There is no doubt that COVID-19 has led to many changes.
Nothing is the same and nothing will ever be the same.
Has the pandemic made you rethink the way you work, do business or even where you live?
If so, you aren’t alone.
In fact, there are a lot of studies showing at the moment that this will lead to what has been named “The Great Resignation”, where millions of people from all different industries are calling time of their jobs.
According to recent research more than 40% of the global workforce are considering leaving their employers this year.
Reshaping the norm
When the pandemic forced us to take work home with us, some felt challenged, and others felt relieved.
Moving forward more than 18 months, a lot of people who felt the anxiety and challenges of working from home, have now found the same feelings in returning to work!
Some workers are even deciding for a complete change and finding courage to follow their passion.
For me, my virtual career began before the pandemic, and I was fortunate to be very familiar with how virtual and remote working worked.
I remember working for an old CEO who was so against working from home and had the mindset that you can’t possibly work from home and be productive. It was like a taboo subject!
He had images in his head that when we said “I’ll work from home” if the kids were sick that we would be in front of the TV, watching the midday movie, laying around but claiming time on the company.
While I can say, that one of the perks of virtual working is that you can wear your uggs to work if you like without receiving any criticism (#nolouitsnotuggsfriday) the last 18 months have taught employers, organisations and businesses that you CAN in fact work from home and be productive. In fact, the stats are showing that employees have been more productive working from home than in the office!
For me, it’s like the scales have been removed from our eyes. Coming from a remote and regional city where the concept of virtual assistant or online business manager has not been heard of let alone understood, the opportunities that are being presented before us now is remarkable.
SEEK, for example, have embraced this new shift and introduced a new feature called “Work From Home” where you can actively seek working from home opportunities, which has opened opportunities up for our organisation immensely.
Downsizing and what’s important
This great transformation is also being fuelled by fundamental shifts in how people think about the role work plays in their lives.
In many, people are choosing to move away from ambition, and explore other areas of their lives. Some are following their “passion projects”, others are looking for flexibility – now known as a hybrid model, and reduced stress.
Organisations have been shown clearly that they don’t have to allocate budgets to the monthly corporate meetings, and that Zoom is a perfectly fine platform to hold these regular meetings on. Corporations are finding that they can in fact employee people from all different locations right across the world and increase their productivity.
It’s a new world
It seems that all the barriers that were once there with working virtually, have been dismantled overnight. And I believe a greater shift is yet to come early next year.
Previously, it was all about what the employer could do for us, the employees. However, the pandemic has proven that we actually have more of a say than what we thought. We don’t need to work 9-5, we don’t have to work in offices, we don’t have to make that monthly business trip away from our families. We have found a way to drive our ambitions without overstretching our already stressed and anxious selves!
Organisations are going to have to rethink about the way they do business and how they employ staff. No doubt, there will definitely be immense skills shortages especially with the mandates of vaccinations, but I believe there will be amazing opportunities also for those who are looking to change. New opportunities and new working models that will define the way we work.
Businesses may find working with virtual assistants more cost effective and the most efficient way to get things done. Companies may find their Chief Directors coming from other countries. Organisations may need to reshape their existing policies to incorporate the hybrid working model.
There will be massive changes.
If you are thinking it’s time to rethink your working life balance and that there are elements of the pandemic that you enjoyed, such as working from home, not being stuck in traffic, working in with the kids or just the slower pace option, perhaps it is time to consider making this a permanent change?
For me personally, our family have embraced the virtual working life. We thoroughly enjoy not having to work to the clock (so to speak), that we can take the kids to school and attend school events (when they are on) and that we are not bound by the traditional working format of 9-5.
I’m not saying it doesn’t have its challenges, it certainly does! But it’s a completely different world … one that the world has finally caught up with and who can see the concept and benefits of working virtually.
There are only more opportunities to come.