Enough time has now passed to know that the Pandemic is here to stay for sometime. People have realigned and the economy is trudging to get back into it’s feet. The “New Normal” as it is called is here and we have no choice but to embrace it and work accordingly. It is also now known that work life will not be the same and it is time professionals start to hone up skills that will be useful for their work life.
But first, we must know what the “New Normal” really means in the workplace.
Gaurav Markanda, Partner, Panarc Consulting Group, who is a Management Consultant for the past twenty years, describes the new normal as a work environment that will stand on 4 basic pillars. “Innovation leveraged through collaboration for creating unique value proposition, Focus to be sharper on the arena in which organizations wish to play, Flexibility in deployment of manpower, money and capacity and finally Technology enabled interactions”, Gaurav elaborates.
Sahitya Vasudevan, an Independent Learning Consultant, working in the area of Learning & Development for the past Twenty Five years says, “The new normal in my work place is a shift from Face to Face training sessions to Virtual training sessions. My work involved a lot of travel between cities and business entities, now it is completely online and remote location based.”
Shirly, who manages a Sales Team in a Web Based Tech Company, says “The New normal for Employees means setting expectations on home vs work juggling, Longer working hours, Productivity changes depending on what life stage one is in. For Businesses it means higher comfort with digital avenues of sale and customer engagement, high expectations on safety and convenience of shopping/service and finally more seamless online engagement.”
So the “new normal” is about working in a technically enhanced environment and consciously focusing on strengths while being more flexible to change. It is fair for us to think that it would require professionals to hone up or learn new work skills to adapt to such an environment.
Nimisha Tiwari, Lifestyle Editor and Digital Marketing Professional says, “Get sharp with a trending market-targeted course to upgrade your skill if you think you lack the skill”.
“Have the intellectual flexibility and cognition, hone up your Dialoguing skills and pick up how Technical integration works”, advises Gaurav.
“Be Flexible”, Sahitya conveys. “Today, the boundary between work life & personal life has disappeared. Be Tech savvy because the present and the future is digital. Ensure you are good at Collaborative work, Learn to manage your time well and be self-driven or self-disciplined because you need to show up for your work even when your boss is not watching you,” she says.
“Time management is key”, explains Shirly. “ Also learn to build rapport virtually, (over) communicate since emotions are not conveyed on text, know and learn more on how your business / your client’s business can grow digitally”, Shirly advises.
Ritesh Chauhan, Senior Compliance Analyst based in Ontario feels that Working on digital landscape and familiarity with collaboration tools is one of the first skills professionals need to pick up. “Time management is another skill as work life balance tends to be disturbed while WFH along with Discipline and focus while WFH”, adds Ritesh. He conveyed that self discipline and balance should be a conscious and continuous effort.
Technical and Work skills apart, professionals have to be mindful of behavioral skills as well. With communication done digitally, it is a skill that needs more focus. “Emotional maturity and Resilience – these two skills need to be worked upon”, says Gaurav emphasizing that these behavioral competencies could definitely help professionals transition better into the new work environment.
“Behaviorally – be a quick thinker, be open minded, practice empathy and equanimity”, points out Sahitya.
It is fair to summarize that working in such a technical environment would mean consciously explaining what you mean, checking back what was understood and being able to balance one’s mental state.
Having understood that skills have to be relooked and reworked on, we also know that many industries are facing recession. The Pandemic has been a huge setback for businesses across the world. Amidst this, we would still like to believe that new or some existing industries that will see growth and these new skills will be utilized better by professionals. What are those industries that are bound to become bigger and grow?
Gaurav lists them down as “Design Engineering, Bio Technology, Neo Sciences (new fields in sciences for making life sustainable for the planet), Space & Defence Tech and finally Agriculture.”
“Besides Technology, one can say Learning & Development and Mental Health space and Wellness should see growth”, lists Sahitya.
“Taste the entrepreneurship sweetness. It is the answer to the economic crisis of current day – roll the economy with a positive charge at your own speed. Just keep moving”, says Nimisha, who encourages Local Artisans, Make in India and any sustainable act that can help the economy.
Armed with skills that can help professionals realign themselves, it is but a matter of time that they feel at ease and comfortable in the “new normal”.
Apart from these valuable inputs, we at Brewathought, feel professionals need to be creative, more innovative, seek support when required, be open to feedback more and be patient. We also advise professionals to manage and keep buffer time in their work schedule to manage unseen snags in internet and other basics. Clearly demarcate work and personal life, create physical space and be respectful of everyone in the family as working indoors whether it is one family member or more is currently a conscious as well as tedious effort.
If you would like to take a pause, discuss a few career options or just a coaching conversation to manage yourself better in the “new normal”, write to us