Parmita has over 16 years of experience in corporate and academics. She has been associated in the HR domain during her career span, working with different leading organizations including IBM, Damco Logistics, specializing in areas like L&D, Talent Management, High Potential Development and Change Management. She developed and leads a Strategic Capability Development Program, now a 1 credit course called the ECAP for the EMBA Program. She chartered the S P Jain Toastmasters Club in 2017 and is the Founder President of the Club. Parmita is a DBA student at SPJ. She is an MBA in HR and Marketing, from Amity Business School, Noida-India. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Micro Biology followed by 2 Post Graduate Diplomas in Personnel Management and Public Relations.
The famous pandemic has changed the way of work for years now effective 2019, leaving employers and employees ponder about what and how the future of work would be post Covid. Many questions which come to our mind may include –
Most jobs have already been affected and how far will this go? Will the organizations move to a hybrid – in office and remote work model permanently after things settle, or no? Would organizations focus on digital transformation versus productivity? Which skills will be in demand? How can employee and employers be ready for the future of changes?
Various surveys and talks are revolving around the post pandemic future of work after examining critical aspects and from many such inferences the below 6 points can be thought over or considered.
- Need for reskilling
Looks like the disruptions would create the need of reskilling post the pandemic. Only in the US alone, by a recent survey conducted by McKinsey Global Institute states that ‘17 million workers will need to change occupations by 2030’; which typically means that their jobs would change completely; triggering the need to reskill workforce. Various organizations are taking relevant measures to reskill their workforce for fulfilling the need of the hour. As individuals as well we should be analyzing the need of reskilling within our strategic career planning.
- Hybrid work model including remote working and in person
‘Remote working’ is here to stay. The work from home experiment has successfully taught workforce the power of resilience and adaptability; no matter how technology challenges you; the need to sustain and learn stays above. Now employees think of creating impact over virtual meetings; with no travel oversees or offices; negotiation and conflict management via the online space or medium. There has been an organic acceptance to the ‘work remotely yet effectively’ concept.
Many employers have shifted to the remote work models permanently. Similarly, for employees to be able to work from home at least some days in a week becomes a key expectation in selecting new jobs.
- Growing Demand of E commerce
Usage of e-commerce will grow to ever-reaching heights in the future – post pandemic time, as virtual transactions (including online retail stores; online clothing stores; food/ high end restaurant delivery, online grocery, online education, and telemedicine etc. and etc.) is growing lengths. Customers today have a feel of an in store shopping experience within online shopping which is not only time and option convenient; but also delightful and pocket friendly.
Pandemic has indeed cut down business travels to minimum – conferences, business meetings – are all happening online now. The lesser business travels will be compensated for Leisure travels as ‘family and friends get together’ post Covid times would be on top priority to enhance social bonding.
- More Adoption of Automation
The sense of urgency has been created to invest in and implement new automated systems and services. Automation is seen as a measure to economic recovery post Covid. Success stories of growth of Warehouse automation and within the manufacturing space or to the increase end to-end supply-chain transparency; automation is proving to be the best.
EY reported recently, that organizations who implemented automation before the crisis began; were the one who were facing less problems and was able to strive through productivity and maintain business growth during and after the pandemic; it also says further certain products like robotic process automation (RPA) software is immensely helpful for organization success.
- Importance of Workforce data
Organizations should have right analytics and technology to leverage on workforce data. Such analytical framework, would be helpful to organization to understand its people better who would be working more remotely now often than before and also to create a healthy organization culture, employee engagement, employee wellbeing and improve efficiency, and productivity and leadership accountability.
- Organizations to make DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) a post-pandemic priority
No matter how difficult ‘DEI’ implementation may practically sound; it is a notable topic today for consideration for all organizations to maintain healthy workspace. A McKinsey study in 2020 had stated companies which have a diverse workforce are 25% more successful than the lesser ones. Even while navigating through the pandemic this criterion cannot be missed. Ensuring ‘DEI’ is beyond diversity recruitment; it is ensuring equity and inclusion as well. This pandemic has taught us that we can work together remotely while being flexible, collaborative and accountable. Empathy needs to be into the workspace; mental and physical health of employees and helping out in ‘work life balance’ seems important. Companies like Amazon always brings employee first; takes regular feedbacks from them and marks improvements.
Are we prepared for the future workplace post Covid?
One thing that is certain is that ‘adaptability is constant’. As the new normal changes the nature of work; we, as corporate leaders need to examine work trends impact and implement the necessary technology needed to construct the way forward. Digital transformation is the need of the hour to ensure smooth organizational functioning. Workforce analytics is a must for proper people management. Automation and other required technologies is to be aligned with the organization goals.
Also, organizations should show efforts to build in an emotionally intelligent and resilient workplace, one that is equipped to face the VUCA world and face business challenges.
As individuals it is important for all of us to be able to understand the need of reskilling and upgrading one’s core strengths and doing a SWOT analysis on self and one’s career periodically.