It’s a new world order, and the way we live is changing faster than we could ever have imagined. Who could have foreseen that the businesses that will survive in the first quarter of 2020 will only be those with activities that can be carried out remotely? This is a change we never saw coming, and which many businesses were not prepared for. But the change is here, and it’s only right that companies learn to adapt to the new trend.
The tides have changed quickly in the labor market, and while some opportunities are disappearing, others are surfacing. Now, it’s all about the issue of value. Those that are less valuable to their companies are losing their jobs. Some roles are vacant and need competent persons to take them up. These, amongst other trends, are what we will be looking at in this article, as the world is trying so hard to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effect of the Lockdown on Labor Market
In a recent report, several millions of jobs are at risk if the lockdown continues for months. In fact, the study was specific to reporting that about a fifth of all workers are under threat. This is indicating to the fact that some sectors of the economy that are not regarded as essentials may hit rock bottom.
The good news, however, is that several people are adapting their skillset and expertise in taking on new roles. While there is a drastic job loss in several wholesale, retail, hotel, restaurant, and pubs businesses, the digital infrastructure of the world is fostering remote jobs. However, in spite of these shifts in the way we work, the economy is still taking a hit. This is simply telling of the importance of the labor market. Your job is important to the growth and sustenance of the country.
The crash in the labor market is synonymous with the crash in the economy, and this calls for real-time evolution in the way the labor market functions. For countries that are mainly driven by the labor market, the lockdown has resulted in the state stepping in to ease the pressure on families. But, there is only a limit to how long this can persist.
The effect is currently detrimental to the labor market, which lays emphasis on the drastic change to the future of work. There is no telling that the section of the labor market faring efficiently in this period is the remote section of jobs.
The world has changed, a new way of life, and doing business is emerging, startups are springing up, and companies are working entirely remotely. The labor market is fast-changing, and many don’t seem to recognize this fact. This is a shift, and you, as a job seeker, need to be ready.
Realities of Jobs during COVID-19 Pandemic
The way we work has changed forever. Those that are not ready for this shift will be left behind, except they learn to adapt to the change. This change is happening in real-time, and very few are noticing it. Remote work is what are holding several companies together.
While this change has not been easy so far, we keep learning of ways to make things better. People are redoing their schedules to match up with the new conditions they have to work with. It started out being a difficult thing to pull through. However, time has helped workers with adjusting.
The truth is, the skill set required to land a job at this moment is different from what used to be expected. Now, to be on the earning side, you need the basics of a computer, internet connection, smart devices, etc. You need soft skills, programming knowledge, writing knowledge. Most of these factors weren’t necessary in the pre-Covid world. One thing is, however, sure, the Covid world and the post-Covid world requires these skills.
The workflow of companies has been facilitated with the presence of emails, video conferencing platforms, chat rooms, amongst others. Several companies are resigning to the fact that they wouldn’t be resuming back to work when the COVID-19 pandemic is over. If companies can work entirely remotely at this time, then there is no need to rent or have a physical space for meetings. The internet infrastructure over the year has developed to a level where it can facilitate these needs.
Another major shift is the fact that the 8-hours work period will be obliterated. This is because workers are online all the time. Now, this may have a downside, in that it’s easy to lose track of time apportioned to work. The onus will then lie on the worker to set up a system that fits in work, with family time, with personal time, leisure, etc. The boundary has to be set by the individual, as the traditional work time boundaries are no longer there.
This makes it harder for workers to maintain a good quality of life, which means it’s time to learn how to balance work with the usual way of life in whole different settings.
What now is the Future of Work?
In the past years, there have been many speculations about what the future of work will look like, how robots and other automated systems will replace people. These speculations went further to foresee a future of more collaborative teams, the need for emotional intelligence, amongst other factors that depict the need for smarter humans in the workplace. All these speculations and forecasts certainly didn’t put the Covid-19 pandemic in perspective. A couple of months ago, no one would believe there can ever be a disease outbreak that will put the world on its knees and result in total lockdown.
While many agreed that this is a revolution and the pieces of evidence are seen in the way we are currently doing work, and how others are planning to work post-covid, it is still left to be globally established; what would you need to work in the future.
No matter how vague the future is right now, some factors and elements are bound to influence the way we work in the future.
There is bound to be innovation and evolution in the way the internet fosters working. The science-fiction world we have always seen on TV is bound to come at us faster than we ever imagined. The digital transformation of the world is bound to be accelerated. Information will be available to anyone and everyone. This will result in getting jobs done faster, and with more flexibility
Also, due to the increased focus of the agenda, there is no need for extensive PowerPoint presentations, leading to a drastic reduction in the time spent meeting.
Drastic reduction in the number of middle managers and consultants
Intermediaries and consultants have been an intrinsic part of the traditional way of working, for a long time. However, this is bound to change as we head forward into the future. There will be a reduced need for project managers, nor executive assistants, and the roles of managers will be gone. Rather than managers, more and more organizations will adopt ‘leaders’.
Reduced Business Trips
Business trips have always been a getaway from office work, but this is changing, as communication between potential partners, investors, and colleagues will be digital. Right from your living room, you can reach out to, communicate with, and win over the signature of investors and partners in other countries. This revolution is upon us.
Increased use of remote and freelance workers
The gig economy has fared well so far. However, there is bound to be a surge in the number of people working from home. Companies will be looking to cut down on staff, in favor of hiring freelance workers when needed. Other than this, most full-time workers would also need to work from home. This is a new dawn for remote working.