The world we once knew has now forever changed. With this new reality we are all living through, work life has been one thing that has changed the most. Everyone was used to going into the office every morning and returning home at the end of each day. There was an easy separation between work and home life, but now all of us are working from our living rooms! Technology is relied on for every aspect of work life now. It definitely hasn’t always been an easy transition, but this is our new reality and something many of us have gotten used to at this point. So much has changed and so much is different. Employers have had to change their expectations and employees have since learned how to achieve those new expectations in order to get the job done.
Every employer is different in what they expect and how they want their employees to work, but all have had to change many things, including roles in the office, dress codes, deadlines, meetings, training and hiring since this pandemic hit. COVID-19 has affected all businesses in some way, and everyone has had to learn to adapt and change many things about the way they used to live.
Something that has changed now, is the needs of a business. Technology is the biggest thing that employers are relying on. Now instead of coming into the office each day, most people are working from home or doing a staggered schedule where they only come in on certain days, so employers can’t just walk out of their office to talk to their employees everyday anymore. Because of this, technology is now being used for everything and employers have had to raise their expectations of their employees knowing how to use and work all forms of technology correctly. Employees have also been expected to sharpen their interview skills, since now it’s done through a screen. Employers have put a greater stance on communication and talking daily with co-workers since there is distance between them now. Competition has also steadily increased in tech jobs because of the huge increase in use of it. No company can deal with their computers shutting down, Wi-Fi not working, group chats not loading or their company site going down. Technology jobs have been in high demand to make sure that none of those things happen and those tech employees who are hired, are expected to not let the technology fail. There is a greater expectation, particularly on those tech hires, since companies rely on the internet and all forms of technology so much now.
While employees have had to change and adapt a lot through these past months, employers have been the ones to bring that change to fruition. Employers have had to adapt to remote work and allow their employees time and management to adapt as well. They’ve had to learn different skills and be able to show their employees the new ropes.
Some things that employers now expect from their employees include:
· Employees being comfortable with technology
Now that there are so many meetings and everything else online, employers expect their workers to be comfortable being in front of a camera, interviewing, engaging in conversation through a computer screen and being professional while sitting at home.
· Different soft skills
Since so many things are different, the way people work and do things has had to be adjusted. Because of that many more soft skills are expected of employees so that they can maintain a good work effort while things are changing. Some of the soft skills now expected are, strong communication skills, being flexible and able to adapt to new changes that might occur daily, innovative thinking and being self-directive so that they can teach themselves anything new that they may need to know.
· Online/self-directed training
Training workers in different skill sets or jobs has always been done in person and at work. No longer can they do in person training for every little thing though, so employers have had to find different ways to support their staff. In person training for many companies is now done through online training modules. This new way of learning brings out the soft skills that are now needed such as, flexibility, innovative thinking and being self-directive.
Yes, so much is different, and employers are expecting so many different things now, but the most important thing is to get the job done. No matter what, work hard, try your best and good things will happen in the workplace.