Will Flexibility and Change Define the ‘New Normality’ in the Workplace?

13 AUG 2020 By Eva K
Will Flexibility and Change Define the ‘New Normality’ in the Workplace?

With news of several effective vaccines coming soon and better treatments for Covid-19, the world is now desperate for a return to ‘normality’. The global economy needs it, individual businesses of every size and shape need it, and people need it too. But what form will this ‘normality’ take? Will flexibility and change define our new normality post-Covid-19, as some experts claim?

The high cost of the pandemic

This pandemic will cost more than any other previous global crisis. Governments had to empty their coffers to support workers and businesses through extended lockdowns.

As a result, many businesses had to close down. From airlines to theatres, and from hotels, to bars and restaurants, workplaces were closed for months. In fact, some may never open up again with the same capacity and operations.

Also, those businesses that do re-open, must follow strict public health guidelines, like serving fewer customers, maintaining social distance etc. Understandably, these measures make businesses less profitable.

So, why are flexibility and change hailed as the new determinants of success?

GlobeNewswire quotes a Canadian executive stating that flexibility and change will define the ‘new normality’ and determine success post-Covid-19.

Surely, one change that is predicted to be long lasting is working from home. For example, Facebook has already announced that it will allow many of its employees to work from home permanently. While Google informed its personnel that they are not likely to return to their offices until mid-2021. Of course, professionals working from home need to be flexible, and prepared to change the way they work and to learn more.

On the other hand, organisations will probably need to re-evaluate their human capital and their employment agreements. Therefore we can expect that project-based hires, specified-time consultancy work and out-sourcing of services will rise dramatically.

This way, businesses will be able to draw talent from a larger, global pool, while workers will have more job opportunities to choose from.

The lessons of the pandemic

In order to survive in times of crisis, organisations have learnt that they need to be innovative, flexible, and eager to improve conditions for their employees. It is a fact that happy employees serve customers better and produce better financial results.

Similarly, employees have learnt that by being flexible, embracing change, and learning new things, they remain relevant and useful.

Thus, professionals with years of experience in one sector may need to acquire new skills to work in a different sector. Or, they may need to upgrade their skills in order to become more efficient at their job.

How will training change in the post-pandemic era?

Naturally, the needs and conditions of the marketplace determine the skills. Also, which employees must bring to the job, as well as the responsibilities of employers.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages organisations to apply social distancing, staggered work shifts, downsized operations, remote delivery of services and tele-work.

Understandably, training and learning also have to be online, for both convenience and safety. Yet, will this shift to online delivery affect the quality and the cost of training and learning?

Affordable online learning with the Unicaf Corporate Scholarship Scheme

In order to serve the ‘new normality’ at the workplace, the Unicaf Corporate Scholarship Scheme offers employees the opportunity to earn academic qualifications without disruption to their work schedules. This is a win-win solution. Employers have zero cost, and employees benefit from generous scholarships and flexible payment plans.

This way, employees can pursue online a Bachelor, Master’s or Doctoral degree with one of Unicaf’s partner universities. They are the University of Suffolk in the UK, Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, the University of East London in the UK, or multi-campus Unicaf University in Africa. Alternatively they can earn an American professional Certificate by studying online with the University of California, Riverside Extension in the USA.

Thus, organisations end up with better trained and more loyal employees, who are efficient and can improve the organisation’s overall performance. At the same time, employees add new qualifications to their CVs, increase their self-confidence and renew their enthusiasm for the job.

Utilising new technologies for training

As a matter of fact, professional trainers lead in utilising new technologies, which make learning more interesting and memorable. Yet, in the post COVID-19 era, new technologies will assume an even more important role.

Unicaf and Unicaf University have years of expertise in online academic studies and professional training for diverse professions and industries.

Internationally qualified tutors and trainers utilise the cutting edge tools of the state-of-the-art Unicaf online digital platform. Videos, podcasts, group projects, quizzes and polls make learning fun.

With 24/7 access to study materials, and interaction with tutors and students from 156 countries, professionals can upgrade their qualifications, without disruptions in their work or family.

While they ‘earn as they learn’, they can directly apply their new knowledge at the workplace. In addition, the interaction with professionals from other countries exposes students to different perspectives, processes and mentalities.

Tailor made training

Alternatively, training programmes can be designed specifically for a client organisation. Such programmes can be delivered at the client’s facilities, or at the modern Unicaf University campuses and Unicaf learning centres across Africa.

In order to abide with social distancing guidelines and circumvent lock downs, Unicaf provides academic teaching and professional training fully online. The wide choice of training options available ranges from an one-day workshop to multiple training sessions.

Furthermore, employees earn internationally recognised degrees or professional certificates after passing the final exams. This way, many employees of the same company can receive uniform training online, without disruptions in the workplace. At the same time, organisations can embrace flexibility and change. This will prepare them for the post Covid-19 workplace, at absolutely no cost!

Check out the different opportunities for online learning and training, offered by Unicaf and Unicaf University.