16.03.2021 5-minute read.
Predicting the future of work is always tricky, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made any type of prognosis even more difficult. While it’s anyone’s guess what’s next, some constants remain: organizational performance will always be important, and it is dependent on employees.
There is an interview with a Boston University Professor of Communications – Ellen Ruppel Shell about this important matter, let me share some of her thoughts with you:
What this crisis has done Is that it brought us this natural experiment that has sped up many of the systems that were already in place before the crisis occurred. In the case of white-collar workers, online work has become the norm. This is a trend that has been with us since the 1970-80s and now it’s imperative. What does that bring us as you mentioned “Zoom” has become a verb, we all have become familiar with it and the question is, how this will change our working lives in terms of, for example –commuting to work.
Many environmentalists think so that it would be great if we would no longer commute to work or travel for work. The idea of working in teams, many people think we overrate the importance in actually working in teams. Now that we are often alone in our homes, well, this will reorient us in a different way. As white-collar workers, working from their home are also often doing their own child care. The average age for worker in the USA is 39, which means many of us have children, some of us have young children in the home while working.
Well, it confronts us with the fact that we have children, workers have children. What we are going to demand going forward in terms of child care as white-collar workers. Now let’s flip this to the people who are taking care of our children normally, the pink and blue-collar workers, the hourly workers, what this is shown us, of course, the importance of these workers in our lives, the value of these workers. We have now seen, how valuable, how vital that job really is – perhaps we should maybe reconsider the importance of these roles going forward and how we might want to reward as well as value people who do this kind of very important work.
Many blue-collar workers are not able to stay in the safety of their home that they have to go out and work in, for example as grocery clerks or drug store clerks, pharmacy clerks. The question is – what about these frontline workers? They are working, many of them without protections. We’ve known this for a very long time but this crisis puts all this into stark relief.
So, most American workers do not have a contract, they certainly do not have tenure, they are employee at will-suppliers of labor and not much else. We talk a lot about loyalty to our employees, what this virus has put into stark relief for both white-collar and blue-collar workers is that loyalty quickly evaporates as profits decline. So here we are in a crisis situation and untold numbers of Americans, be they white or blue-collar workers are losing their jobs sometimes their benefits, their healthcare benefits at the same time when they need them the most. Is this happening to people not only all over the United States but all over the world. It’s really terrifying and frightening- people are suddenly confronted with the reality that they really don’t have a very much leverage in their employment situation.
So, I am hoping that will come out of this is the employee doctrine will be reconsidered. We might want to reconsider what we value in terms of work. And I am very hopeful that has brought us all up short and said “Oh my gosh”. Yes, these are almost human rights we should have these things, how terrifying to have a family becomes suddenly unemployed and uninsured. I am hopeful that we learnt from that and we will start concerning putting in protections. I know that’s wishful thinking, but I am going to wishfully think.
The worst thing is that we scramble after fewer and fewer jobs, that the scarcity of jobs will lead to desperation and people taking less than they deserve. That would be the worst possible situation, leading to a decline in conditions for workers. That would be the most devastating outcome of this and I am very hopeful that won’t be the case.
This was an interview with Boston University Professor of Communications – Ellen Ruppel Shell. She is concerned about the future of employment and shared with us her honest predictions. I think that every single statement is making sense and I absolutely agree with her that every job is important and that we don’t have to scramble over positions. We have to reconsider the importance of certain job positions and now undervalue them.
MVS Pharma GmbH is an innovative pharmaceutical start-up company, which researches in the area of reducing viruses and bacteria with plant based aerosols. Their special formula ensures the purity and the stability of the used ingredients during storage.
Aleksandar Videv is an article writer, who explores the scientific and fictional ideas about future with/or after Covid-19 …. and the possibilities for producing aerosols made out of plants against respiratory viruses and bacteria.
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