On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization officially declares Covid-19 a global pandemic.
The whole world embarks on a 2-week confinement... a priori.
What will be seen as an opportunity to learn how to bake banana bread, or get back into shape, will quickly become an unexpected new reality.
52 weeks later, confinement, social distancing and work from home are now an integral part of our lives.
The workforce has arguably been the hardest hit and today more than ever, employers and business leaders must address the issues that will redefine the jobs of the future.
Are the 5-day workweeks a thing of the past?
In Canada and the United States, the vast majority of full-time jobs require between 35 and 40 hours of work spread over 5 days. However, the closure of schools and daycares, the adjustment period as well as the curfew have led employers to demonstrate great flexibility.
Employees split or lengthened their shifts to meet the number of working hours requirements.
But what about those who are able to accomplish their tasks efficiently in less time? Is it fair to increase their workload so that they reach an arbitrary number of hours?
Elsewhere in the world, in New Zealand, The Gambia, and more recently in Japan, even prior to the onset of covid, several companies successfully took on the 4-day workweek challenge.
Will the jobs of the future compensate employees for the tasks performed, rather than the number of hours worked?
The employer should, as much as possible, review certain roles in order to adapt to the new reality.
Although several roles cannot be fully reshuffled, especially in the restaurant or health sectors, it would be to relevant to reflect on the working conditions of these essential sectors. Telemedicine, although limited, is already established in many countries and most recently the fast food chain Chick-fil-A has proven that drive-thru orders can be taken from home.
Work from anywhere for any company?
Several studies show, unsurprisingly, that the vast majority of office workers would like to continue working from home full or part-time in the post-covid era.
Twitter, Facebook and Shopify are among the companies that have already announced that their employees will be able to work from home indefinitely.
After some research, we see that most of the roles provide a precise location, but will we be able to join a team based in Scotland while living permanently in Montreal?
Many factors would make it difficult: time zones, tax regimes or even public holidays.
However, will employers allow temporary relocation?
An "on demand" package would allow an employee living in Italy to travel to Cameroon for personal or family reasons and work from there for a predefined period.
Employers will be required to consider the benefit of offering different options or working conditions to their employees in order to facilitate work-life balance.
While most are hoping to see even more changes and adaptation when it comes to their employment, we cannot assume that the same feeling is unanimous . Many are looking forward to heading back to their offices to enjoy the small talk around the coffee machine and toss aside zoom meetings.
What about you: do you want to see further changes or a return to "normal"?