By EMMANUEL MUTUMA
Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the country in March last year, many companies and employees have rediscovered creative ways to perform jobs remotely, while maintaining their vision and business objectives.
Without doubt, the job market has changed tremendously due to the fast and deeper adaption of digital tools and technology that has made it easier, faster more affordable and productive to work from home.
Be that as it may, there has been radical changes in the workplace! Some industries and sectors have majorly been affected by the effects of COVID-19 and will have to re-look at their human resources capacity as they look into the future with optimism.
Our research, The BrighterMonday Kenya Impact of COVID-19 Jobs Report, shows that in overall, sales, accounting, auditing, finance, engineering and technology are the top most sought-after job functions while management, business development, administration, software and data are the top declining job functions.
Lest we forget, the trending job functions provide an overview of positions that have become more popular in the Kenyan market and have seen a notable increase in demand based on job posting.
Out of this unfortunate situation, COVID-19 which has so far resulted to over 1,770 deaths, is changing the working landscape around the world, but it is not all doom and gloom. Despite the major impact the coronavirus has had on the economy and the Kenya job market, there have been some emerging roles arising from the “new normal” which has led to substitute opportunities for job seekers to tap into.
With over two million out of their jobs already, the jobseekers will need to invest in skills training to perform jobs like Information Technology (IT) support, contract tracers, virtual events facilitators, COVID-19 testers and screeners that are among the types of roles to emerge from the pandemic.
Interestingly, despite a decline in the performance of some industries, there will be sure fresh opportunities and a combination of hard skills and soft skills will be required, hence organizations need a long-term comprehensive skills framework that combines strategy and technology to empower employees to excel.
At BrighterMonday Kenya, we are committed to the goal of maximizing the opportunities for East Africa’s job seekers and over 34,000 registered employers as has been the norm in over one and a half decades.
At the end of it all, COVID-19 has impacted how employers view compensation, and has put a spotlight on benefits options, hence redesigning compensation models to align with the future of work to include mental health and wellness benefits; remote work; project-based pay; pay on-demand; revising incentive plans; childcare support as well as flexible pay.
Admittedly, remote work is fast becoming the new business model in organizations as technology has facilitated the effective execution of remote work to cater for virtual workplace.
With a far-reaching transformation, technology giants like Microsoft have let their employees to work from home permanently white Twitter and Square’s employees are allowed to work whenever they feel most creative and productive, even post the pandemic.
Therefore, remote work is here to stay with us. It has greatly influenced some remote workplace trends such as workplace flexibility; increased organizational transparency, increased remote communication and even socialization.
According to the Remote Work Summit, the remote workforce is growing at an astonishing rate. We are waltzing into a new era of hyper mobility. There are abundant resources available to help companies manage and grow a remote workforce.
It is admirable that technology has reaffirmed that it is here to stay and without it, most organisations and employees would have been holding their breath and crossing their fingers and hoping for the best out of the pandemic.
It is a race against time to attain the status quo, but COVID-19’s role as a catalyst has accelerated already existing technology trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing; Cyber-security as well as Virtual Reality which have streamlined communication, operations and recruitment processes and facilitated a virtual workplace.
It should not be forgotten that for a long time technology trends have not only harnessed reduced human interactions, but also led to increased productivity.
It is crystal clear that the impact of COVID-19 will be felt for some years to come, and the best way to deal with its effects is to embrace change.
Therefore, in order to have a cutting-edge management of the disruptions caused by the pandemic and prepare for the future of work, organisations need to remain agile, adaptable and resilient in their approach to implementing tailor-made models that seek to address effects of the pandemic to strike the right cord.
The successful use of disruption as an opportunity to elevate every structure of the organization is a landmark statement of strategic management and recruitment ingenuity.
The author is the CEO of BrighterMonday Kenya