Covid - Effects on the Employment Landscape

Whilst some say it was due, nobody really saw the pandemic coming and certainly nobody predicted the havoc it would wreak on our lives. We should congratulate ourselves. We have done phenomenally well to adapt and modify in order to continue with our lives as close as we have done to what we consider to be normal.

Work, including our workspace and daily schedules, have seen the most notable changes. Whilst not a panacea, working from home has become the preference for many. Indeed, German lawmakers are already considering making it an employment right to work from home.

As the changes we experience continue to become embedded and normalised, employers need to examine how the needs of their businesses will change in order to thrive as the pandemic gradually eases and the economy grows once again. Who will their employees be, what skills will they have and where and how will they fulfil their jobs?

The pandemic has already thrust upon us, practically overnight, a greater reliance on technology and in particular technology that enables us to communicate and work remotely. With geographical barriers diminished, employers will be able to recruit the best talent from practically anywhere, as will the competition. As well as a competitive marketplace, this will also lead to a more diverse workforce, potentially forcing those businesses who are lagging behind to embrace a more inclusive culture.

Employees of the not-too-distant future will need to be able to demonstrate an aptitude for embracing and working with technology. Where in the past a general understanding of Microsoft Office would have sufficed in most environments, businesses will want employees who understand and grasp more. Knowing how to exploit the extent and potential of the apps in today’s Microsoft 365 for example or having the ability to author or create apps for productivity and workflow.

We should expect digital aptitude to become a standard competency within the workplace. When recruiting, employers will need to find a means of measuring and evaluating this to be confident that new recruits are coming to the workplace with the correct abilities. Even if the knowledge isn’t already there, an employer will want to be certain that the costs of any upskilling and training is being spent on people that can apply it.

Leadership skills will continue to be a requirement within the new working environment however leading a remote workforce will create new challenges for managers. Holding team members to account and understanding development needs will likely also be met with technology-based solutions. More emphasis is likely to be put on self-leadership and again, employers will want to be comfortable that their employees are making a meaningful contribution to the business, even when they are out of sight.

For employers, contracts, policies and procedure will have to flex enough to provide an attractive proposition to the top talent, but remain rigid and robust enough so that employees can still be held to account. We should expect a period of trial and error as terms and conditions are experimented with so that all parties can be catered for whilst remaining within legal boundaries.

At HR Champions we pride ourselves in being able to see the bigger picture and find solutions in the application of HR and Employment Law. As your roles and business needs develop, we can be on hand to support you in finding people management solutions whilst remaining within legislative boundaries. Call us for a discussion on 01452 331313 or e-mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.