If nothing else, these few years following the COVID19 pandemic, and people struggling to balance out the lost time and revenue had a great impact. It has surely changed the working landscape forever. More people prefer flexible options to regular commuting to work. And organizations seeking to cut costs are now on the rise. It is critical for any serious-minded individual to prepare for changes in the world of work. And watch out for new trends that will affect the future of work beginning from this year 2023.
Hybrid Work Options for Social Services and Front-line Workers
Workers in professional fields such as healthcare, education and manufacturing yearn for more flexibility in their work and rightly so. Just as their colleagues who handle desk-based work, these essential services workers now realize they have similar needs for greater control over their work. As such, employers need to work towards helping them to meet that demand.
Hiring through Silent Channels
Toward the latter part of 2022, quite a number of workers could not meet up with the demands of their job. Though they are physically still at the job. A trend referred to as “quiet quitting”. This trend of not being willing to upgrade their skills to meet the demands of the work had to be tackled in a practical way by hiring managers.
And so a sort of “quiet hiring” process began. In essence, available workers need to be trained in-house, or encouraged to upskill. Furthermore, workers were compensated for being moved to other job areas, or handle tasks where more hands are needed.
Similarly, rather than focus on traditional methods of recruiting workers, other channels needed to be used. That included bringing in workers through alumni or professional networks. Or contract and freelance workers.
Greater Demand on Managers’ Roles
More managers are now faced with coping with the needs of their subordinate workers vis-a-vis proving themselves worthy before their bosses. Workers are pressing for better work conditions, opportunities and flexible work. Bosses are equally requesting above-average human (and resources) management.
Therefore these managers need more support and training to improve their technical know-how and managerial skills. If necessary, their job roles may need to be redefined.
Hiring of Nontraditional candidates
It is increasingly becoming more difficult to fill job roles based on qualifications alone. Not only that, more workers are now acquiring skills outside their foundational training or career background.
Therefore it becomes necessary to seek for recruits who may have the needed skills but not necessarily the qualifications or experience. And from all possible avenues, both within and outside the organization.
The Need to Heal Post-COVID Stress and Trauma
The COVID-19 era had a deep impact on the physical, emotional and mental health of so many people. Recent reports (in USA locations) indicate that over half of the working population now report suffering from stress on a daily basis. The direct effect is seen in more workplace conflicts and poorer levels of productivity.
To mitigate these health issues, bosses need to implement health-friendly support initiatives for the benefit of their workers. Bringing in mental health experts and counselors to train managers on empathy, and deal better with workplace conflict is one example. Again these organizations need to allow their workers to get more rest in-between their jobs.
Having more paid time off or fewer meetings (especially on Fridays) would be very useful as well. Finally, having discussions with employees to help them deal with difficult situations is highly beneficial.
Need to Address Employee Data and Privacy Risks
There are now widespread technologies in use by many organizations that collect employees’ personal data about their health, family and living situations. Thus is in a bid to help employees better meet their needs. However, these technologies (artificial intelligence is prominent) are increasingly creating a breach of their privacy.
Hence the need for forward-thinking organizations to consider official channels for setting healthy boundaries to data collection. It should include having a bill of rights for employees, to enforce those boundaries. Managers should also be open and transparent in how they collect, use and store employee data. Such that workers may decide not to partake of any questionable actions with regard to their data privacy.
Handling the Dearth in Social Skills
Another fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is a widespread disconnection from the company culture and values. Many people are finding it hard to network and socialize with their colleagues. It is now important for managers and bosses to seek ways to establish connections amongst employees in a more intentional way. And that is, regardless of their locations. Because it cannot actually be forced.
A number of workplace leaders have experimented on allowing their employees to complete an assessment, to choose how they want to engage with one another. Such acts have been reported to boost workers’ and team performances on the job. Workers also felt more connected with one another.
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