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Five Ways The Pandemic Has Accelerated The Future Of Work

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Woman busy working on her laptop at cafe A year ago, few of us had any understanding of how a global pandemic would drastically alter our lives — from curfews and lockdowns to an increase in remote work and an evolving workforce. What we’re seeing is an acceleration of the future of work. Here’s how the Covid-19 pandemic has and will permanently change how we work. Soft skills enable adaptability in the future of work. This year has upended almost everything. It’s become increasingly clear that you can’t just hire for knowledge, content and hard skills. Hiring adaptable, self-motivated people with soft skills such as mindfulness and emotional intelligence is paying off as these kinds of employees are more adept at adapting to changing circumstances and learning new skills as necessary. I’ve found this holds true for employees as well as independent contractors. While some circumstances are well suited for hiring a freelancer to do exactly what he or she has done for another client, I’ve found that looking for soft skills in freelancers results in more successful outcomes, too. This shift has been on the horizon for some time, but the pandemic has accelerated the importance of hiring for soft skills. This should also result in more diverse workplaces , as hiring for soft skills is more equitable across racial, socioeconomic and gender inequities. Remote work is here to stay. With all its benefits and downsides, remote work and telepresence are here to stay. Companies will need to continue to offer remote work as an option to retain top talent, but offices aren’t going away. Working from home has shown us how efficient remote work can be while also highlighting how important face-to-face meetings are for more creative and collaborative work. What we’ll see post-pandemic is a reexamination of when telepresence is sufficient and when in-person meetings are needed. Companies will choose to reduce office space’s size (and expense), but we’re likely to see most employers land on some hybrid work schedule. Many employees will be able to work from home while being expected to come in from time to time — but executives may be expected to mostly work from the office. More workers are switching to freelancing; companies are increasingly engaging a global, liquid workforce. Now that most companies have gone remote, leaders have been forced to focus on outcomes rather than time in the office. This puts freelancers on an ever more equal footing with traditional employees. Moreover, many of those laid off during this pandemic are choosing to join the gig economy instead of looking for traditional full-time employment during challenging times. People are reevaluating whether employment provides “job security” and more people are concluding that self-employment — with multiple sources of income — may be more secure than a traditional job. Your company’s workforce of the future will include a greater percentage of 1099 workers. More workers will choose to freelance and work with multiple clients on clearly defined projects — to work […]

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