Skip to main content

How Digitization is Changing the Old "Work" Order

Woman sitting at desk

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, work will look forever transformed. The changes that 2021 brings will include faster digitization across industries as well as adaptations to this new reality. In newly-released research on how the pandemic has impacted tech and skills, Skills Revolution Reboot: The 3R’s--Renew, Reskill, Redeploy. ManpowerGroup highlights key trends related to the impact of COVID-19 on digitization and the future of jobs and how digitization is transforming work.

Digitization fuels flexibility

In the past, many workplaces may never have even considered making meetings virtual, as long as everyone could reserve a conference room. But social distancing forced companies to adopt video meeting technologies, making it largely irrelevant where employees physically reside. These new ways of working have also led to the rise and acceleration of individual choice. More than ever people want flexibility, choice and the best hybrid remote and office work.

Winners take all

Companies are accelerating their digitization and automation as a result of the pandemic – 38% are speeding up while 17% have put plans on hold. Automation will increase workforce headcount for new jobs with those companies digitizing the most are also creating the most jobs. In fact, 86% of employers that are automating plan to increase or maintain their headcount; compared to just 11% of employers who plan to reduce or hold plans to automate.  

The new digital giants

Superstar organizations like Amazon that were making fast progress on digitization before the pandemic are already emerging stronger. Those already investing more in digitization, workforce skills and innovation are capturing a greater market share, pulling away from peers and benefiting employees and customers as the way we work, consume, learn and socialize shifted to remote almost overnight. In short, the most digital-focused companies are succeeding.

Digitization comes in waves

While larger organizations (250+ employees) plan to digitize more and hire more, there are growing trends among businesses of all sizes toward digitization. Larger organizations plan to automate Production and Manufacturing functions first, followed by Admin, IT and Front Office, whereas smaller companies are more likely to be digitizing to transform support functions, customer-facing and Finance. Sectors that were slow to automate before the pandemic are catching up and doubling down. 

In the report, ManpowerGroup also provides organizations with a practical roadmap around strategies to attract, develop, engage and retain the best talent necessary to succeed as digitization continues to transform work.