About 12 crore Indians lost their jobs after two weeks of the first lockdown that began in the last week of March. A major chunk of these job losses of course were from the working class sector. While those employed in the government sector continued to get their salaries during the whole period of lockdown, things were a bit different in the private and corporate sector. Some sectors such as airlines and the hospitality industry sent a section of their employees on leave-without-pay while in other sectors there were pay-cuts. It is only understandable as the private sector needs a running flow of funds to maintain their workforce and meet other expenditure and it is not always possible to pay regular salaries with office/factories closed down for four months at a stretch. Nevertheless it must be stated for the credit of a significant section of the private sector that neither cut down employees nor restricted salaries during the lockdown.
Jobs losses in a big economy like India can never be a permanent sector. However what is likely to happen as a result of the Covid-19 crisis is a distinctive change in career and working structures. Let us discuss here some of these changes which are likely not occur in the post-Covid scenario.
The first thing everyone has to realize is that we are entering an age where change is definitely going to be the most permanent factor. Gone are the days when one could take his or her place for granted. Technology is changing and so is the market. And with health crisis like Covid-19, lifestyles and human behaviour patterns will change too. Nobody can take his position and his employment skills for granted. In an ever-changing world, acquiring news skills, adapting to new technology and flexibility are going to be the real assets. The winning work philosophy is likely to be “Work, Study, Adapt and Play”! Here is how the job scenario may now look like in the near future.
REMOTE WORKING: With shrinking office spaces due to high real-estate prices and fast progressing communication technology, working from home or remote working was already becoming a trend before the Covid-18 crisis. Now with the ever growing thrust on physical and social distancing this is likely to become the trend. So except in those job profiles where physical presence is a must such as that of the airline cabin crew or a medical doctor, remote working will possibly enter ever sector. Expect 30 to 40 % of jobs to be remote based in the post Covid-19 world.
HOSPITAL AND HYGIENE SECTOR TO FLOURISH: As people become more and more health and hygiene conscious in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis, the health, hospital and wellness sector is likely to receive a boost. Products like sanitizers, hand washes, face masks, gloves and cleaning tissues will see rising demand as every office, factory or government department will have a health and hygiene team which will ensure minimum cleanliness and safety standards.
IT & ITES SECTOR WILL BOOM: As remote working and contactless interaction become the trend, the IT and ITES sector will thrive. Demand for more efficient remote working software and online communication apps will be constantly growing. The changing work scenario will demand new working solutions which software developers will have to deliver.
AGE OF SHEER PERFOMANCE AND DELIVERY BASED REMUNERATION: This was already happening and with Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent scaling down of jobs, companies are likely to monetarily evaluate job performances even more stringently and extend cost-benefit analysis in the HR sector too. Therefore the moment a company realizes that they are spending more to keep you on their pay-roll than what they are getting out of you, you are likely to get a pink-slip.
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AGE OF MULTI-TASKING AND PERFORMING: Surviving in the post Covid-19 world will be the new challenge. Acquiring multiple-skills and performing multi-tasking jobs will become the norm. Dependence only on one set of skills will simply not do.
However there is nothing to be unduly pessimistic. The world works at its own pace and in its own ways and so do human beings who are masters of adaptation and innovation. Life will continue but as stated earlier with change as a constant factor.