NEW DELHI: Young workers have been hardest hit professionally by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and have displayed significant resilience and agility to future-proof their careers, says a study.
According to a new study by the ADPRI Research Institute, more than 78 per cent of the 18 to 24-year-old cohort said that their professional lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study titled "People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View", further noted that Generation Z (18 to 24 year-olds) indicated they were twice as likely to have been impacted by the pandemic compared to those aged over 55, the oldest age bracket.
ADP Research Institute surveyed 32,471 workers in 17 countries around the world between November 17 and December 11, 2020.
The report explores the effects the pandemic has had on employees' attitudes toward the current world of work, their expectations of and what they hope for in the workplace of the future.
The report noted that two in five (39 per cent) of young workers had lost jobs, was furloughed, or suffered a temporary layoff from their employer, whereas 28 per cent of workers of all ages said the same.
In India, 89 per cent of Generation Z mentioned that they had to choose between work and well-being or family.
They attributed working from home to blurring the boundaries of definitive working hours.
"Generation Z has had to be the most professionally agile of any age group in the face of COVID-19. In India, more than half of young workers say they have taken up additional responsibility for fear of job loss during the pandemic," Rahul Goyal, Managing Director of ADP India & Southeast Asia, said.
Goyal further said "employees often define job security by the reach of their professional network and the ability to tap into relationships to find non-linear jobs that can extend a career.
That's exactly what Generation Z is doing: finding new ways to climb the ladder.
"The unfortunate reality of entering the workforce in a recession is large initial earnings losses, Goyal said, adding that "this triggers significant changes to local labour market structures that can take years to recover from. The more young people can be proactive, the better. COVID-19 has been an emotional burden for the younger generation of workers in India, but they see themselves getting better and stronger through self-motivation, adaptability, and new personal skills. This could have long-term implications for the jobs people do and how they work in the future," Goyal said.