FOR most of us, the events of the last 21 months have changed the way we see the world of work.

Almost three-quarters of employees say the pandemic has made them re-evaluate their career path, according to new research.

And 59 per cent of those recently applying for a job are looking for a complete career change.

The research was carried out by Escape The City, an organisation which encourages people to look for work they find rewarding.

Co-founder Dom Jackman said: “The pandemic has had a profound impact. Jobseeker behaviour has fundamentally changed.”

Work-life balance

Hannah Brill, 28, a former marketing manager for London-based charity Mental Health UK, was battling to afford a flat in the capital with boyfriend Ed Nelson, 30, a conference organiser.

But when the pandemic saw both their jobs go virtual, the couple realised they could work from anywhere and moved to Granada in Spain.

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Hannah said: “House prices in London are staggering. After working for months from our rented flat, we realised it was possible to do a great job without commuting.

“I’ve cut my working days to four. Ed now only needs to work one or two days a week while we renovate our property. We now enjoy a better work-life balance.”

Lauren Thomas, an economist with employer review site, said: “Next year is looking to continue to be a jobseeker’s market and the tight labour conditions will empower employees to demand more of their employers.”

Here, the company reveals its predictions for how work will look in 2022.

Increased power for jobseekers:

With high numbers of vacancies and record numbers of workers quitting in “The Great Resignation”, only the most creative employers can be sure of hiring and retaining in this environment.

Remote work will boost access to top talent and drive up salaries:

The number of remote-work jobs is up eightfold on 2019. Employers hiring locally will have to pay more as staff can work for firms in any location from home.

Companies’ commitments on diversity and inclusion will be given increased focus:

Almost three-quarters of job-hunters are seeking firms that champion diversity — and those which don’t are being called out.

Employees want a career and a community, not just a job:

The rise in remote and hybrid working has seen workplaces change. Office table tennis and fruit boxes have made way for wellbeing days and mental health support.

The pandemic hasn’t changed what drives job satisfaction:

The key points jobseekers prioritise are still company culture and values, followed by quality of senior leadership and the ability to get promoted within the company.


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CHRISTMAS parties were meant to celebrate a return to normality but Omicron has seen many cancelled.

Gill McAteer, head of employment law at Citation, gives her verdict on what companies need to consider.

Are employers responsible for party health and safety? Yes, because the party is a work event.

Can we only invite vaccinated staff? A “jabbed-only” event would divide the workforce. It could lead to claims of discrimination.

What are the risks to the business? Workers off sick and self-isolating. Employers could be held responsible for this.

Should we ask staff to take a lateral flow test? Testing workers can help control the risk of transmission at the event.

What about partygoers wearing masks? Employers should consider numbers attending, whether people are seated or mingling and if there’s good ventilation with regard to masks.

If we can’t have a party, should we scrap all Christmas social events? Not necessarily. Smaller team and outdoor events and virtual parties are options.


OVER 100 top employers have teamed up to hire homeless people in a new diversity drive.

Bupa, Getir, Tossed and Wahaca have partnered with ethical recruitment platform to take on people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To ensure candidates are “work-ready”, Beam crowdfunds new job costs including training, childcare and travel.

Alex Stephany, CEO of Beam, said: “By preparing hundreds of homeless people for the world of work, we’re tackling one of the biggest inequalities in society, while providing employers with access to overlooked talent.”


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THE success of the Great British Bake Off has seen an increase in the number of people setting up their own home baking firm.

Insurer Simply Business has recorded a 157 per cent growth in bakery firm policies over the last year.

The South West is the most popular region to set up a baking firm, with numbers more than doubling in a year.

Alan Thomas, the insurance firm’s CEO, said: “Small businesses are vital to the recovery of the UK economy.

“The fact so many aspiring cake makers and bakers are taking the leap is extremely encouraging to see.”

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