57% of employees second-guessing careers during COVID-19 pandemic

Many workers said they are more motivated to be employed at a company that values its staff during unpredictable times, Robert Half found.

Middle aged woman sitting at a table reading using a tablet computer, holding a cup, front view

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More than half (57%) of workers said they have experienced a change in their sentiments toward work during the coronavirus[1] pandemic, data from Robert Half found. During such unpredictable times, some 60% of that number said they want to be employed at an organization that values its staff.  

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COVID-19[3] has thrown a major wrench in both the enterprise and economy, resulting in millions of furloughs and layoffs[4]. More than 44.2 million US employees have filed for unemployment[5] claims since the start of coronavirus shutdowns, according to Fortune. Those lucky enough to still have jobs have still been impacted, reevaluating their current employment during such trying times. 

“This has been a time of reflection and reprioritization for businesses and people,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half, in a press release.

“Purpose is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, and professionals are assessing whether their company’s values align with their own,” McDonald said. “Employers should take this opportunity to reinforce for their teams the organization’s mission and community involvement.”  

Changes in attitude

Of the 57% of employees who have experienced a shift in feelings about their work situation, some 40% said they would prioritize their personal life over their job moving forward. 

Some 33% of those respondents also said they want to pursue a more meaningful or fulfilling position. During an era of great uncertainty, employees appear to be taking this time to look inward, the data found. 

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