The early parts of 2020 has set up a new way in which we live our day-to-day lives, also including the ways in which we work. As a result of the pandemic, businesses and employers alike have been forced to make radical changes to businesses structure and the staff it maintains.
For those who have managed to keep their positions or secure new opportunities during this period, the workplace how we knew it once before, is certainly not the same. Being able to adapt to future change is key; that may mean getting used to the idea of working remotely permanently, or attaining or being equipped with the necessary digital skills to be able to appeal to employers and keep your career on track.
The question is: What can we do to prepare for the future workplace?
With the introduction of remote working becoming a welcome solution for businesses during the year, and it is likely that many more businesses will opt for remote working to become if not a permanent solution, then a flexible option for employees.
As we look to return to ‘normal’ by getting workers back to the office, virtual offices and meetings has changed the attitude towards hiring candidates based on location.
Employers now understand that flexibility is very important, which from a candidates perspective, is ideal. This is due to the fact that the majority of workers do feel anxious about returning to an office environment permanently.
It’s important for both the employer and the employee to understand what is negotiable and what isn’t.
The health pandemic has had a heavy effect on various industries; leaving them considering future strategies and structures to maintain their services and employees helping to provide those services.
If you’re looking for a post-pandemic workplace or industry to explore, it is necessary to identify those industries in which are seeing an upwards trends. As mentioned before there are some industries that have suffered as a result, such as travel and hospitality, however industries such as finance and baking have done well.
Some industries may take a while to find their feet again, whereas some industries may see some movement fairly soon. Employers have had to make drastic decisions on their staff and business structure. You can judge a business by the way they have dealt with the crisis. This will help you identify the progress businesses are making to recover from the crisis.
Many businesses have adapted towards ‘working from home’ in recent months. Recent by Finder showed that since the UK government imposed a lockdown, 60% of workers were working from home.
Two surveys were conducted in the research; with two thirds of the respondents saying that they were more productive when working from home.
With remote work likely to see an increase going forward (if businesses wish to adopt) this could change the criteria’s when searching for opportunities. Candidates applying for roles within the digital industry will have to accept that the demand for those with digital skills will be greater going forward.
The competitiveness of the job market is also something for candidates to consider. Due to unfortunate circumstances, employees have been made redundant and therefore seeking new challenges. With opportunities limited and a rise in candidates on the lookout, being able to stand out from the competition is vital.
Find out the skills of which are in demand as well as the industries which are seeking talent in those fields.
For more information on redundancy, read: How To Deal With Redundancy
The way in which companies hire will change due to current circumstances. The way potential candidates are screened will see a change and skill requirements will now be essential.
Candidates will have to adapt their skills and Google are offering training to allow individuals to acquire the skills they need. Contractors and freelancers could see an increase in work as companies look to fill skill gaps quickly by hiring temporary and contract roles.
This period will see candidates and jobseekers becoming more independent in their training and development as roles become more flexible and the wish to work remotely could become normality. Picking up a range of skills would be a benefit for those seeking a career in digital, with various avenues to explore.
As remote work could now be a permanent solution for many businesses, the ability to carry out work duties whilst applying the necessary skillset not the only important skill candidates should possess. Soft skills which are often overlooked will become essential on a day-to-day basis.
Being able to communicate effectively is the most important soft skill you’ll need. If you’re working in a team, communication with your peers is vital. Are you able to collaborate in a remote team? Do you check in daily? Which online communication tool is best?
Employers will be looking for employers who are able to stay calm and deal with sudden changes if they occur. With digital and remote work, things can change at any time. This is where your organisational skills come in and if you are more senior, your leadership qualities begin to show.
Working remotely will present challenges of its own. Being able to get the balance right is key. It’s important not to burn yourself out. If working from home, you’ll be in your comfort zone – set a schedule. Freelancers and contractors may work on multiple projects, so having a schedule in tact will make life easier.
We’re not sure what lies ahead in regards to the future of the workplace, however, candidates can continue to improve their skills and monitor the movement in the digital market.