Due to their employers’ response, more than a quarter of employees who worked from home during lockdown are re-considering their careers.

According to research from Canada Life, 27 per cent of people who worked from home are thinking about changing their careers whilst over one in every five employees (23 per cent) wish to change companies. The same amount of workers (23 per cent) are thinking of becoming self-employed and setting up their own company after working from home.

This confirms the results of a LinkedIn report which saw 38 per cent of executives state that they expected employees to be resistant to returning to work and 39 per cent of leaders believing that the company culture had changed due to remote working.

Employees have stated their requests in order to retain them – including over a quarter (26 per cent) desiring flexible working hours, under a fifth (17 per cent) asking for their company to arrange a better office setup when working from home and 15 per cent asking for employers to enable access to better mental health support for employees and to address issues like presenteeism in the workplace.

Paul Avis, the Canada Life group insurance marketing director, said:

Now we’re coming out the other side of lockdown, employees are starting to think about their futures and what they want from their working lives. In some instances, lockdown has become a period of reflection and some now want a complete career change, while others are thinking about moving companies. As a result, employers could face a retention challenge and potentially a talent gap, and a dip in productivity. It can cost up to £30,000 to replace a member of staff, so the business case alone for investing in staff retention is compelling. And for those that remain, there will be additional work to be covered, so mental health and wellbeing support will become increasingly important, as it has been throughout the COVID-19 crisis.



*Canada Life conducted research among 2,001 UK adults, of which 624 have been working from home during lockdown 3rd July – 7th July 2020, conducted by Opinium Research.

** LinkedIn surveyed 250+ C-level executives in the UK in order to obtain these results.




Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.