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Three Years After the Pandemic, What's Next?

By Edgar Rosas Lopez - Emerlid


By Edgar Rosas Lopez | Partner - Fri, 06/02/2023 - 09:00

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Now that we have some distance from the beginning of the pandemic, we can raise many issues regarding what has changed, what has improved, and what is generating results.

We believe that working from home is here to stay, at least in its hybrid form, and it certainly is happening, although among a very small segment of the workforce.

Forums and roundtables have been organized to discuss the issue, but we are forgetting about other  associates who, due to the nature of their activities, will never be able to work remotely and who are the vast majority.

The world changed due to the pandemic, and we had to rethink many things. The way of working and human interaction was modified. A lot of time has been devoted to analyzing remote work and its effects on personnel, which is not bad since it perhaps had the most impact on associates. However, we are losing sight of the majority of these associates who continued to attend their jobs due to the nature of their activities. They were also affected, but little attention has been given to them.

Fear and fear of contagion generated trauma and phobias that have been poorly addressed and are practically not spoken about.

Let's imagine all those people who could not be absent and had to go to work out of necessity, use public transport, use protection all the time, inhale their own air with a large amount of carbon dioxide, use protective glasses, and many other things that made work a real ordeal.

Fear, discomfort, and a strong decrease in human interaction have definitely affected this segment, which is necessary for the survival of organizations.

Very few companies implemented transportation for their staff, and even fewer provided psychological support and internal medical services. The recently implemented and poorly audited NOM-035 that emerged from the pandemic did not reinforce all those psychosocial well-being issues at work that undoubtedly would have helped mitigate the impact on workers' circumstances.

Happiness and job satisfaction are very important since they generate greater productivity, quality, better service, and in general,have a positive impact on business results.

It is time to invest in these issues since they also mitigate expenses, such as staff turnover and absenteeism.

The common thought among entrepreneurs is that this costs a lot of money. That having a good work environment is "posh" and only for highly successful companies. They have not stopped to think about why these companies are successful.

But is it really expensive to invest in your staff? Creativity and leadership are the keys in this issue. Many times, just ensuring the good treatment of personnel works wonders, and that makes a good leader. Is that expensive?

Recognizing a job well done with a word of encouragement or gratitude also works, and a great deal. As you will see, there are many small and simple things that can be done and  that do not represent a cost but still have a positive impact on work.

The world changed, and it will continue to change. It is a constant with which we must learn to live. Old thinking no longer applies, and older generations are being quickly replaced by new talent with  innovative and creative ways of thinking, where error is a constant that allows learning and improvement.

Today, we have the great opportunity to change and be better in every way. It is either that or condemn yourself to disappear as an organization and even be ignored as a person.

Remote, hybrid, and on-site work with flexible work times and focused on results are what is happening now. Entrepreneurs must give themselves the opportunity to understand these new ways of working and use them appropriately. They need to develop their leadership skills and know their strengths to be true drivers of the economic development of their organizations and their environment.

I have been able to observe the behavior of our young people in the organizational world, and ultimately, as the current leaders of the companies and being from previous generations, we must modify our attitude toward them and try to help them integrate into a world that is totally different from the one we entered when we started. They work to live while we used to live to work. Work is a means, not an end, and under this concept they try to adapt to the business world, where our old Taylorian administration concepts still prevail. The new generations, mainly millennials, will be the majority in companies in the coming years, so it is very important to help them develop their leadership skills and teach them the importance of effort and its value in personal satisfaction. They are the ones who have adapted best to the home office modalities, generating clear results for the business, and if we are concerned about attracting and retaining this talent, we must be flexible and think outside the box to achieve it.

In conclusion, today we have experienced one of the greatest transformational moments in the history of humanity. After overcoming a pandemic that in another time would have brutally weakened us, we conquered it and learned many lessons. We used technology more than ever before to move forward, integrating artificial intelligence and talentism to create a new civilization with its share of past flaws and vices, but ultimately with a much more developed capacity for survival. Without a doubt, we are experiencing the Fifth Industrial Revolution, in which talent, purpose, and artificial intelligence will be vital in the long-hoped for  pursuit of happiness. You must decide whether to evolve or disappear.

Photo by:   Edgar Rosas Lopez

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