Jorge Zuñiga Blanco discusses employee trends expected to be seen this year

With the pandemic, there have been many very important changes in the workplace. Few occurrences in recent history have been as disruptive to the world of work as that which has been seen by the expansion of the coronavirus. However, businesses have been adapting and overcoming the obstacles that have been placed in the way as well as could be expected. Jorge Zuñiga Blanco, an entrepreneur and business leader from Costa Rica, sees more changes coming this year and details how the work environment will need to be updated to meet the times.

The quarantine has been the main driver of a change that was already taking place, but at much shorter steps: digital transformation. Telework has been the lifeboat that many companies have had to go up to. And with remote work, the needs come to employ powerful collaborative tools, cloud information management, time control tools or computer security protocols with greater scope, among others. Explains Zuñiga, “This process digitization extends to personnel selection. For this reason, now more than ever, it is important that you develop your profile taking into account keywords and that you master digital communications.”

The digital transformation that has occurred in companies driven by the health crisis has generated the need for more specialized employees who have digital capabilities to carry out their activities. To adapt to this new situation, many companies now offer continuous support and training on remote work to the entire workforce. For this reason, companies are expected to continue to provide training on digital solutions this year so that employees can achieve the necessary capabilities in this new reality.

Due to the digital transformation of companies, companies will bet on implementing more Agile working methodologies, such as Scrum or Kanban. This is because these methodologies allow greater flexibility in the face of change and facilitate the integration of the people involved in the project. In fact, 41% of companies point out that the traditional way of working on a day-to-day life will change to these new forms of work agile due to the pandemic.

Flexibility is another feature that has defined telework in the last ten months. Hybrid day models are already being implemented and this practice is likely to increase during 2021. “These models combine periods of remote work with face-to-face work periods,” adds Zuñiga. “It is expected that the employee can improve his or her level of reconciliation while saving rental and maintenance costs.” On the other hand, flexibility with regard to the place of residence is also expected to increase. It won’t be so necessary to go to work at the workplace every day. It may modify its location and move the headquarters or distribute it in several cheaper locations.

Training plans will increase and become more complex. Companies have seen that they must have a workforce that can adapt quickly to external circumstances. Digital platforms will be used to better integrate these activities into the day. That is, the type of training that is expected to increase is that provided online. However, as digital transformation accelerates, automation has also been advanced. If your position is at risk for this reason, you may need to consider a career change.

One of the most marked trends for this year is that the employee is the center. Having the workforce motivated and happy with its working conditions also brings benefits to companies. And with process digitization and automation, certain services are much less expensive and can be implemented. For example, health insurance with remote assistance. Concludes Zuñiga, “The mental health of employees has been a constant concern since last year. This year, many companies, either by imposing the regulations of the country, or by avoiding professional casualties, will guarantee a healthy working space, even if telecommuting is the new norm.”

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Jorge Zuñiga B