Youth needs face time

To The Times

As a young person who has the misfortune of entering the job market during this crisis, one of the things I’m looking at when applying for jobs is the companies’ attitudes toward home working – unusually, I am looking for companies that are encouraging employees to return to the office. From my perspective, there are many negatives to home working: it’s hard to establish yourself, and even more so to learn from your superiors. It’s difficult to develop relationships and contacts, and as a result it’s hard to imagine a situation in which those working from home would not suffer from lower prospects of advancement. I fear that this move to home working may only serve to entrench the already distinct generational divide. (The Times, 9 Sept 2020)

My take: I think this is a very mature and sensible letter. He is absolutely right. Working from home is like driving a circuitous route through country lanes – you are missing the main traffic on the highway, which arrives at its destination before you. I feel deeply about the young people starting out today. They have less job security and lousy pensions. A very bright and thoughtful young man we know, since leaving university, has had a horrible time getting a job. The competition is fierce and he is pipped at the post by others with “more experience” all the time. The jobs are not there. I fear we are creating a new class of deeply alienated people.

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