By Cass Jacoby, RCS Reporter.
COVID-19 pushed businesses of all sizes into the digital world. Businesses were forced to become much more flexible and adaptable, making adjustments to accommodate lockdowns and restrictions. With more people getting vaccinated and restrictions loosening, we are finding some of the changes are here to stay.
“Generation Z” will soon make up a big portion of the workforce. Born between 1995-2015, this generation is characterized as individuals who take a lot of pride in their work and want to make a difference. The NRCA recommends small businesses adjust their work culture and benefits accordingly and participate more within their community.
The pandemic forced a lot of companies to modernize and this momentum will likely continue well into the future. According to McKinsey many executives reported that they moved 20 to 25 times faster than they thought possible on things like building supply-chain redundancies, improving data security, and increasing the use of advanced technologies in operations. Expect for this transition into digitalization to continue.
With the pandemic came remote work and flexible hours. Telework and zoom calls throughout the pandemic shed light on how inefficient the job model of 9-5 in an office was. According to Reuters, most people have found that they can perform many of their tasks from home, and don’t want to go back to working like before. Further, more and more research backs up that flexible work hours make for happier, more productive employees and better hires.
With the pandemic came a keen awareness of the importance of mental health. The pandemic exposed a critical need for high quality, comprehensive mental health care that is not likely to disappear after we are through the worst of the pandemic.
More companies are realizing they must provide mental health resources to their employees to prevent stress that escalates to emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. Society for Human Resource Management says to expect a greater demand for mental healthcare and support in the workplace with more companies providing resources to help prevent burnout.
With more remote work, there is a strong demand for new training opportunities. Employees are seeking more opportunities to learn a new platform, technology or area of expertise, and training can also be a good retention tool. Employees are seeking jobs that will help them grow professionally and personally, with companies making an investment in them alongside hiring them.
The next normal is going to be different. It will not mean going back to the conditions that prevailed in 2019. As we get closer to being “post-pandemic,” we are going to see more clearly how effects and dramatic shifts of the pandemic have changed our world.
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