More than half of office professionals second-guessing careers amid pandemic: Robert Half


After months of maneuvering through the coronavirus crisis, many employees are rethinking what’s most important when it comes to their career, suggests new research from global staffing firm Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI). And as businesses focus on the future and when hiring ramps up, workers may begin to explore their options.

More than half of office professionals surveyed, 57%, said they have experienced a shift in their feelings toward work due to the pandemic. Of those, 60% are more motivated to be employed at an organization that values its staff during unpredictable times; 40% will prioritize their personal life over their job moving forward; and 33% want to pursue a more meaningful or fulfilling position.

“This has been a time of reflection and reprioritization for businesses and people,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half. “Purpose is at the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, and professionals are assessing whether their company’s values align with their own.”

Additional findings include:

  • More employees ages 25 to 40 (68%) experienced a change of perspective due to the pandemic than respondents ages 41 to 54 (45%) and 55 and older (40%).
  • Of respondents who said their feelings shifted during Covid-19:
      • More women (65%) than men (56%) expressed interest in working for a company that appreciates its employees during uncertain times.
      • Nearly an equal number of working parents (41%) and professionals without children (39%) reported a desire to place greater focus on personal versus professional activities.

The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from May 14 to May 19. It included responses from more than 1,000 workers 18 years of age or older and normally employed in office environments in the US.