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Are Younger Employees Losing Crucial Experience Due to Remote Work?

  • Remote work arrangements becoming more permanent as COVID-19 endures and working from home gains popularity
  • Some business leaders worry that younger workers are missing out on crucial professional development due to remote work
  • Options for improving young workers’ connection to a company

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

With the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19 creating back-to-back disruptions for companies’ plans to return workers to the office, remote work arrangements are gradually growing more permanent. Even before the variants created health concerns, businesses were moving toward more remote or hybrid scheduling options. Employees appreciate how they can offer benefits such as avoiding a commute, while employers can potentially take steps such as reducing their office footprint and saving on operating costs.

However, there are lingering worries that a dearth of in-office work will dampen collaborative efforts and innovation. Some business leaders are also raising a similar concern about remote work: its effect on the professional development of young workers.

These CEOs argue that these employees are more likely to miss out on crucial benefits when working remotely. These include opportunities to build career knowledge and grow their professional network.

  • Younger workers may potentially feel less connected to a company, less engaged, and more isolated when working remotely
  • There are also concerns that remote work keeps younger employees from experiencing the more subtle benefits of an office environment, such as observing employee interactions, an improved sense of company values, and the potential to improve communication skills through more frequent interactions with co-workers
  • Some options for improving younger workers’ connection to the company include social gatherings (either in-person with proper health safeguards or virtual) and making connections via direct e-mail or phone conversations

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