#Covid19 Covid-19: Towards new work habits and new jobs?

May 22, 2020

The Covid-19 crisis, unexpected and brutal, is profoundly changing the habits of companies and their employees. If digital has proved to be indispensable to overcome the crisis so far with the massive implementation of telework, other transformations could take place involving new jobs.

Adaptation, which has become the buzzword of the business

Covid-19 has managed to put the world into containment. Many of workers have been forced to telework and who could and especially for companies, it was necessary to adapt in a very short time labs.

Companies had to introduce a certain number of rules to guarantee optimal working from home for all teams, such as data security, or the management of connection flows to avoid network saturation.

The company had to continue to live in spite of the containment. It provided employees with digital tools to ensure continuity of interaction between teams and management. The platforms allowing remote communication or the tools for monitoring and planning tasks still ensure a good organization within the companies today.

The digital, savior of business and companies

Widely acclaimed in the past, digital skills are now becoming indispensable and new “soft skills” are emerging with the covid-19 crisis. The ability to adapt, to work remotely or to manage or convince via a screen rather than in a meeting or conference room are now undeniable assets. As long as the screen is the new standard for social interaction, companies will have to reinvent themselves in their communication practices.

The health crisis is changing user behavior. The sharp rise in connection volumes, the accelerating growth of online shopping, the rise in power of communication platforms and the virtual world are changing consumer habits and leading to new professions.

Starting with data specialists, who were already in high demand before the crisis, demand is bound to explode for brands and major retailers. The need to automate certain tasks is also becoming more and more pressing. Whether it be in payroll management, recruitment or accounting, etc., the need to automate certain tasks is also becoming increasingly urgent.
Robotics should also experience a real boom as well as the use of artificial intelligence.

The digital revolution: Season 3?

Although the digital sector has not waited for the current situation to become professional, covid-19 may provoke a new phase in its revolution.
We are not necessarily talking about new professions, but rather about the volume of existing ones. The disease will have taken over everything except digital, undeniably strengthening it.

The other point to consider for companies comes from new lifestyles related to containment. These can be repeated and a traditional “metro-work-at-work-sleep” day may no longer be the norm.
Working in confinement implies more flexible working hours and the freedom to make one’s own schedule according to one’s private obligations.

Change of habits and mentalities to be expected

On the enterprise side, cloud computing is becoming the new architecture to implement. Employees will now be able to retrieve their data stored in external servers at any time. It is also a question of putting in place the appropriate and indispensable tools for everyone to guarantee the continuity of ongoing missions.

Not forgetting Human Resources, which again has a major role to play. The absence of physical contact during long periods of teleworking can lead to different behaviours among employees. Today, the phenomenon of hyperconnectivity affects nearly a quarter of French employees and this figure is likely to rise sharply. Lack of physical presence can lead to a multiplication of meetings and follow-ups that are not necessarily necessary. For HR, it is becoming essential to preserve employees’ right to disconnection and to maintain a good balance between private and professional life.

On the contrary, another behaviour, that of the teleworker feeling neglected and struggling to organise himself, may arise. One of the reasons for this may be the need to adjust working hours. It is then up to the company to support the employee in the organisation of his work by showing a certain flexibility.

The latest studies are conclusive, consumption via e-commerce has doubled during the covid-19 crisis. A trend that could continue despite the end of containment and a possible end to the health crisis. Companies are well aware of this. They will have to anticipate an increase in the volume of operating teams and train all employees in e-commerce sales techniques. Tomorrow’s digital skills will have to be in symbiosis with upstream services and products and not simply be considered as a support.

The world is changing, and at a speed that is sometimes hard to keep up with. So we need to rethink our lifestyles, and work is an integral part of that. It’s about adapting to perhaps meet other major challenges that lie ahead.