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Will Covid-19 permanently change the way we work?

Charlotte Chaston our consultant managing the role
Published on 29 May 2020
It’s clear to see that as life sciences companies race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, the world as we know it has changed and transformed the way we work. This may be a bold statement but it still leaves uncertainty about whether new trends - such as remote working and video interviewing - are here to stay for good or if they’ll slowly fade away.

The very fact that companies have had to rethink their digital infrastructure and operating frameworks suggests that coronavirus will leave an unmissable imprint on our lives and the working world. Let’s take a look at how Covid-19 has impacted our working culture so far and if those changes show signs of sticking around.

Remote working as the new normal

It’s extraordinary to think how quick the business world transitioned to remote working, yet many companies have continued to operate under a business-as-usual model and in turn, has provoked leaders to question whether remote working is the future. And this shift to working from home is welcomed by many employees, with one in five people agreeing they’d take a pay cut of more than 10% for the opportunity to work remotely.

But not every industry can take their operations online and one market whose involvement is especially critical right now has had to rethink their working culture entirely. The life sciences market has implemented remote monitoring where clinical trial participants can join ‘virtual visits’ and therefore protecting many life sciences jobs during this time of economic uncertainty.

As countries begin to ease restrictions in preparation to return to work, we’ll begin to see more initiatives like this that support social distancing in the workplace and encourage employees to work from home where they can. It may not be too far-fetched to imagine a future culture where remote working is the norm.

The end to the daily commute?

Video calling software, online collaboration tools and cloud storage are just a few of the technological breakthroughs that have allowed teams to take their operations online. But does that mean the daily commute is a thing of the past? It will be down to organisations to weigh up the benefits of allowing their employees to work from home – a better work-life balance, money and time saved, a reduced carbon footprint – against the challenges. Similarly, employees will have to question whether they are more productive under this new working style and if they can promote positive wellbeing whilst working from home.

Business travel

The first industry to be notably impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus was travel and tourism. In 2019, the global spending on business travel reached a record-breaking 1,283 billion US dollars, making this industry twice as large as the beauty industry. Business tourism has steadily grown over the years, doubling in just two decades but 2020 had different plans for this trend. Like the daily commute, coronavirus has changed the way that we fly, putting international travel under the microscope to assess whether it is essential or if these meetings can take place virtually.

The grounding of thousands of flights is just one of the reasons for a drop in the global consumption of energy. While this may initially sound like a threat to the energy sector, the renewable energy market has shown it stands a lot to gain from this change in behaviour because despite our net energy consumption is down, the use of clean energy is on the rise. This may help the sector to thrive, enabling renewable energy companies to continue operating throughout this global health emergency and safeguard many offshore wind and energy for waste (EfW) jobs.

A rise in demand for skilled manpower

Covid-19 has triggered so much change in the last few months. Unsurprisingly, it has accelerated the transition from brick-and-mortar retail to ecommerce but the virus has also introduced new services like takeaway pints of beer. These emerging trends seem to be a shift away from in-person interaction and towards an increasingly automated world, however, this is not the case for all industries.

Within the ICT sector, data centres are experiencing a surge in activity that may soon demand more skilled manpower. Despite the worldwide pandemic, these data centres can’t stop running making an ICT career a promising choice in the post-pandemic world.

Explore your opportunities with Quanta

The list of things that Covid-19 has changed is endless – from e-commerce and recruiting to international systems and the balance of power - but change is not always for the bad and at Quanta we see this unprecedented situation as an opportunity. The challenges that lie ahead will allow industries to reinvent themselves and learn to thrive in a post-coronavirus landscape.

If you’re interested in helping the life sciences market respond to coronavirus then begin the search for your next life sciences job or perhaps you’re looking for an ICT job where you can support the technology sector meet the rising demand. Maybe you want to kickstart your career in the renewable energy market who have worked throughout this global pandemic.

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