How will Covid-19 challenge workers in 2020 and afterward? Here we look at how sustainable strategies can help address the issues.
The Covid-19 has not only gripped the world in a public health emergency during the last couple of months. It will also have lasting consequences on daily life for many months, if not years, to come. The challenges for employees in 2020 will now be increased. How has your private and professional life changed so far since the pandemic?
The IMF declared that the world faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An ILO research said 81% of the world’s workforce of 3.3 billion people had had their place of work fully or partly closed due to the outbreak.
Considering such circumstances, what challenges will employees face at work in 2020 and onwards? In this article, we will uncover 7 challenges they might go through and discuss how sustainable development goals could help address the issues.
1. Working from home: a blessing or a bane?
Since the pandemic, an estimated 2.7 billion people, or more than 4 out of 5 workers in the global workforce, have been affected by lockdowns and stay-at-home measures. Working-from-home has become a new normal for most workers and it is only going to last longer.
With more people working remotely, companies may open regional hubs or provide access to co-working spaces rather than have the majority of their workforce at one central office. Then it becomes very likely that office buildings are recast as the ultimate status symbol and its main purpose could shift. The increasingly flexible and individualized work could also be a possible challenge as informal situations at the elevator or during coffee breaks build the employees’ social relations and create the feeling of belonging at the workplace.
Therefore, emerging scenarios in the work-life post-Covid-19 pandemic need to embrace new work cultures that are resilient to future crises and are efficient, as well as inclusive. Workers have no choice but to adapt under such circumstances. They will all have to develop new muscles to work virtually.
2. Mental health and social well-being
Working from home firstly benefits those who get stressed from commuting, especially in metropolitan cities. According to Gallup, about 60% of American workers prefer to work remotely as much as possible, even after the crisis.
However, WFH might not be for everyone and may not totally take away stress, but creates different types of stress. People need to manage the possible distractions and confusion that come from working in the same building where they relax, sleep, and spend time with their family. Even without those distractions taking place, you may have to work alone at home the whole day, which could easily lead to emotional difficulties. If there is a chance of constant monitoring by your employer, it can be uneasy.
Hence, it will be more significant for business owners to care about their employees’ mental health, not only for their own sake but also for better performance at work and consequently, sustainable business growth. At 2030 Builders, we are ready to provide the perfect digital online solutions on the individual and corporate level.
Working from home offers more freedom with working spaces, hours, outfits and so on. But does this freedom guarantee our productivity? How can we tackle the issue? Experts suggest that for remote working to be effective, tighter routines should be there such as committing to norms, having team launches, clarifying post-critical meetings and setting aside personal time and routine.
That being said, we should touch upon more fundamental ways to manage productivity. In the larger context, having an efficient communication among stakeholders and a clear business strategy still remains crucial. Better communication also includes making employees feel heard and integrated, which will help them stay longer and be more dedicated. These solutions are all aligned in our program at 2030 Builders.
4. Digitalisation: how to follow up on new technologies?
Working remotely necessarily requires digital tools and platforms. More meetings will turn into email exchanges, and more emails will become instant messages. And of course, as we are all familiar with, more Zoom meetings. Companies will further leverage technology teams that could escalate remote work capability, like online articles, collaboration tools, training.
Under such circumstances, workers are required to constantly re-educate themselves and follow up with the new technologies. Any worker’s failure with tools could lead to a significant loss of time and resources for a company.
This is where quality education as one of SDGs becomes more significant. At 2030 Builders, we believe digitalisation will play a greater role as a problem-solver to remote business strategy adoption. That is why we incorporated gamification into our solution, as a way to boost digitalization. Hence, the re-education process of employees will be easier and more efficient than ever.
5. Automation and labor turnover
Automation is not necessarily a new threat. Already in 2018, 37% of the UK’s workforce revealed that they worried that automation will change their jobs for the worse – with 23% of workers saying they feel worried that their current job may become irrelevant. Jobs, where AI assistance is currently less feasible, can be soon targets for innovation.
That being said, the Covid-19 pandemic has heightened fears that automation will replace the jobs of workers. Many business leaders agree that the coronavirus will accelerate automation and that it will potentially reposition the technology roadmap for the business around AI, automation, and the future of work.
We, in 2030 Builders, consider this as a chance to foster innovation and promote inclusive and sustainable business development, which will eventually bring greater growth.
6. Motivation towards sustainability
One of the most surprising things that we witnessed during the worldwide lockdown is nature recovering from destructive human activity. We have enjoyed cleaner air with less traffic and have seen animals coming back. We have become aware of the human impact on nature, therefore asking for more sustainable solutions not only in their private life but also in the working environment.
People will be increasingly willing to work in a company with a dedication to sustainability. Thus, it is a prerequisite for companies to keep up with such demand, which will encourage responsible production and consumption. They should motivate their employees for sustainability and make them sure that their work is contributing to a better future. 2030 Builders is ready to guide your business in a more sustainable way through our knowledge and experiences.
7. Financial disparities
The pandemic also exposed stark inequalities, revealing how the virus and the following measures like shutdown could impact people disproportionately according to their socioeconomic status. The poorer areas tend to have the highest infection rates. This is especially due to their overcrowded housing situation or even homelessness. Those who cannot do their job remotely are simply dismissed, which eventually leads to increasing disparities.
The SDGs become more relevant in that regard, addressing poverty, health issues, and inequalities. It is not only the public institutions but also companies who should take collective responsibility. At 2030 Builders, we take it seriously and try to come up with tangible solutions for businesses to be more responsible for inequality issues.
Lead the uncertainty with 2030 Builders
At 2030 Builders, we believe that the sustainability agenda will be only more significant in the uncertain future. To further the agenda, we dedicated ourselves to incorporating gamification and collective learning into our solution. With our plug and play solution, there is no need for travelling or expensive workshops. Sustainability becomes a natural part of our entire process.
While pursuing sustainable leadership, employers should always listen to the staff and moreover, let them ask themselves on solutions for the challenges listed above. Co-creating a solution to their own issues will not only be more effective but also help them understand and collaborate with each other, which can maximize the sustainability strategy alignment potential.
If you would like to know more about our solutions to future challenges at work and how to incorporate them into your sustainability processes, you can follow this link to book a demo. We would be more than happy to guide you through our software and program.