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Nearly half of UK workers are less career-focused since pandemic

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Nearly half of workers (47 per cent) have become less concerned about their career as a result of the pandemic, according to research.

A survey by Aviva found one in five (20 per cent) employees felt their work/life balance had been negatively impacted by the pandemic and two in five (44 per cent) felt they can never switch off from work.

One result of this always-on, ever-present culture is that 40 per cent of workers were concerned about work-related burnout, the research found.

More women (24 per cent) reported a negative impact on their work/life balance than men (16 per cent).

And women (46 per cent) were noticeably more concerned about the risk of work-related burnout compared to men (35 per cent).

The study of 2,000 UK employees working in large organisations found nearly as many people would favour working full time in the office than working from home full time.

More men would opt for a full return to the workplace, while more women would prefer working from home full time.

Aviva said these findings have major implications for how employers construct hybrid work policies in the post-pandemic world to keep staff motivated and engaged, as a broad spectrum of views may co-exist within any business.

Debbie Bullock, Wellbeing Lead at Aviva, said: “The journey towards the workplace of the future has been accelerated by the pandemic, from decreasing office space and increased homeworking to widespread digitisation and non-linear careers.

“Employees will look for something in return to encourage them back to the office, and employers must ensure offices become a destination for collaborating, mentoring and socialising to rebuild relationships.”

She added: “The pandemic may have been a collective experience, but the impact has been fragmented in so many ways, with women especially facing particularly acute stresses from the blurring of lines between home and work.

“An always-on, ever-present culture is guaranteed to end with people’s batteries depleted, and it is essential that employers recognise long-term productivity is only possible if you make space for wellbeing to flourish at work.”

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