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As we near the end of 2021, it is hard to believe that we are almost two years into a global pandemic, united in the challenges that we have all been presented with. From discussions with both candidates and clients, the below are some professional and personal challenges that many of us will be able to identify with.


Emerging as a key issue during the pandemic, parents were faced with a lack of childcare facilities. Whether it be full closure due to lockdown, or children at home due to COVID symptoms, this has continuously placed a huge strain on those who are working from home, whilst trying to care for their children.

“Childcare and caring responsibilities emerged as key issues during the pandemic with 52% of respondents indicating that this had affected productivity and 50% reporting that managers had to redistribute work among staff to facilitate caring responsibilities within the workforce. Further four in five reported that caring responsibilities caused problems for people working remotely and 64% said this would pose obstacles for people returning to work onsite.” (The CIPD HR Practices in Ireland 2021 Survey)

picture of empty daycare
How will childcare change in the coming years?

Remote working challenges

What has undoubtedly been a positive outcome of the pandemic, remote working has not been without its challenges for some. Candidates have reported a lack of “sense of self”, without having the opportunity to have face to face conversations, coffees, and social outings, with work colleagues. Although methods of communication are better than ever before, the lack of visibility and human contact has been debilitating for some.

Hence, we are seeing a common trend of a hybrid working model, which allows for a couple of days from home, and the remainder in the office, resulting in a strong work/life balance.

Taking Holidays/the inability to switch off

Unfortunately, we have less opportunity to jet off at a moments notice. With that being said, it is so important to take some days together, whether it is just to recharge or have a duvet day.

I am guilty myself of taking days off here and there, but without a few days back-to-back, you are depriving yourself of the opportunity to take valuable time out, which in turn will increase your productivity upon your return.

picture of airplane in cloudy sky
Travel restrictions and safety concerns have cut into holidays

Another trend which has been mentioned repeatedly, is that without the physical act of walking out of those office doors after a days work, it seems we are more inclined to consistently check our emails into the night.

This may seem like a positive to some employers, but ultimately the blurred line between home and work life will lead to burn out in employees.

Have you experienced any of the above topics recently? Has it made you reconsider your working environment? I would be delighted to have a confidential chat and advise you on your 2022 career move.

Eimear Murphy Monks email and phone number image


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