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Future of Work Trends Post COVID-19

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global labour market, with sudden and  severe short-term consequences as millions lost their jobs or were put on furlough. For  those who continued working, though, the rules of the game had changed. For  frontliners whose jobs required them being onsite throughout lockdowns, such as  healthcare and sanitary workers, new measures were taken to reduce the spread of  the virus. For others, whose jobs enabled them to work from home, there were other  new practices to follow. 

Ultimately, the world of work has changed forever, thanks to the pandemic. So, what  are the major trends shaping the future of work post COVID-19? 

Hybrid Work Culture 

As lockdown rules eased and were eventually removed, companies evolved to create  a hybrid work environment, allowing employees the flexibility of working at the office  or remotely. This arrangement enables employees to have better work-life balance  and independence, and have a higher level of empowerment in terms of managing  their own time and daily itinerary. For employers, this means having a more  productive, healthy and stable workforce. 

There is no doubt that this flexibility is welcomed by employees: A 2022 Gallup survey found that nine in 10 remote-capable employees prefer some degree of remote-work  flexibility going forward, and six in 10 specifically prefer hybrid work. Further, an  astounding 54 percent of employees who were currently working exclusively from  home said they would likely look for another job if their employer stopped offering  remote work options, while 38 percent of hybrid workers said the same. 

However, there are many factors to consider before adopting such a culture, otherwise  an organisation might find itself grappling with low productivity and employee  satisfaction. The hybrid workplace of today must be deliberately deployed, utilising  cutting-edge HR technology that fosters connection, collaboration, and employee  engagement. Companies would need to ensure their workforce has access to technology, such as fast and reliable internet connectivity and video conferencing  tools, to ensure seamless work processes and workflow. 

Rising People Costs, Shortage of Critical Talent  

Post-pandemic, Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) are faced with a tremendous  challenge balancing the rising people costs and addressing the shortage of critical  talent. This is caused by a scarcity of local talent, high competition in the labour  market, as well as overall rising inflation and cost of living.  

Companies need to develop highly effective and efficient talent strategies that will not  only attract talent from the market but also retain good talent within the organisation.  They would need to look at creating a labour market within the organisation, which  fosters employee mobility, allowing them to move easily from current roles to other  existing or newly created roles. Tapping into the wider labour force, companies have  to construct effective talent sourcing strategies that produce fast results, for example  utilising highly attractive employee referral schemes, sourcing talent globally, and  using global Employer of Record (EOR) services, where employees are employed by  an organisation for tax purposes while performing work at a different company. 

Technology Overcoming Disparity and Bias in Hiring 

Another emerging trend in the future of work is how technology overrides the  significant impact a recruiter has on the individuals an organisation hires. While  recruiters look at a candidate’s experience and qualifications, they would also  consider the fit of the candidate, and how they themselves feel about the candidate.  This causes candidates with certain kinds of profiles only to get actual visible time with  hiring managers, making the hiring system reliant on only a small handful of recruiters. 

Technology intervention brings wider market reach, transparency in applicant  database, recruiter’s selection criteria, ratings and reasons for shortlisting. Artificial  Intelligence (AI) in HR tech boasts many benefits, including making unbiased  candidate matching possible; using predictive analytics to find the best fit candidates;  as well as being able to recommend the most appropriate sourcing channels for  specific roles. Recognising the rising demand for this in the war for talent, the past few years has seen the introduction of many new applications in the market to help  businesses eliminate disparity and bias in hiring while speeding up the recruitment  process.

Technology in People Connectivity and Human-Centric HR 

In the post pandemic world of hybrid work, gone are the large offices and massive  campuses of the past, as HR tech shifts towards attracting, engaging and managing  talent, the new corporate real estate. 

As the world enters the endemic phase, workplace culture is gravitating towards small,  lively, and well-connected offices not far from employee hubs, representing a whole  new paradigm in human resource management.  

Simple, creative, and all-encompassing tools for managing collaboration and  productivity are quickly becoming a business essential as many processes of making  decisions today is driven by technology, with the usage of data collection, analysis,  and presentation.  

Bringing It All Together 

It is evident that the future of work post COVID-19 will see technology playing a  significant role from recruitment to managing existing and future workforce.  Technology, when correctly deployed, will open doors that allow for coordinating and  communicating in a structured manner, creating a smoother talent journey from  recruitment to onboarding, as well as career progression within organisations. 

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