The pandemic has brought untold suffering to people across the globe. Many have lost their lives, or those of friends and family members. To examine the purely economic effects of Covid-19 without addressing that fact would be tasteless at best. However, it is important to measure the lesser effects of the virus in order to determine which groups require more support in terms of work and life.
The HR tech platform Connectr has drawn up a list of the five groups most affected by the emotional hardship and economic losses which have come with the pandemic. On the economic side, they considered factors such as lost salary, missed employment opportunities, and time wasted. On the emotional side, they considered increased stress, discrimination, and additional time pressures.
They found that the most affected group has been unrepresented talent, meaning people who have had less access to support networks and technology who may also face discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background. Connectr has found that people from lower socio-economic backgrounds will take 25% longer to develop their careers than others. The problem gets worse when race is considered. For example, the research shows that career development takes an average of 32% longer for black people of lower socio-economic backgrounds.
The hospitality industry is the second most affected group, as long-term furloughs drained the industry during 2020 and 2021. Facing increasing customer abuse, changing guidelines, and an uncertain future, many of these employees have found new fields of work, leaving a shortage in the hospitality industry.
University and school students ranked third and fourth, respectively, as learning in both groups was severely interrupted by Covid-19. For university students, online classes meant fewer networking opportunities and a lesser depth of learning. Coupled with the fact that many internships and recruitment opportunities were cut, the classes of 2020 and 2021 have been left at a disadvantage. For school students, the face-to-face interaction with peers and teachers disappeared. The soft skills learned through human interaction during this crucial period of development are oftentimes some of the most important things one learns in school, and these were lost during the pandemic. Even worse, students who did not have access to quality internet and necessary technology were often left behind.
The fifth and final group on the list is new starters, or those who had recently moved into a new role when the pandemic hit. Because learning through action and experience is extremely important for a greenhorn employee’s progression in their chosen field, advancement has been slowed for those who have started their careers from home.
As we continue to manage and live with the pandemic, it is hoped that these disadvantages can be reversed, and those lucky enough to escape this period without facing physical and severe emotional losses will undoubtably do their best to persevere. But for many, Covid-19 is not over, and the effects will be long-lasting.