It’s not all gloom! The COVID-19 global crisis also provides OPPORTUNITIES.
After all, we can look at the situation as a ‘social experiment’ that forced us all to think and work differently. And there is a lot to learn from the past three months.
Here are a couple of thoughts about what this ‘experiment’ revealed to me and what we should seriously consider in the future of work:
Do we really need four years degrees to be employable?
The concept that only engineers with a full 4 years degree can work in technology, including in focus areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Cyber has been proved in many countries as false:
By the time you finish the degree, so much has changed (new technologies and new focus areas evolve).
Attending university full time often means that classes are scattered in a way that students cannot commit to working. Thanks to COVID, all the universities now video record their classes and allow students to study in their own time.
Having a degree doesn’t guarantee a job, nor that as a graduate you have acquired the employability skills that employers are looking for.
Innovation requires, among others, interdisciplinary thinking. Long degrees make it difficult to acquire formal interdisciplinary knowledge.
The solution: Micro-credentials of 6-8 months intensive studies of each focus area that provide only the knowledge you need in order to excel in the specific profession and supports the development of employability skills by supervised industry internships.
Do we really need to go to the office every day?
While it is certainly essential to meet others face to face (not just via Zoom), we now know that:
Most people are more productive when working remotely.
The time saved on travel to and from work allows more time to focus on family, exercises and hobbies. Yes, some people need support in developing a new healthy routine and taking breaks away from the computer, but once they implement a healthy routine, it can be life-changing. This is why current employee satisfaction surveys show higher satisfaction than pre COVID19.
Employers can save a lot of money on rent and employment-related expenses.
The solution: Blended work with a focus on productivity and delivery, rather than on counting hours.