Most young UK staff say they’ve forgotten how to do work chat


More than half of young employees in the UK say working from home during the pandemic has taken a toll on their office conversation skills, potentially harming their career progression and pay.

That’s according to a survey by LinkedIn, which also found that 84% felt “out of practice” when it came to office life, including speaking to clients and delivering presentations.

The British workforce’s newest recruits have suffered the most from missing out on networking opportunities and the chance to learn by “osmosis” by working physically alongside colleagues, said Janine Chamberlin, the networking website’s UK country manager.

The survey questioned more than 1,000 people aged 16 to 34.

Of 250 UK executives also polled by LinkedIn, nine in 10 agreed that young people’s professional development had been stunted, and 55% were planning to boost budgets for social events to help young staff compensate for lost time.

Such investment is necessary because “office-based skills developed through conversations with colleagues could lead to bigger things like promotions and pay rises,” Chamberlin added.

It’s all part of a charm offensive to lure workers back to the office. McKinsey & Co. has said that not only do cubicle farms need to be eradicated, but “offices must be places of magic.” Other firms such as PwC are offering staff cash bonuses that it suggests they may use to refresh their office wardrobe or buy a bike for commuting. – Bloomberg

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