COVID-19 & Work trends update

COVID-19 & Work trends update

As the world continues to change following the lockdown in Q2 2020, the global economy has seen a staged rebound. Most businesses have now reopened and output has slowly been picking up however there is still significant uncertainty about the medium-term outlook, as well as concerns of how the pandemic will permanently change the world we once knew.

With the furlough scheme having entered a more flexible phase in July and the self-employed income scheme ending in August, we expect to see a continued slimming down of businesses. See business trends in our latest Covid-19 snapshot

  • According to the latest jobs market report from employment website CV-Library, the number of job vacancies in the UK fell by 62.7% in Q2 2020
  • The Treasury’s Office for Budget Responsibility have predicted that about 15% of furloughed workers will lose their jobs when the scheme ends
  • The Labour Force Survey is showing only a small fall in employment, but shows 649,000 people who report working no hours and getting no pay

Restructuring and future proofing the workforce will be more essential than ever with individuals and organisations starting to use the opportunity to identify the skills and jobs that will transform workforces and businesses to be future ready. Rialto have found that those who are ahead are already identifying skills gaps and also assessing what and how they need to change in order to survive & grow. Entire workforces are having to demonstrate a totally new level of resilience with leaders expressing this as being one of the greatest leadership tests of their lives.

Where there was resistance amongst some organisations pre pandemic to bring digitisation to the forefront of operating, within a matter of days, this was seen to fall away for most and digitisation has become entwined in formal leadership and the day to day of life. As businesses continue to evolve many staff are unlikely to return to the office in 2020 (see our returning to work trends snapshot) with leaders facing the challenge of leading hybrid and remote workforces and enhancing collaboration, agility and productivity along with greater levels of wellbeing.

Developing a collaborative and systems style of leadership has been a key strand of leadership development programmes delivered by Rialto in recent years and is becoming more of a priority than ever. Equally, human leadership is essential to truly engage workforces behind initiatives and ideas. Future workplaces require enhanced collaborative decision making at all levels as well as cross-functionally through a whole systems approach. The role of leadership is to catalyse, enable and support widespread co-ordinated action, not only internally but also to manage external stakeholders in order to solve and deliver against the most difficult problems.

As we all know, no leader or organisation can afford to be an island in the current climate. It is more essential than ever that businesses develop the skills, capabilities and thinking to lead more democratically and collaboratively to deliver future results.

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