The world’s trying to return to normal – or a different version of whatever that was pre-COVID. Radical changes to the working environment such as flexible hours, remote offices and virtual interaction have been talked about for a while but until now these practices have been the preserve of the gig economy. Note that this is already a significant chunk of the UK labour-force (c.16%), rather condescendingly referred to as those working in ‘precarious employment’. However, as we emerge from lockdown we will find that having once been a dim silhouette on the horizon these changes to working practice are looming large, their approach has accelerated and some things will have changed for ever.
THIS IS GREAT NEWS.
Change has got to be good because it was far from perfect before. Evolution is inevitable – ask around – and if you were dreading the prospect of life as a daily commuter working 9-5 in an office then as a catalyst for change Coronavirus has done many of us an enormous favour.
We’ve talked about this before in a previous blog (Evolve, or risk missing out Feb 25th) and if there’s a common theme running through all the changes that result from upheaval to the traditional working environment it is that the employee holds many of the cards.
Within the next 5 years, Millennials (those born 1977-1997) will make up 75% of the workforce with the vast majority of the balance made up of Generation Z (anybody born post-1997). Think of all those who are retiring, to be replaced by those with new ideas, new approaches and new strategies. Of course this will always have been the case, but not in an era when the pace of technological change has been so extraordinary, and not when we’ve seen how it might actually work in practice due to an enforced period of experimentation. Employers have known that change was inevitable but if they were waiting to see who blinked first, everybody blinked at once.
Employees are going to have a louder voice. They will have more say in how things get done and management – if it exists at all – will have to put in place a new way of doing things. Collaboration and sharing of information is going to play a major part in deciding where resources are allocated, which projects sink or swim and who plays what role. Employers will save themselves fortunes by reducing office space requirements for working from home is not only doable but has benefits. Gone are the days when everybody needs to be in the office at the same time. Flexible working hours will become routine, the work-life balance will adjust so that people can allocate time and energies to things which are important to them, and this may or may not be salaried duties 100% of the time. One thing’s for sure, it was never the case that employees perform at their best only within traditional working hours.
But remember, if you’re looking for a job some things haven’t changed:
You’ve still got to get noticed, you’ve still got to win that interview and once employed you’re still going to have to deliver what’s expected of you. Requirements for CV structure, LinkedIn profile, cover-letter content and subsequent interview performance are crucial to get right, and with the release of pent-up demand perhaps even more so than ever.
Your exam for the day will take moments. Here’s a random sample of 10 things you might not have thought were important to know. There’ll be billions more examples out there. Get in touch to find out what they are.