A little over a year after since COVID came calling, and life has moved on. We’ve learned to adapt to the “New Normal” and work has resumed in full flow. The pandemic did bring about a seismic shift in the way we work. From onsite to remote working, to a much greater focus on employee privacy, the new normal is much more employee-focused than the previous systems ever were.
But it isn’t just the pandemic that has caused these shifts. Significant socio-cultural events in the past year have also forced individuals and companies to look within and start having difficult conversations around equality, race, sexuality, gender, and mental health. There is a firm belief now that the workplace is more than just an office where people come to work. It is a society within itself. And as with any society, it is populated by people with different social, cultural, economic, and racial backgrounds, and the modern workplace needs to be one where employees should want to work, rather than just a place where they go to earn a paycheck.
With the increased popularity of remote work, employees are no longer hamstrung by the need to be physically present at their brick and mortar workplaces, and this has been one of the key factors for employees shifting jobs in the past year.
We’ve already discussed the jobs that are in demand in the new normal. In this piece, we look at some of the factors that influence a person’s decision while searching for jobs in the post-covid world.
Remote work is key
As has been often repeated, the ability to work remotely is one of the biggest factors in people’s searches for jobs now.
After the onset of COVID forced companies to adapt remote working, it was quickly realized that the remote working model is one that works.
Companies are, by and large, no longer restricted to needing a workforce to remain on site, and workers have the flexibility to work from the safe environs of their homes. Remote work is here to stay. And with safety being such a key concern for all these days, companies that facilitate remote working are going to be that much more attractive to prospective job seekers.
The opportunity to grow
Traditionally, the concept of a “job” has been work that a person does in order to earn money to provide a livelihood for themselves and their family. With the focus of workers shifting to a “career”, employees have become a lot more conscious of how the job that they do can help them grow, not only financially, but also in terms of the profile, the responsibilities, and most importantly, in their own skill set.
Culture in an organization could refer to two things;
- Organizational culture, which reflects the values, expectation, and principles of the organization
- Work culture, which reflects the working style, structure and methodology of the organization
As mentioned earlier, the focus of the modern employee has shifted from merely seeking a paymaster to seeking a workplace where they can truly thrive.
And for an employee looking for their next workplace, it is important that there is a meeting of the minds in terms of the organizational and work culture.
Healthcare and parental support policies
The pandemic saw a huge rise in the number of child births. After an initial dip, researchers predict a huge spike in the number of child births around the world in 2021. It stands to reason, therefore, that jobseekers who are also new or expectant parents will look at organizations which have friendly policies for new parents.
Another big talking point in recent years has been the conversation around mental health and the organization’s role in preserving and promoting employee wellness as a whole. While a lot of companies have still to catch up in this regard, it nonetheless remains an important factor for a large part of the modern workforce.
Inclusivity and social stance
The last year has seen a seismic shift in the socio - cultural landscape of the world. Significant incidents have forced people to look inwards and examine their role in perpetuating the status quo and hindering real, much needed change. Employees today are unafraid to stand up for the values they believe in. And they know how to make their bosses listen.
The past few years have also seen historically underrepresented groups find a space to share their voices. And it is becoming increasingly important for organizations to be that safe space.
The modern workplace is a melting pot of cultures and identities, where everyone has the same opportunity to grow and progress.
Organizations have to become a platform for employees to be able to work and express themselves to their fullest. Job seekers these days are increasingly socially conscious, and will seek to work at an organization that reflects and champions the values they hold close to their hearts.
The job market today is volatile. Probably more so than ever before. But today’s employees are discerning in where they choose to work. If companies want to attract the best talent, an attractive salary is no longer enough. A company’s brand as an employer is just as important to prospective employees. Once talent has been brought in the door, they need to be stimulated and taken care of. It is only through constant engagement and nurturing that companies will retain their talent and be better positioned to attract new talent.