Post-COVID, Watch out for These 7 Work Trends
You’ve probably accepted by now that things aren’t going back to “normal” as we knew it. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the economy forever. So what comes next? In some cases, acceleration of shifts that were already in motion; in others, brand-new directions. HR experts have been weighing in:
No. 1: Increase in remote working
Polls show that nearly half the workforce will be remote at least part of the time in the coming year. Make sure mechanics like evaluations and incentive programs are remote-friendly for the future.
No. 2: Expanded data collection
Bosses are keeping a closer eye on work computer use, emails, and other digital data to gauge productivity and employee engagement. Key concerns will include ensuring that all data collection is ethical and secure.
No. 3: Contingent worker expansion
Nonstandard “gig economy” work models were common before the pandemic, but now even the most traditional companies are relying on contingent labour to stay afloat. The use of freelancers and other temporary workers presents unique challenges for HR, including how to apply benefits and evaluate performance.
No. 4: Expanded employer role as social safety net
As social services struggle under increased need, more companies have taken on a role of intervention in community financial and health needs.
No. 5: Separation of critical skills and roles
The pandemic has forced a shift in mindset from valuing strategic roles to valuing skills essential to operation. Developing critical skills should be a key priority regardless of role.
No. 6: (De-)Humanisation of employees
Crisis drew a sharp contrast between those who saw employees mainly for their humanity, and those who saw them mainly for their labour. In these times, HR professionals can lead companies to a more ethical worldview.
No. 7: Transition from designing for efficiency to designing for resilience
In 2019, data showed that over half of all organizational redesigns in business were focused on efficiency, rather than weather-proofing for the future. Well, oops.
The good news is that the turmoil of the past several months has helped us all grow. Resilience-focused changes are expected to predominate going forward as organisations learn from their mistakes and focus on sustainability.