How COVID-19 is Accelerating Digital Workforce Transformation

Digital Workforce Transformation

Workforces are rapidly adapting to a new normal out of necessity—and it could be here to stay.

Flexible scheduling. Working from home. Collaborating virtually with colleagues. 

These were all workplace trends on the rise in recent years, as digital natives and a younger generation advanced in their careers. Globally, 40% of people reported that schedule flexibility— especially flexible start and finish times and the ability to work from home—is one of the top three factors when making career decisions, according to ManpowerGroup research

Now what once seemed like luxuries or “nice to haves” in jobs are now a necessity in response to the realities of a global pandemic. The global economy is getting a crash course in digital workforce transformation, seemingly overnight. It will be a massive undertaking and difficult transition. But it’s also speeding up trends already underway. Here’s how today’s workforce is adapting and accelerating change. 

Digital collaboration and conferencing 

Tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Teams, Slack, Sharepoint, Basecamp and more have seen a massive surge in interest as teams work to collaborate on projects, meet in real time and coordinate schedules when not in the same physical space. In some ways, businesses have seen efficiencies grow—people can start collaborating face to face with the push of a button. As digital literacy increases, teams will better be able to determine the best means of communication and choose the most effective channels for collaboration. 

Leaders stepping into new roles 

The ability for leaders to foster innovation, especially during periods of significant disruption, is critical, with technology playing a major role. In the past, technology was sometimes siloed into the domain of information technology or younger workers. Now everyone must become proficient with technology, including senior leaders. The pace of disruption is accelerating, and it is impacting leaders as much or greater than anyone else in the workplace. For business leaders, embracing digital tools to connect has become crucial. Leaders must have an understanding of the technical skills required to effectively communicate with and transform their team.

Rethinking the work schedule 

Globally, workers are doing their job duties remotely as shelter-in-place orders are given to those who are able to stay home. This experiment in massive work-from-home protocol gives businesses an opportunity to rethink their structure. Since digital transformation allows workers to be productive on their own time and location, organizations are seeing the value of productivity over presenteeism. A major shift in the future could be a byproduct of today’s adaptations.   

Those who have been at the forefront of the digital revolution for years –– Millennial and Gen Z workers –– are leading the charge and helping others make the leap. But with everyone now needing to work together, the shifts that have been happening could now become the new normal. 

How prepared is your organization for digital workforce transformation? Take the Digital Evolution Pathway assessment to find out.

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