The pandemic has forced organizations to reset the work culture globally, and HR leaders are left brainstorming about new ways that can help improve the way work is done. Sure enough, with the pandemic, organizations have been creative. And while there are certain things that would go back to how they once were once the pandemic is over, there are things that would remain changed, too.
So, while we all mull over that, let’s see what work would look like post the pandemic, and how we’re inching closer and closer to the digital future.
Current Trends That Will Benefit the Work in the Future:
- Remote working: As we have normalized remote working, businesses have become more resilient, and employees have more flexible work schedules. The best part is people can work from anywhere in the world. A poll by Gartner showed that before the pandemic, 30% of employees were likely to work remotely, and this percentage will increase up to 48% post-pandemic. Remote working has increased opportunities for the candidates who cannot travel to work and are based in remote locations. Remote working has increased the focus of companies on employee experience. Employers are now using technology to track work, clocking in and out, and monitoring employee e-mails and chats to improve the employee experience.
- Remote hiring: Recruitment has become a much simpler task with the availability of platforms and tools for assessment and interview like imocha. The hiring process is now much faster and efficient, and recruiters can bring the best talent on board as the selection of candidates is not limited to a specific area.
The entire process is now done online, be it online skill assessment or onboarding. With the right tools and practices in place, organizations have ensured that the candidate experience is at the forefront.
- Digital transformation: The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in small-scale businesses. From getting groceries and food delivered at home, online shopping to digital financial services, everyone has jumped the bandwagon of digitalization.
When offices reopen, we may see an increase in the use of technology that will prevent employees from touching surfaces or doors. For example, voice-operated technology or facial recognition technology, etc. Earlier communication technology was to reduce online communication between employees and make the work process fast and efficient. Now, the work has encouraged over-communication among employees. Therefore, these technologies are highly focused on giving better online communication experience.
- E-learning: There is a growth in e-learning platforms and options. The education sector has completely shifted to online learning and companies are focusing on upskilling practices. With this, skills are being dispersed to a more diverse workforce.
Moreover, better knowledge and a diverse skillset would be required for chasing the ambitious goals post the pandemic. Hence, for employees and businesses, learning and development have become essential to sustain during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Challenges Post the Pandemic:
- Stability in profit: Although businesses have become more resilient, it won't be the same thing in the long run as everyone would try to chase ambitious goals to gain profits. Employees will have a tough time to face post-pandemic if their companies try to achieve unrealistic targets. Hence, businesses need to make a plan or strategize how they want to make profits while keeping the health of their employees in mind.
- Infrastructure and personnel management: Infrastructure costs have reduced in a pandemic but employees need a workstation to be set up at their homes. This has distributed the workforce and companies are facing difficulty in personnel management. Before the pandemic, these processes were streamlined. But post-pandemic, the situation of the workplace and workforce will be uncertain, which will make managing employees and resources challenging.
- Personal interaction: Even though business-as-usual might resume, there would still be distancing. In just four months, our interactions and how we conduct business have undergone major changes. From worrying about clocking in late to not having to commute, work life’s up for an overhaul.
Although technology has enabled interaction adequate to work, the challenges remain as we face difficulty in conducting meetings. Many things require personal interaction. For example, appraisal and employee engagement activities, which are believed to be best done in person. Hence, work will remain a challenge without personal interaction.
- Difficult for women: According to a survey conducted by the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the COVID-19 pandemic proves to be especially difficult for women working in startups and MSMEs. The survey shows that women are likely to lose jobs due to poor management. Although women can also find jobs easily as the opportunities for remote working have increased, women are still likely to struggle with employment opportunities and work challenges.
Impacting almost every field, COVID-19 has helped us transition into a world of automation and has brought about a drastic shift in the way we operate. While this certainly doesn’t mean loss in work or increase in work necessarily, it does mean adapting newer technology.