More than half of UK workers – 53% – plan to make changes to their careers in the next 12 months as a direct result of the Coronavirus pandemic, a reminder to employers to ensure apt support and benefits are in place alongside more flexible working.
Insurer, Aviva’s How We Live Report finds the most popular career aspiration emerging from the crisis is the desire for flexibility. One in 10 (10%) UK workers say that in the next 12 months, they aim to find a role that will allow them to work from home.
The desire to work from home is strongest in London where one in six (16%) of workers intend to find a role which will allow them to work remotely. This compares to just three per cent or workers in the East of England.
Just behind the hope for flexibility is the aspiration to retrain or learn new skills, a plan for 9% of UK workers. This rises to 15% of people aged 25-34. Echoing this view, 8% of workers hope to gain more academic qualifications in the next 12 months.
Covid-19 has also expedited some people’s retirement plans. Within the 55-64 age group, 10% of workers say they plan to retire within the next 12 months, as a direct result of the Covid situation.
The How We Live report also found that almost half of the nation’s adults (45%) have tried their hand at new hobbies in 2020, provoking further ideas for career changes.
Six per cent of hobbyists intend to transform a hobby into a career – equating to just over 2 million(1) workers – while a further 9% - equivalent to just over 3 million(1) workers – plan to gain a second source of income through their new side-line.
Gareth Hemming, MD, Personal Lines, for Aviva commented on the findings of the survey: “The additional time at home and the temporary closure of many services has meant that people have found different ways to use their time, and in some cases developed new skills.
“Lockdown has also allowed time to reflect on lifestyles and vocations, so it’s possible that innovative career paths may be forged, making use of these new talents.
“People planning to work from home in the future on a long-term basis may need to review their home insurance requirements. Many policies include cover for office equipment, which provides peace of mind for those people who work from home either permanently or occasionally.
“However, a standard home insurance policy may not be adequate if someone wishes to run a business from their home, particularly if they have stock on site or customers visiting their property. If they’re in any doubt, workers should speak to their insurance provider, to make sure they have the right level of cover for buildings, contents and business.”
You can read the Aviva press release in full here.
The ‘How We Live Report’ uses data from a survey of 4,002 randomly selected UK adults aged 16 and upwards, carried out by Censuswide Research on behalf of Aviva between 10-17 July 2020. The study of career aspirations relates to the views of 2,445 employed people who were interviewed as part of this survey.
(1) Based on ONS estimates of 34,295,000 economically active people aged 16 and above (March – May 2020).