From mentoring to mental health – what are the benefits of being in the office?

August 19, 2021

With Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging workers to return to the office, are young people more likely to benefit from face-to-face interactions in the workplace?

The lifting of restrictions has seen the Government drop its ‘working from home’ advice. And with an influx of graduates now looking to start their careers, furloughed staff re-applying for positions and employers seeking to fill gaps in their workforce – offices could start to fill up once more.

The prospect, says Peterborough recruitment firm Anne Corder Recruitment, is a welcome one – despite recent figures suggesting that one in seven young people in the UK is unemployed.

But while data suggests that job vacancies in the UK are soaring in sectors such as technology and hospitality, competition remains fierce.

Young people have been one of the hardest-hit groups by the pandemic. As well as being one of the groups most affected by unemployment, many college and university students have also missed out on vital work experience opportunities. Last year, three in five firms cancelled workplace placement because of the pandemic.

ACR recruitment partner Judith Broughton said: “We all recognise that so much interaction in the workplace has been lost due to the challenges of the pandemic.

“There are of course huge benefits to be gained from young people being physically in the office rather than learning their job or starting out their apprenticeship/internship via Zoom or Teams.

“Many of us are creatures of habit, craving that social interaction that the workplace offers; either in the form of professional mentoring and guidance, on the job learning or simply benefitting our overall mental health by just being around other people.

“People learn from and bounce off each other; and while the virtual world of work has, and continues to be a huge success for many, for younger people starting off on their career path or those who are relatively new to the working world; being in the office is invaluable in helping them to learn, grown and be supported.”

The comments follow those of Rishi Sunak, who says he would not have done as well if he had worked virtually, saying being in an office was ‘really beneficial for me when I was starting out in my career’.

“The mentors that I found when I first started my job I still talk to, and they’ve been helpful to me all through my career… I doubt I would have had those strong relationships if I was doing my summer internship or my first bit of my career over Teams and Zoom.” he said.