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By Samuel Engram, VP of Client Services

 

COVID-19 forced many private and publicly traded companies to shift quickly to the next “normal” to ensure employee safety while remaining profitable.

Companies are investing billions of dollars in technology infrastructure, digital and cloud technology, automation, and personal safety tools to protect employees as well as profits. In doing so, many are seeing higher employee productivity through seamless connectivity and collaborative tools.

In a recent study by Microsoft published in the Harvard Business Review, employee and consulting partners are putting in longer hours. On average, workers added four additional work hours per week. Additionally, time spent in virtual meetings increased by as much as 10%, which has improved collaboration. Virtual meetings time has shortened compared to more traditional-person meetings as employees are becoming nimbler at time boxing work and personal activities that need to be done in order to support the company objectives and the household needs.

 


Approximately 48% of employees will work remotely in some capacity post COVID-19.

It’s estimated that more than 30% of workers will never go back to an office on a regular basis.
– Industry Insights by SAP


 

Gartner predicts that 32% of organizations are replacing full time employees with contingent workers to save cost. This creates opportunities for consulting firms like Paradigm who can quickly make the pivot in accelerating a virtual work environment via recruiting, onboarding talent, and customizing training to meet customer demands.

In the post-pandemic work environment, companies who traditionally formed organizations based on roles will shift to a focus on skills. Employees who once had opportunities to shift roles and responsibilities due to tenure may be replaced by contingent workers with the right skill to do the job. It is more important than ever – during and post-pandemic – for workers to seek certification and training to augment and fortify their knowledge and skills.

Talent sharing and freelancing – where contingent workers work for several companies and on various projects at the same time or where a contingent worker only works as needed in a part time capacity – will become a common form of working in the next normal. Recruiting, HR, and workforce leaders will need to rely on more robust distance learning, performance, and resource management systems to run their business successfully.

Remote work is here to stay and the transition through infrastructure investment, collaboration tools, and a shift to skill versus role-based talent is already underway. This is being led by companies like Facebook and Google, which have advised their employees to work from home through the new year. Twitter even encourages some associates to work from home forever. It is important for all of us to adapt to this new chapter to succeed.