Post COVID: Looking to the changed landscape of work
As so many of us languish at home dreaming of a sunny crowded beer garden, we here at Sparktel have been wondering exactly how much of this will be permanent and what positive changes could come out of this worrying time.
Troubling world events have, throughout history, brought enormous societal change – The Black Death brought about (or at least hastened) an end to feudalism, tempted peasants into revolts and began the notion of workers organising for fairer conditions. The Spanish Flu of 1918 gave us governmental public health innovations, and World War 2 cemented this thinking into the NHS in the UK. The consequences of Covid-19 will be undoubtedly similar in their world-altering “new normal”. But what are we sure of so far?
· It’s obvious but worth examining….Remote Working is here to stay.
In a global study of senior finance leaders, 74% of companies plan to permanently shift to more remote work post COVID (Gartner, COVID-19 Bulletin: Executive Pulse, 3 April 2020)
· Use of video-conferencing and online subscription platforms have soared – Zoom reached 200 million daily participants by the beginning of April (paid and free) up from just 10 million in December .
· In a 2019 study of remote work by Gartner, it was shown to increase productivity levels by up to 40%. Of course, add a pandemic into the mix and we see the true ups and downs to working from home. On a day when Twitter announced the possibility of staff working remotely permanently, it’s time to prepare for what lies ahead and what we can do to make this a seamless transition from office to home.
Lets think about the barriers and difficulties – it’s easy for us to identify these!
· Childcare – any parents reading this right now with a teacher’s classroom dojo hanging over their heads or struggling with nappy-changing while waiting for a conference call, knows this all too well. Working two jobs, the paid one and the parent one, was what many had to do but sustainably, childcare needs are going to be of the utmost importance while we ride out the rest of this crisis and move onto the next phase.
· Accessibility – Wifi, Equipment – how many of us have this? A lot less than we might have imagined. Across the country many go without broadband and many others, working in jobs traditionally not IT based, do not even have a laptop. A Gartner study of work in Asia / Pacific identified technology and infrastructure as the biggest barrier (54%) to efficient remote work. However, a staggering 91% of work deemed possible was moved remotely out of necessity. What is it about necessity and invention again?
· The devil’s in the detail – a host of other difficulties present themselves as we move through this change. Communication, adequate living space, socialising, team-building, ergonomics… the list goes on. With correct surveys of workers and analysis though, we can make this work long-term and reap the benefits.
…and the positives?
· Staff retention – This one’s simple right? If we can work online, we retain staff. SME’s are innovating and the retail market will change significantly. Digital learning has exploded, and many previous face-to-face meetings, deemed essential, have moved into the online sphere.
· Less travel means less time spent on the roads in the morning, better air quality, and a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
· It also leads to the possibility of more people being afforded the chance to move away from city centres, and choose homes in less crowded, cheaper accommodations.
· Less people in the city means less pressure on the housing market…
· …and as companies look at the savings they will make on commercial rent, it makes simple financial sense to invest in telecoms on a national level.
Before Covid-19 hit the world, climate change, housing, health services and a desire for a better work-life balance occupied our thoughts.
Managed well, could this present an opportunity to work on all these problems cohesively and successfully?
(Still dying for that pint in a beer garden though)
Éadaoin Browne – Dublin – May 2020
Dean is a recent graduate of Business and Accounting from Maynooth University. Along with his undergraduate degree, he has years of professional experience in the car sales industry. Through these experiences, Dean has developed outstanding communication and interpersonal skills.
Dean’s background as a professional mechanic combined with his years of sales experience equips him with the ability to identify and understand the different market sectors in recruitment. These key attributes enable him to assist in understanding the needs and wants of both the candidate and the client for a positive long-lasting relationship.
Outside of work, Dean’s interests include a love of travelling, having spent time in Asia, along with captaining the Allenwood football team to many victories.
Senior Recruitment Consultant
Elizabeth takes an integrated and person-centred approach to recruitment, to ensure she not only delivers talent, but encourages prosperous relationships for all involved.
Elizabeth holds a BSc in Podiatric Medicine from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Her diverse career background within the areas of Healthcare, Event Management, Customer Service and Sales has strongly developed her ability to understand, communicate and facilitate the unique needs of individuals and companies.
Elizabeth’s affable and diligent nature ensures that both clients and jobseekers alike find what they’re looking for, whilst making the process as stress free and enjoyable as possible. She loves a challenge and her commitment to finding the ‘perfect fit’, takes her across a variety of sectors, from Telecoms to Medical and Pharmaceutical – and everything in between!
Peter has a keen eye for detail and is highly skilled at discovering key client and candidate information for the purpose of achieving a great recruitment fit.
Peter holds a degree in Business and Management along with a Master’s in Strategy and Innovation from Maynooth University. During his studies and after graduation, Peter has honed strong negotiation and communication skill’s from his time in retail, sales, and account management.
His key areas of expertise are technical and general recruitment across a range of industries from IT, Telecoms, Construction, and Engineering. Peter is highly adept at dealing with candidates and clients alike and has received awards for his customer service skills over the course of his career.
Peter is also a keen sportsman and has played both golf and rugby at a high level.
Evie joined the Sparktel team in 2021. She is a Business Studies and Spanish graduate from Trinity College Dublin. During her school and college years she has worked in a number of diverse customer service roles both here in Ireland and in Valencia, Spain. This has served to hone her excellent communication and people skills. Evie is also passionate about languages – she is fluent in Spanish having spent an Erasmus year studying business in Madrid.
Evie’s academic and professional background has equipped her with many unique skills. Having lived, studied and worked abroad, she is familiar with the career and cultural opportunities associated with relocation. She relishes the challenges of her work and does her utmost to ensure that talented people are placed where they will shine and deliver the best results for Sparktel’s clients.
Niall’s vision in any project is to deliver talent to an organisation to alleviate pressure and achieve results. How has he learned to do this?
Niall holds a BA in Business Studies & Human Resources, a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, specialist training in Aptitude and Psychometric testing and analysis along with a Black Belt in Online Recruitment Search. He has over a decade of experience in HR and Recruitment. Throughout his career, he has recruited and led recruitment teams for technical, high volume and executive search for SME’s right up to large multi-nationals.
An expert in recruitment, Niall has found thousands of job seekers their next career move whether as part of a one-off project with a small company or as part of a volume campaign with a blue-chip brand. Thousands of conversations, interviews, CV’s and stories have helped Niall become a specialist professional in dealing with job seekers and hiring managers alike to ensure that the right fit happens!