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Lessons Learned from a Year of Disruption

One year ago, it would have been hard to predict that we’d have more than a full calendar year of massive changes that transformed the world of work – possibly forever. Looking back on the year of disruption, here are lessons that will continue as work moves forward in a new way. 

Remote work is an option 
Not everyone prefers remote work, but as it was adopted en masse in 2020, organizations realized that it’s a viable option for many people. For many workers, especially the younger workforce, remote work and flexible arrangements are preferred to rigid office hours. There are signs this trend will continue. Remote work roles often include information technology, software development and other knowledge workers. 

Training transitions online 
Just as the workday can be done remotely, so can training and upskilling. For example, some companies are hiring employees that have never set foot in a company building. Beyond new hires, continuing education can take place for both hard and soft skills for those who want to continue advancing their career while at home. In fact, personal development course enrollment has grown 88% among those who are employed, according to the World Economic Forum's new Future of Jobs Report. 

Skills are transferrable 
A year ago, many workers may have had an abstract notion that their skills could apply in other jobs. Now, as some industries contract while others are expanding rapidly, the value of transferrable skills have never been more real. Skills like leadership, communication and project management apply across different industries, and make workers with these abilities in demand in new roles. 

More people are open to NextGen work 
Even before the pandemic, nearly 9 in 10 workers are open to NextGen work – or part-time, contingent, contract, freelance or temporary. As the workforce becomes more mobile and remote work continues to be the new normal, workers can turn to flexible employment opportunities. Today, this type of work continues to be a valuable option for workers. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, so many people simply longed for a return to the “normal” rules of work. Today, we have a new normal –– which modifies previous ways of doing things with lessons from the past year.