clear majority of respondents (71 per cent), now expect employers to offer remote working or a hybrid model as an option.

General manager at NIJobs.com, Sam McIlveen, said the research confirmed “a new mindset” among workers who have experienced the benefits of working from home over the last 15 months.

“The demand is there for a new approach to the office environment so businesses must take this into consideration as they begin to implement a return to work policy,” he said.

“Flexible working can boost business benefits by helping to improve staff retention and also attract the best talent for any new roles.

“It’s important to remember that job specifications employers would have advertised at the start of 2020 may no longer attract talent given this shift in working preferences.”

The recruitment expert said the restrictions associated with the pandemic had effectively suppressed many people’s job ambitions.

He said NIJobs.com’s latest report suggested that cap had now been lifted, with around half (49 per cent) stating they would move jobs if the right role came along.

“The last year has impacted livelihoods, the economy and many local business sectors,” said Mr McIlveen.

“It comes as no surprise that the pandemic has made people reassess priorities in getting the right work/ life balance as we emerge out of lockdown.

“Jobseekers are considering how and where they work and what they want from a potential employer.”

But he said while Covid-19 had radically altered the workplace, the study revealed that career ambitions have not diminished in the wake of the pandemic.

More than half of respondents intend to retrain or upskill to further career progression, with career and salary progression still the two top motivators for changing job.

NIJobs recently reported how the easing of restrictions resulted in record job listings for 60 per cent of its employment categories.

There were more jobs advertised in the first six months of 2021 than in the whole of last year.

Mr McIlveen added: “When furlough ends shortly, we will have a clearer idea of what is likely to happen in the coming months, but the market will still be fluid with plenty of movement.”

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