Exploring the Pandora’s box unleashed on the world of work by COVID-19

The world has changed. Of that we can be in no doubt. COVID-19 has unleashed a Pandora’s box of challenges across every aspect of our lives. This includes the world of work - join us as we explore these in the coming weeks and months.

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The world has changed. Of that we can be in no doubt. COVID-19 has unleashed a Pandora’s box of challenges across every aspect of our lives. This includes the world of work.

The current combination of home schooling and widespread remote working won’t last forever. At some point, businesses will need to exit survival mode and crank back into gear. Workplace that have been closed will reopen, employees will return. However, the environment they will be returning to will be considerably different.

The coronavirus has precipitated an economic decline which will fundamentally alter the jobs market. Added to this, workplaces will still be required to observe social distancing measures for some time, meaning there are quandaries on who is working where at what times.

What does the future hold?

Given the current uncertainty, over the next few weeks we will set out what the future employment landscape will look like. Are some of the changes dictated by the coronavirus crisis permanent? Will things ever go back to ‘the way they were’?

This pandemic has released a Pandora’s box of challenges for employers, many of which will emerge only once some restrictions on life and the economy have been lifted. These include:

Remote working – the widespread impact of working from home on businesses, and whether employees who have now experienced remote working still desire it

Flexible working - questioning whether we have now reached an opportunity for perfect balance in work and home life?

• Whether business will accelerate plans to introduce automation

• The skills and competencies which have become invaluable during lockdown, and how organisations can nurture them

• What role HR technology and virtual processes will play

Reward packages – how will these change post-lockdown?

• Will there be an expansion of contingent workers and the gig economy?

• The importance of employee branding in the new working world

The battle for talent in a post-pandemic environment, as increasing numbers of talented workers become available

By starting to understand the impact of these issues now, it will mean you are better prepared for the challenges which will come with the future workforce landscape. I’m excited about how we will plot the current landscape, uncover trends and make informed predictions on the reshaping of the world of work in this blog series over the next few weeks.

James Bridgland
Consulting & Solutions Director

James Bridgland leads our consultancy business. James has over 10 years' experience in delivering projects and services to clients across a number of areas including: HR and organisational change, IT transformation, and remediation and compliance.

Across this experience he has worked with clients ranging from UK based SMEs through to global blue chip organisations, in order to support the delivery of outcome based consultancy and work package solutions.


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Tim Whitaker is a consultant working on age and employment issues and a Trustee of Wise Age - a specialist employment charity for the over 50s working with employers, policy makers and older workers.

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