How the Covid Pandemic has altered the Notions of Work, Education, and Employment

Why We Need a Paradigm Shift and a New Social Contract for the Covid Age?

The Covid 19 Pandemic has changed the way we live and work as well as altered the perspective in which we view how education and learning are delivered.

For instance, education and learning are now almost fully online and remote as are work and the way employment is structured.

In addition, the Pandemic has also redefined the way in which the traditional relationship between teachers and learners, employers and employees, and the methods of learning and employment.

Indeed, in a fully virtual world, these relationships are now mediated through the Digital Medium changing the way in which they are structured when compared to those in the past.

Therefore, what we need is a new Social Contract and a New Paradigm through which we approach the relationships between different stakeholders in the New Normal.

This Paradigm Shift needs to be driven from all stakeholders with their active participation and the support and encouragement of governments and the societal and business leaders.

With Physical and Social Distancing and Learning and Work delivered through Zoom and VPNs or Virtual Private Networks, we also need a New SOPs - Standard Operating Procedures.

How Online Learning is the Future and Why We Need to Recognize Non Formal Courses

Let us take the case of education and learning first. With full time and on site learning curtailed and classes conducted online, our educational institutions have to transform themselves to meet the new challenges accordingly.

This is not only limited to the creation of Physical and Digital Infrastructure but also the way in which Pedagogy and Degrees are structured. Some experts believe that Online Certification and Online Courses would grow in importance in the future and for this, we need Employers to recognize such certifications and accordingly, open up work opportunities for those lacking formal degrees and yet, having done online courses.

This is the Paradigm Shift that is needed in the Post Covid Age. Educational Portals such as would become that much more important as they have not only pioneered online and distance learning but have also blazed a trail as far as being ahead of the online pedagogy curve is concerned.

We foresee more traction to such Portals in the Post Covid Age where the Virtual is the Real and the Online overtakes Offline learning. While this is necessitated by the exigencies of the Pandemic, it is also a Harbinger of the emerging Digital Age now.

Why Corporates Need to Embrace WFH and Remote Working as the New Normal

Next, employers in the future would have to reckon with WFH or Work from Home as a Permanent Arrangement instead of Temporary measures and hence, they would have to reorient their HR or Human Resources policies accordingly.

Such policies would have to take into account the Productivity Gains as well as Losses when employees work from home.

In addition, leaves, payroll, appraisals, and one on one meeting all have to be restructured to take into account the New Realities brought about due to the New Normal.

In addition, the fundamental relationship between Employers and Employees would change as Part Time, Freelance, and Gig Work would be the norm rather than the exception.

These changes need a thorough overhaul of organizational policies and the way in which Managers deal with their team members.

In the absence of Physical Contact, Virtual Face Time would substitute meetings at work and corporates would have to find new methods and ways of fostering Team Spirit and Bonding between Team Members.

Apart from this, Performance Monitoring and Performance Appraisals need to be restructured to take into account WFH and attendant imperatives brought on due to the Pandemic. This is another shift from the old ways earlier.

Change is the Only Constant and How Covid has Accelerated Digital Transformations

Having said that, one must also note that these imperatives might be temporary and sooner or later, once vaccines are found, the world would return to the Pre Covid Era.

However, there are some experts who believe that the Covid 19 Pandemic has dovetailed into the Anyway Emerging Digital Age that was restructuring our view of work and life.

In other words, the Pandemic just hastened the process of Digital Transformation that was happening earlier and hence, the view here is that we can march into the future with confidence as we are prepared for the Digital Age.

Indeed, many Tech firms were experimenting with Agile and other New Age Management Models and hence, what the Pandemic has done is to accelerate the Process of Change.

Therefore, there are many experts who believe that even in the Post Covid Age, the New Normal would not resemble the Old Ways and Change would be the Only Constant.

Moreover, even the most Optimistic Economists believe that it would take a few years before we can proclaim Victory over the Virus and hence, the new arrangements being put in place now would likely continue for the foreseeable future and hence, might be permanent.

The Dawn of the Age of Uncertainty

Last, as the saying goes, Chance Favours the Prepared Mind, and hence, those organizations that are accelerating their transformations for the Covid Era would find it easier to navigate the New Normal.

Moreover, we are entering the age which is the End of Certainty and hence, it is better for firms and corporates to be as Nimble and Agile as possible and to be Adaptable and Flexible to absorb the Shocks of the New.

To conclude, these changes are here to stay and hence, it is better for all stakeholders in education, work, and business to embrace them with courage.

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