2020 has completely changed (and upset) the cards on the table, changing habits and even vocabulary, with words that have changed families and their routines and have entered the common language. But Covid-19 has not only touched the health or economic (with serious effects on unemployment data) and social spheres: it has also transformed the way of working, putting smartworking at the center, often combined with the needs of children and young people engaged in distance learning or perhaps with homeschooling. The 2021 trends of families say a lot about the fact that this year too we will proceed on the same line of sacrifice and rigor, with few exceptions. But how it was work during the pandemic in 2020? And what will work be like in 2021? Here are some predictions.
According to a November 2020 study by McKinsey & Company, hybrid models for workers – engaged with remote work combined with a few days in the presence – will continue throughout 2021. And this on the one hand is good, because even if with all the its limitations, the pandemic has also added the new awareness that working efficiently from home for certain types of tasks is perfectly possible. A prejudice, that of less productive smart working compared to office work, which for several years has characterized the responses of employers unwilling to grant it to workers who pushed for a greater balance on the Work Life Balance. According to experts, it is difficult to return to the old model in the short term and in any case not in 2021, the year in which Covid-19, unfortunately, will still be at the center of world news.
A BBC survey highlighted some of the aspects that workers, especially those with dependent families, want to bring with them from 2020 to 2021. Among the benefits of smartworking that were highlighted by the poll are:
- greater serenity in private life
- lower stress levels
- awareness that you can work well not only from the office
- greater creativity
- greater propensity to learn new hard and soft skills to improve their work
Of course, the Pandemic Fatigue, or the stress deriving from the sacrifices and restrictions related to Covid-19 theorized and analyzed by the WHO, has affected several workers. Especially those who have had to jump through hoops to reconcile homework for their busy children with distance learning and their own work. According to a study published in the Washington Post during the first lockdown, parents were interrupted by their children at least every 15 minutes, generating not a little “effort” in completing each one’s tasks.
In addition to this, among the bad habits that have been born in this new model of work in 2020 and will still be at the center in 2021 and that many workers would like to eliminate in the new year is also the inability to stop working once the work is over. ‘working hours, in a context in which saying enough about the tasks to be completed is difficult, fluid and too hybrid to have defined contours.
In general, as evidenced by the BBC survey, 2021 workers feel more able to complete multiple tasks simultaneously, ready to accept the challenges that this new year will bring not only to parents but also to all those who have found each other. to change their established habits in the year of the pandemic.
Sources for this article: BBC, “How our views on work have changed forever”; WHO, “Pandemic fatigue Reinvigorating the public to prevent COVID-19”; McKinsey & Company, “What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries”