Next generation work
COVID-19 accelerated ongoing evolutions
The pandemic has disrupted the normal way of working in organizations and accelerated ongoing evolutions such as telework and digitalization. Insights into the impact of the pandemic on work and careers is not only important for organizations to grow their way out of this crisis along with their employees. They also offer tools to monitor (mental) health, social connection and employability of employees in the longer term and thus create sustainable careers.
The coronavirus crisis is forcing organizations to look for new ways of working. Since April 2020, we have been regularly surveying executives and HR professionals, together with VBO/FEB, about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human capital within their organization. From April 2021 onward, we have also started surveying employees.
The results show, among other things, that working from home has become the norm, that employers have come to trust their employees more but are struggling with social connection of employees who are less physically together in the workplace. There is great concern for the mental well-being of employees. Many organizations have had to shift gears swiftly to respond to sudden activity level changes.
This is expressed, among other things, in internal employee relocation and digitalization of work. A limited number of organizations are also resorting to temporary hiring out of employees. At the same time, training is under pressure in many companies.
Similar trends occur among the employees surveyed: COVID-19 is
putting pressure on their mental well-being and on their social
connection with their employer and coworkers. Some have lost confidence in their employer a bit and 1 in 4 are looking for other work. At the same time, many do see a positive impact on their learning
curve and employability–because of the rapid changes in working methods
or assignments, they have developed new skills and most particularly,
digital skills. These were mainly developed 'on the job' rather than
through formal training.
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