The future of work now looks a lot different than it did even just over 12 months ago. We’ve all seen such a dramatic shift in the way we work, interview and hire. Plans that were probably on the 2025 to do list for some companies have had to be fast-tracked into the here and now.
So how has the pandemic changed the future of work? We’ve spoken to lots of clients and candidates over the last few weeks and have put together our top 5 ways in which the future of work has changed.
This is something that has been a hot topic for many months before the start of the pandemic. Whilst some companies had already embraced a remote working policy, there were a lot of companies who felt this wasn’t the right move for them. Yes, there will always be those roles that cannot be performed remotely like doctors, manufacturers and more. However, many companies have now realised that making the transition to remote working hasn’t been as scary as they may have initially thought.
Remote working has opened up lots of opportunities for both employees and employers. For employees, not having to make the daily commute has been positive for so many. With many choosing to use the extra time they now have to go for a morning walk, or do a home workout, remote working can have a positive impact on your general wellbeing and motivation. However, it’s important to consider that remote working isn’t for everyone and some are desperate to get back to the office.
For companies, the option of remote working has opened up a previously unavailable pool of talent. No longer are companies restricted by location. Prior to the pandemic, there were many roles where we were experiencing a serious skills shortage. But with remote working, this is now beginning to ease.
Hybrid Working – could this be the future of work?
Hybrid working is likely to be adopted by most companies across the UK and beyond as we all slowly start to return to the office in one way or another. This seems to be the perfect solution for both companies and employees. If you, or your team have been used to working in the comfort of your own home for the last 12 months, returning to the office full-time could come as a bit of a shock.
Just like a phased return to work after a long period of absence, hybrid working will make adapting to being back in the office a little easier for all. We’ve spoken to many candidates this year who have expressed their concerns around a full return to the office. Therefore, companies not offering flexibility are likely to see a higher number of resignations that usual. After all, as long as KPI’s and exceptions are being hit, do you and your team really need to be in the office 5 days a week?
Video interviewing is now an essential part of the recruitment process. With social distancing likely to be with us for some time yet, we expect this trend to continue. As a candidate the benefits of video interviewing mean that you don’t have to take a whole morning or afternoon off to attend an interview in the early stages. This means that you are able to attend more interviews if you choose to. Giving you more choice when it comes to that all important change in job.
But it’s not just candidates that are experiencing the benefits of video interviewing. Companies are saving huge amounts of time in their hiring process too. The time to hire can be shortened, meaning you are less likely to lose your best candidate due to a lengthy interview process. What felt a little alien to some, has now become the norm. We expect to see video interviewing stay as part of the interview process for many years to come.
Technology to support the future of work
Lots of candidates we have spoken to are embracing new technology to enable them to work from home. Software that helps with team collaboration, productivity tracking and more has been introduced across the board. Using technology to support the future of work can also have a positive effect on stress levels and mental wellbeing. When working remotely, it’s sometimes hard to know if you are doing a good job and this can tighten anxiety. For employees, knowing what is expected of you as an employee and having a way to clearly report achievements is key.
For companies, the use of technology also gives security that your team are still working effectively. It’s easy to think that just because people are working at home that they are not putting in as much effort. By implementing technology to track and report means that you can get on with your job without worrying about your team getting on with theirs.
The companies of the future will need to learn how to support employees to help reduce the impact of emotional stress that will remain long after the pandemic is over. Companies across the UK are currently reviewing their benefits packages. Expect to see things like better health insurance and psychological therapies become the norm.
Lots of employees report feeling isolated and money over the last 12 months. Therefore, companies will need to review their working practices to help prevent depression and burnout in their teams. One to one’s and monthly reviews are likely to include questions around your general mental wellbeing. It’s important that companies support their employees as we all continue to adapt to the new ways of working. It’s a learning curve for all involved, but the future of work is bright!