Has your business started to consider what the future of work will look like, in a post COVID world?
There was a time recently, when it appeared governments, economies and workforces were poised to return to some semblance of ‘normality’ (whatever that is in a 2020 context!). It seemed the ‘flattening of the curve’ was working.
Right now, as of July 2020, there’s a resurgence or second round of infection taking place, both here in Australia (notably Melbourne), and across other cities globally. Just as governments were starting to lift pandemic restrictions, hope was being restored into public sentiment. Yet now, almost as quickly, borders are being shuttered and a tightening of pandemic rules are underway.
What does all this mean for your organisation, and your concept of the ‘future of work’? Have you thought about this?
It’s pretty clear now, that a return to full ‘normality’, in the wake of COVID will be unlikely in 2020. Perhaps not even in 2021. As we keep hearing in the media… these are certainly unprecedented times.
In Australia, we’re on the brink of recession. Of this there is no doubt. So, a vision on the ‘future of work’ right now, is more about recovery in the short term.
Yet prior to COVID – what seems for many of us, like a lifetime ago – the future of work was focused on issues including:
- generational diversity in the workforce
- the various impacts of technology
- the rising numbers of contingent workers
- skills shortages
- data-driven talent and workforce decisions
…amongst other issues.
But now? The current employment and economic situation will undoubtedly and irretrievably change what the future of work holds for all of us.
Don’t forget this: how we work, and how we adapt to the market and technology changes – irrespective of a global pandemic – is critical to understand for industry and economies to flourish.
During the past couple of months, the ‘future of work’ topic has, not surprisingly, taken a back seat in our collective mindset. Instead, we’ve been heavily focused on the rampant industry discussions about the impact of the pandemic and the potential crises it poses.
Can you blame us?
But now, as we remain in the midst of this crisis, it’s important to consider the impact of the pandemic, on the future of work.
At a very basic level, as we are armed with so little knowledge about the virus, uncertainty remains a constant.
We (and the government and the health experts) can’t predict recovery timeframes. We don’t know when the economy can properly ‘restart’. No-one knows when workers can comfortably, and safely return back to the office. There’s much discussion about a ‘new normal’: the inference being, things will never go back to how they were.
And it’s this point that we find interesting.
So in our latest eBook, we’ve undertaken a review of what many industry experts are saying about the future of work in a post COVID world. These insights have been a real discovery for us…and there’s plenty here for us all to take on board.
We’ve identified eight key factors which we see as crucial considerations for organisations to be across now, in preparation for a post-COVID future of work. These are:
- Remote working will become the new normal
- The considerations here are many. These include a refreshed approach to workforce risk management; worker productivity and output management; talent engagement; and the potential impact remote working may have on organisational culture
- The importance of meritocracy
- Remote working comes with real challenges for some workers. Merit based recognition will be more heavily relied upon, but business leaders can’t expect everyone to adapt with ease. The meritocracy isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ model, and must be embraced with caution
- Contingent workers are an important talent solution
- This is true particularly during post-COVD workplaces, as businesses restart operations in a more traditional sense. Specialist skills and fast-tracking projects that were potentially shelved during the pandemic, can be greatly assisted by contingent workers
- The power of the short-term workforce
- Contract or short-term workers will play a heavier role, as economies work to regaining momentum. During the pandemic, many organisations were redeploying workers, or assisting them with securing short-term contracts elsewhere. This situation may well hold true post-pandemic
- The downside of working in a post COVID world
- For Australia, and the entire globe, some of the grim realities include the likelihood of long-term unemployment; many SME’s will simply not survive this crisis; small business will be focused on better servicing debt, rather than investing in their business amongst other confronting factors
- Digitisation fast track
- With fundamental shifts to how we work, many companies are fast-tracking the digitisation of their operations. Those with the dexterity and resources to achieve this, are also relying on contingent workers to realise a robust digital operation
- The role of data
- From employee monitoring to better understanding customer engagement and sales, data’s role in the future of work is considered more crucial now, than the pre-pandemic era. As workforces remain fragmented, and WFH a constant, data-driven decision-making will drive greater success for organisations
- Impact on the employer brand
- There’s a general thinking that the employer brand will take one of two definite directions: a boost in worker engagement due to the organisation’s care for workers during the pandemic; or a massive slide if worker needs or considerations aren’t recognised.
Amazing how, back in January 2020, when we were researching and discussing the future of work, and what’s in store for 2020, how much has changed.
As long as you can adapt, your workforce and your business will get through this tough time.
To download the eBook, ‘What does the future of work look like, in a post COVID world?’, simply complete the form below:
As one of the world’s leading providers of contingent worker management solutions, CXC is well positioned to optimise all elements of your contingent workforce strategy. With operations in more than 50 countries across five continents and decades of experience, we can assist with every aspect of your program.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help please contact us here.