How The Pandemic Has Changed The Way Young Adults Enter The Workplace

The impact of the pandemic has undoubtedly caused setbacks and challenges for everyone of all ages. Especially for young adults, the covid pandemic has caused a disruption with the landscape of their young adulthood. Missed graduation festivities, in-person classes, wedding celebrations, missed quality time with friends are just of the few many. Those young adults who are looking into starting their careers face a more complex decision when it comes to their career paths. Young adults entering the job market find it hard to find their footing since they don’t have that much experience with the in-person onboarding, networking, and training that they would have experienced in the traditional process. To add on, young adults are forced to decide based on the external factors around them such as safety, flexibility and their personal fulfilment. This has caused the majority of young adults to shift their expectations and make the most out of the situation. 

Implications Of Remote Work On Young Adults

One of the outcomes of the pandemic that young adults had to adapt to was the implication of remote work. Remote work gave the ability for young workers and for many others to work virtually amidst the pandemic. This gives them the opportunity to earn money, progress their career paths and have more flexibility with their time. According to a Stanford study, remote work has proven to increase workplace productivity by 13%. This is due to less distractions, employees working more hours, and due to a more convenient workplace environment. As businesses look past the pandemic, a statistical study reveals that 51% of young adult respondents want to remain working from home the bulk of the time and 85% of them want full-time remote opportunities. Clearly, there is a demand for a remote work-structure by young adults and the adaptation of remote work will continue to prevail post pandemic. 

Remote Work Can Hold Young Adults Back

On the other hand, working remotely has prevented young adults entering the job market from experiencing water cooler chats, having their own office workspace, and even face to face time with bosses. According to a survey, 40% of college students and recent graduates would actually prefer fully in-person work. Since the demographic is new to the workforce, they miss on crucial experiences that mold them and allow them to progress in their career path. The lack of interpersonal interaction makes them feel disengaged with their work which could result in poorer work output. Despite the benefits and productivity increase remote work provides, younger people are craving to go back to in-person as they desire the interpersonal connection they develop with their co-workers and bosses.

Young Adults Experience Hybrid Work

The solution companies have come up with in order to satisfy workers who want to work from home and those who want to work in the office is the incorporation of hybrid work. The application of hybrid work as the workplace standard allows employees to have the flexibility of remote work while still having human interaction with the office dynamic through in-person work. A hybrid workplace will also allow those young adults who haven’t experienced working in an office to have a seamless transition into the workplace flow. Distinctly, young adults are open to the idea of hybrid work. According to a McKinsey & Company study on workers’ hopes for the future, it states that 18 to 29 year olds are most interested in a hybrid work set-up, working two to three days a week from home, and the rest in an office. Where 48% of the 18 to 29 year olds respondents said they’d prefer hybrid work. With more businesses reopening their offices and the acceptance of the hybrid work structure by young adults, hybrid work could potentially be the future of workplace structure and workplace flow. 

The pandemic has caused young adults to enter and adapt to new workplace dynamics. One of the biggest industry shifts was the implementation of remote work. Remote work has its perks such as workplace flexibility, better work-life balance, safety from the virus and has been proven to increase productivity; but, at the end of the day, young adults still desire the personal connections they develop in the workplace. A hybrid workplace model allows young adults and workers to still attain remote work-flexibility while being able to develop interpersonal relationships at work.

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