Faced with feelings of loneliness and disconnection generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, people have started to turn to robots to fuel their career development, according to a new study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, an HR research and advisory company. The study, in which more than 14,600 employees, managers, HR directors participated, notes that people have felt trapped in their personal and professional lives, but are willing to take back the reins of their future.
“The last year has set a new course for the future of work. Surprisingly, in the stress, anxiety and loneliness of the global pandemic, people found their voice, were empowered and are now expressing their wishes,”explains Augusto Fabozzi, Senior Vice President of Applications Sales for Oracle Latin America. “The constant changes in the professional field made people change the way they think about success and rethink their priorities. To attract and retain talent, companies must further help their employees to identify and develop new skills, and provide them with personalized career paths so they can feel like they are in charge of their careers again.”
Workers around the world feel isolated and disconnected
After more than a year of confinement and constant uncertainty due to the pandemic, many workers are confused and feel as if they have lost control of their lives and careers.
• 80% of people have been negatively affected in the last year, with many financial difficulties (29%), a worsening of their mental health (28%), lack of professional motivation (25%), and a feeling of disconnection of their own life (23%).
• For 62% of the study participants, 2021 is being the most stressful year of their working life. In 2021, the mental health of more than half of the people (52%) worsened compared to 2020. The number of people who feel they have little or no control over their personal and professional lives has doubled since the start of the pandemic. Respondents reported losing control over their future (43%), personal life (46%), career (41%), and relationships (39%).
• 76% of people feel stagnant in their personal life, look at their future with anxiety (31%), are trapped in the same routine (27%) and more alone than ever (26%).
People are motivated to make changes, but face big challenges
Despite the hardships of the past year, workers around the world are eager to make changes in their professional lives.
• 93% of the study participants took advantage of the past year to reflect on their lives, and for 88% of them, the meaning of success has changed since the pandemic began. Now, their top priorities are work-life balance (42%), mental health (37%), and job flexibility (33%).
• 75% feel stagnant professionally, without growth opportunities to advance their career (25%), and too overwhelmed to make changes (22%).
• For 70% of those surveyed, the feeling of stagnation in their career has had a negative impact on their personal life, in addition to generating more stress and anxiety (40%), contributing to making them feel trapped personally (29%) and prevent them from focusing on their personal life (27%).
• 83% of people are willing to make changes, but 76% reported facing major obstacles. Among the greatest impediments are financial instability (22%), ignorance of the professional changes that would benefit them (20%), the feeling of insecurity to undertake the changes (20%), and the perception that they lack opportunities for employment. growth in your company (20%). In 2022, professional development is seen as the highest priority. Many people would be willing to give up key benefits such as vacation time (52%) or monetary incentives (51%), and even part of their salary (43%), in exchange for more career opportunities.
• However, 85% of workers are not satisfied with the support that their company offers them. They want organizations to place more emphasis on training and skills development (34%), pay better salaries (31%) and provide opportunities to access new positions within the company (30%).
Workers around the world want to develop new skills and are increasingly relying on technology to do so
To retain great talents and allow them to thrive in an ever-changing work environment, employers must pay more attention than ever to the needs of employees and leverage technology to better support them.
• 85% of people want technology to help them shape their future, allow them to identify the skills they need to develop (36%), recommend ways to acquire new skills (36%) and indicate the steps to follow to advance toward their career goals (32%).
• 75% of those surveyed would make life changes based on recommendations made by robots.
• 82% believe that in certain aspects robots can be of more help than humans for the development of their professional careers, either by offering unbiased recommendations (37%), quickly answering questions about their career (33%) or finding new positions that match their current skills (32%).
• However, humans still have a critical role to play in professional development: they seem better at offering advice based on personal experience (46%), identifying strengths and weaknesses (44%), and looking beyond CV to recommend positions that fit their personality (41%).
• 87% of people believe that their company should be doing more to listen to their needs, and 55% are more likely to stay with a company that uses advanced technologies such as AI to support professional growth.