The pandemic has considerably changed the cornerstones of the world economy. It has changed our habits, our living spaces and the way we work. We all hope that as soon as possible we will be able to hug each other, travel and live without fear again. However, we also wonder what changes, even positive ones, may occur to our professional lives.
The current health emergency has probably accelerated the digital transition, which began some time ago. Changes require new perspectives and test our resilience. Some fears are motivated. We must make great efforts to deal with the changes we are facing, which are often unexpected. Digital is offering unique opportunities but we must be mindful and think carefully.
In the coming years, the demand for new professions with digitalisation expertise is likely to increase. This could create significant imbalances in the workforce in the medium term. New workers will need time to be properly trained and to be able to operate effectively in these new sectors.
Remote working has been talked about for at least two decades. It has now become a reality for many workers around the world who have quickly discovered its advantages and disadvantages. This new approach could revolutionise the very concept of the company as a physical workplace. Many companies have made major investments to provide their employees with the technical equipment and know-how to work from home. Remote working reduced the company’s fixed costs and travel time and improved the balance between home and work commitments for many. It is about properly managing the working time efficiently so as not to reduce productivity and to prevent workers from burning out because they never take breaks. However, remote working offers very interesting opportunities in many respects. Thus, some companies may decide to let their employees continue working from home once the pandemic is over.
The health sector is the one that is currently under the greatest stress. The pandemic has further increased our awareness of health and disease prevention. The considerable investment in drugs, medical devices and new hospital staff is an example of that. In parallel, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) occupations and medical and therapeutic R&D could therefore achieve strong growth in the near future. Companies wishing to ensure the highest level of sanitization could be subject to more obligations, resulting in higher costs.
At the moment no one knows when this situation will end and what changes it will bring about in our consciousness, in our relationships and in the world of work.
However, we wish to offer our contribution to a much broader discussion involving individuals and organisations in order to redesign the future of our businesses together.