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Work-life after the Pandemic



Sabir Syed - HR Manager and Client Servicing Manager at EKOSTAY


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Whether it is someone working from home all of a sudden or someone who lost their livelihood overnight to someone who took a financial hit during this difficult time, we all have gone through changes in our work lives.

The year 2020 has brought drastic changes in our lives. During this year we have used the term ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ more than ever before. With this testing time, a lot of changes have come to our work life as well. Whether it is someone working from home all of a sudden or someone who lost their livelihood overnight to someone who took a financial hit during this difficult time, we all have gone through changes in our work lives. We all will be getting back to our lives sooner or later once the vaccine is introduced however our work life will not be the same for a long time to come.

COVID-19 has taught us all that while it’s nice to connect face-to-face, many meetings can be conducted successfully virtually. Meetings which were jam packed earlier will be conducted with few people if cannot be done virtually. Handshakes, office lunches with colleagues and sharing of accessories will be done with utmost care. Hygiene will be the top most requirements for every office starting after the pandemic. One more change that is bound to happen is with the travel part for all the official works. There will be a huge reduction in travel approvals as well whether it is to attend a meeting or a conference in some other cities or countries or travel regarding sales and marketing. Only the necessary ones will get the approval as every company will look forward to reducing it as much as they can which will help them not only to cut cost but also limit the movement of their staff. With many companies resorting to cost cutting there will be many other changes apart from limiting traveling of staff, there would be huge lay-offs, pay cuts, contract reduced and many other unexpected changes in our work life. Most of the employees from IT related jobs or work done online will continue working from home or from remote areas however employees whose work cannot be done entirely virtually will need to get back to the office but with a lot of new rules and regulations to be followed. This will also impact the hiring process for such roles, be it giving multiple works to someone working from home or hiring more and more freelancers to do the work online reducing the commute to the office on a daily basis and people to people interaction. One thing most of the companies have now realized that there are few tasks which can be done from home which was earlier thought was not possible. HR will be adding a new pattern along with the existing perks, that is more and more work from home to the employees so as it will be a win-win situation for the employer and the employees.

In India, the unemployment rate reached 27.1 per cent in early May, as nearly 122 million Indians lost their jobs between March and April, according to Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy. Permanent layoffs have already begun spreading beyond industries directly affected by the pandemic. “What’s happening now is more companies that thought they could survive are giving up,” said Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford. He also mentioned that workers who remain unemployed over the long term end up increasingly less likely to return to the labour market for several reasons: Their skills may erode; they may lose motivation or employers may discriminate against them. Even after returning to the labour market, they could see effects like lower pay that linger throughout their careers. What this also means is that people who have survived this without losing their jobs will value it more. They will oversee any issue they had prior to the pandemic; instead, they will focus more and more on the productivity and efficiency to hold on to their jobs.

With most of the savings getting exhausted more and more people will be compelled to look for a job as soon as possible before they run out of money completely. The situation will get tense in the coming days because of this as this will create a huge demand and supply gap with fewer jobs available in the market. The Government must introduce more and more financial aids to help startups and small businesses so that they survive and keep creating more and more employment. Most of the sectors have been badly hit by the pandemic, new businesses will take a lot of time recover, right now they are only on the survival mode. The Government must interfere and create certain rules to ease the burden on the sectors which have been badly hit, it could be in a way to reduce taxes or give more time to renew licenses or give concession in any form which will help them financially.

We all must have already made a lot of changes in the way we work or must have accepted the changes that have happened at our workplaces. Once we reach the other side of the pandemic, we must prepare a roadmap and make certain changes in the system of our work so that we all are well prepared for such situation, if any, arises in the future. Always remember that ‘Every End is a New Beginning’ - Anonymous