The Next New Normal: Work after the Covid-19 Pandemic

WFH new normal
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Published On

August 12, 2022


In January of 2020, the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in the United States. The virus that sparked the global Covid-19 pandemic spread rapidly throughout the country and upended life almost in an instant. Entire states shut down, social distancing measures were put into place, the economy severely declined, millions of employees were furloughed or lost jobs, and nothing was as it used to be.

Two years later, life has somewhat returned to normal, but some things may never be the same again. The Covid-19 pandemic triggered major societal changes, especially in the labor force, that are most likely here to stay. It also accelerated existing trends, leaving businesses and employers to quickly adapt and adopt new practices in response.

Those that haven't evolved are beginning to see the repercussions as their workers look for different opportunities. Job turnover rates in the United States have been steadily increasing since the U.S. economy started its recovery. This year, voluntary turnover is expected to jump from an annual average of 31.9 million to 37.4 million. The near 20% jump in turnovers is an indication of the significant shifts happening in the workplace.

What are these changes? What does the future of jobs look like in a post-pandemic world? This article explores the current trends that are reshaping the labor force today so that your business can embrace them and thrive.

So what exactly is the next new normal?


Working to Live, Not Living to Work

When Covid-19 first started to spread in the United States, safety measures were put into place in order to slow it down. Schools and businesses closed their doors and resumed with remote learning and remote work where possible. Global and local travel restrictions were put into place. People stayed at home, except for necessities, like going to their job if they were essential workers, picking up groceries, or visiting the doctor. Almost overnight, everything was drastically different.

The economic downturn as a result of the coronavirus pandemic led to catastrophic job loss. In April 2020, labor statistics show that the unemployment rate was 14.7 percent. Jobs during pandemic times were hard to come by and hard to keep. Workers were either laid off permanently or furloughed, and the number of people receiving unemployment benefits from the federal government was at an all-time high. It was the worst economic crisis that the United States had seen since the Great Depression.

Not only were workers losing their jobs, but many people were fearful of losing their loved ones. As of July 2022, almost 90 million Americans have contracted Covid 19, and over one million lost their lives.

Faced with the reality that their job or their friends and family could be taken away in an instant, many people started to re-evaluate their priorities. For most, family was far more important than any career, and they wanted their life to reflect that.

Workers today don't want to live for their jobs. They want to work so that they can live fully. Working 40 or more hours a week for not enough pay is no longer worthwhile. They don't want a rigid schedule with no flexibility; they want to enjoy what they do and feel valued as an employee. They also want benefits like healthcare, vacation time, and personal days that enhance their daily life. Most workers now want employers who care about their well-being outside of work and not just their productivity in the office.

At first, people were just grateful to keep their jobs, whether they were happy or not. But now that the economy has started to improve, along with job growth, people are taking the opportunity to find a new job that aligns more with their values. Approximately 66% of unemployed people consider switching careers and many realize that now is the time to act upon it.

The future of work looks a lot more flexible than it once was. Businesses that value work-life balance have more satisfied workers. Eighty-nine percent of employees at companies that prioritize their workers' well-being are more likely to perceive their places of work in a positive manner. Understanding that priorities have changed since the pandemic and aligning with those values will have a positive impact on your business.

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Say Hello to Hybrid

A huge driving factor for the desire to have flexibility was remote work. In the beginning months of the pandemic, almost everyone except for essential workers was forced to work remotely because of safety concerns. Even young students in school transitioned to remote learning for a while. It was a time of trial and error as companies tried to figure out the best communication tools and keep up productivity from a distance.

While it started with uncertainty and some experimentation, remote work was proven to be feasible. Not only is it possible, but it has a positive impact on both employees and employers. Having the ability to work from home reduces child care costs for parents, makes working in different time zones easier, and some employees find it more comfortable working from home. Remote workers report that their productivity and job satisfaction is higher at home compared to in the office.

Two years into the pandemic, remote work is not always necessary anymore, but it's still preferred by many workers. About fifty-nine percent of U.S. employees whose jobs can be done from home are still working remotely all or most of the time. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, this number was only 23%.

While remote work is mostly positive, there is a lack of social interactions with co-workers. It can cause a breakdown in teams, hinder successful brainstorming sessions, and cause employees to feel isolated and disconnected from their workplace.

To combat the isolation of remote work, many businesses are now embracing hybrid schedules. Hybrid work schedules are a flexible model that combines remote work and in-office work. Workers are able to log in from home on some days and work in the office on other days. This is usually on a set schedule that is agreeable to all parties involved.

After experiencing the freedom and flexibility that remote work offers, workers now place a high priority on the ability to work from home either part or full time. Businesses that plan to go back to only in-office arrangements risk losing up to 39% of their employees. Hybrid schedules may soon become normal practice in the United States, and your business can benefit from adopting this method.


Developers in Demand

With remote work becoming more prevalent, dependency on technology has increased more than ever before. Office-based jobs are not the only ones that rely on it so greatly. Businesses and services in every sector now have a high demand for efficient and effective technology.

Beginning in the first lockdowns when everyone was isolated, there was a digital surge as people needed the internet and internet-based services to communicate, make transactions, and continue with their lives as much as possible from home. What began as a necessity is now a convenience that people can not do without.

The health care sector has started using telemedicine, which enables phone or video appointments between a doctor and their patient. Grocery stores use apps that allow customers to shop virtually and either pick up their groceries curbside or have them delivered right to their doorstep. Education now depends on online programs sometimes more than in-person. Colleges and universities have increased the number of online classes they offer so that students can earn a college degree without ever stepping foot on campus. Even office jobs that don't allow the option of remote work still heavily rely on software and video conferencing platforms.

Along with the rise of technology dependence comes the increased demand for developers. Businesses and services need capable and qualified technology teams to design, build, and maintain software that meets their specific needs. Developers can create application services, infrastructure solutions, and business processes for any and every sector. They can also troubleshoot and protect from security breaches.

Not every business can afford an in-house software development team. That's why 64% of businesses outsource their software development. Partnering with a service like Talentcrowd gives access to expertise and qualified development teams that are best suited for your specific projects. Even before remote work became the norm, Talentcrowd was already fully operating with this approach, so they are experts in serving clients who are still navigating the hybrid and remote work world.

If your business has reliable and user-friendly technology, Talentcrowd can ensure that you stay ahead in this new digitally driven market. No matter what sector your business operates in, outsourcing your software development will ensure that you remain relevant.


The Restructuring of Jobs During the Pandemic Has Changed the Future of Work Forever

When Covid-19 first began, there were so many questions about the future. When will the health crisis end? Will life ever go back to the way it used to be?

Although there are still many variables and questions about what lies ahead, one of the few certainties revealed this past year is that jobs in the United States have been undergoing major changes, and these changes appear to be permanent. The Covid-19 pandemic may still continue to reshape work, and keeping up with the transforming trends is critical for businesses.

The new trends look like a healthy work-life balance, hybrid work schedules, and a heavy reliance on developers as digital dependence grows. By partnering with Talentcrowd, you can have immediate access to a trusted, talented technology team who are experts in software development. With their substantial remote work experience, they can help your business navigate this new approach and find the best talent for your technology needs.

While it may be too soon to say that the Covid-19 pandemic is coming to an end, the future of work after the pandemic will certainly be changed forever. Adapting to it and adopting new practices will ensure that your business stays relevant and thrives in the next new normal.