Lately every commercial, email, and news story seems to be using the same phrase: “uncertain times.” It’s true that the moment we are living in is rather unstable. Our lives are certainly changing, and it can be hard to keep up with these changes especially as they relate to our work.
As recruiters we are constantly keeping an eye out for ways in which the job market and skills needs are shifting. Keeping up-to-date on paradigm shifts in the way we work and future job requirements will help you in determining best practices for our new set of priorities and norms in a time that is so uncertain.
For example, working from home may be the new normal. Working from home is by no means new, but before the pandemic only about 31% of people worked from home, compared to 63% by the beginning of May of this year. COVID-19 has propelled forward the normalization of working from home by at least 10 years. Along with our new “work-from-anywhere” workplace comes a much heavier reliance on technology. From contactless payments to the proliferation of online meetings now being held, tech is an integral part of the work-from-anywhere model.
Technology that supports our current work-from-anywhere models such as Zoom and Slack have been rapidly introduced to many offices over the last few months and it is unlikely that their usage will be lessened even after shelter-in-place (SIP) orders have been lifted. The result will be a work environment that looks much different from pre COVID-19, even after people are allowed to go back to work. These and other new technologies can have a steep learning curve but failing to adapt to them may put you behind your competitors and leave you at a strategic disadvantage. For more information on how to keep up with the ever changing tech sector we suggest exploring the advice of this Forbes article.
The continued integration of technology into our work processes may have further reaching effects than just different modes of work. New technology coupled with a unwillingness to work within close quarters of others may accelerate automation in industrial sectors. This means many industrial workers may very well be losing their current positions, and those job slots are unlikely to come back even after the pandemic passes. Replacing them will be new technology-geared positions. With proper training in technologies of the future, existing industrial workers could transition into newly created roles.
According to Brian Kropp, Vice President at the research firm Gartner, another job segment that may experience further contraction in the near future are middle management roles for large corporations. After the 2008 financial crisis, middle managers across the board lost their jobs as companies evaluated which positions were necessary for the function of the business and found many middle management positions non-essential. For small to mid-size companies this presents an opportunity to more easily hire strong managers with a wealth of experience earned from years of working at a larger firm.
Trends in the workplace can be hard to keep up with, but we hope that you can use this article’s information and recommendations proactively to ensure your future success.
Let us know how you’ve been overcoming obstacles in your new work environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We would love to hear your feedback!
written by Nina Medernach