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Is teleworking a failure for young employees?

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of workplace culture. The sudden restrictions and lockdowns caused companies to switch almost overnight to models where employees could now work from home. Remote work or work from home (WFH) models are suddenly becoming the primary means for employees to join their organizations, instead of being reserved for a particular subset of employees in certain industries and roles.

As the COVID-19 pandemic receded thanks to higher vaccination rates, companies announced they would recall employees to the office. From big tech companies to Wall Street institutions and more, employees were being called back to offices in droves.

But with the upsurge in cases across Europe, countries have started to impose restrictions again. In the midst of what has now become the new normal, many are questioning the long-term impact of the WFH on young employees.

What can be the side effects of WFH?

For young employees, the opportunity to form important social connections and learn crucial skills needed later in their careers is absent when working from home. Lack of interpersonal experience, managerial skills and osmotic learning can prove to be detrimental for young graduates looking to navigate the corporate environment of their company later in their career.

Many business leaders like Ken Griffin, director and CEO of Citadel LLC, a multinational hedge fund and the largest market maker in the United States, have already warned young professionals about the risk of continuing to work from home. . “If you’re at the start of your career, you’re making a big mistake not to be back to work,” Griffin told the Economic Club of Chicago.

“It’s incredibly difficult to have the management and interpersonal experiences you need to advance your career in a remote work environment. So, for our younger members of our workforce, I am seriously concerned that the loss of early career development opportunities will cost us dearly in the decades to come, ”he said. he adds.

Studies have also shown that remote employees are often overlooked for greater career opportunities by managers in favor of office-based employees.

Benefits of working from home

While companies and business leaders are quick to point out the detrimental effects of remote working, research and the employees themselves paint a different picture. A recent Harvard Business School Online study shows that an overwhelming majority of professionals have experienced progress and growth – both at work and at home – this year. Earlier this year, Microsoft’s first annual Work Trends Index, which surveyed 30,000 people from 31 countries, found that 73% of workers want to be able to work from home after the pandemic.

Many also recognize that the true measure of the success of an FMH model depends on the trust an organization has in its employees as well as the general line of work for the employees. Knowledge workers seem to benefit more from the WFH models, as the importance of collaborative creation is much lower for their areas of work.

The demand for remote working has been such that the online professional network LinkedIn recently rolled out remote, onsite and hybrid job search features after receiving an overwhelming demand for flexible workplace searches as a result. of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The future

With COVID-19 potentially lingering for years as an endemic threat to countries, the issue of remote working will continue to arise. Companies must recognize the advantages of the model while setting up support and support systems for young professionals who are starting their careers in these tumultuous times, in order to truly adapt to the situation presented to them.

(Edited by : Shoma bhattacharjee)


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