Businesses of all shapes and sizes across all industries were thrown a curveball because of the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Because of this, some companies closed down permanently or temporarily or made significant changes to their operations to overcome the challenges.
Moreover, the traditional ways of doing work, such as face-to-face interactions, cubicle and open-plan office layouts, and coming to work daily, are mostly gone. The pandemic forced many businesses to shift to a remote management setup. Such a change requires employees to adjust and equip themselves with must-have skills to thrive and remain productive in the new normal of working.
New skills are needed in the workplace during these times. Below are some of the skills workers need to develop to perform well and prepare for a post-pandemic workplace.
1. Mastery of digital tools
A survey shows that 96% of enterprise leaders prioritize digital transformation, as more consumers turn to digital directly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since employees are working from home, they need to use digital tools to communicate conveniently with their teams and customers or clients, manage and perform tasks efficiently, and improve overall workflow.
The pandemic sped up digital adoption. This means businesses and employees will be working with more digital tools in the future and for a wider scope of operations. Whether you work in digital marketing, accounting, or education, employees need to be more comfortable and adept with online tools to perform more productively and effectively.
Digital capabilities help employees succeed in the new world of work and businesses succeed in their respective industries.
2. Extra level of proactiveness at work
There are two types of workers: those who plan and have the initiative to do things even before you need to do them and those who only take action when required.
Proactiveness in a post-COVID-19 workplace means continually thinking of ways to prevent potential problems from occurring or the unavoidable ones to detect and solve them early on and improve processes to use business resources better.
Being proactive is a difficult skill to master. It requires one to invest a lot of time and energy to become an active participant in the workplace, making timely and well-thought-out actions. If you want to be more proactive, get more involved at work, confront challenges head-on before they balloon into overwhelming problems; and remember that procrastination is not an option.
3. Flexibility and adaptability
Flexibility and adaptability are vital skills that have evolved over the years. Before, flexibility meant being productive wherever you may be working. Now, it’s aligned with having an open mindset, adjusting to new and unexpected situations or tasks, and having the capacity to take on additional responsibilities.
Businesses had no other choice but to adapt to the changes brought upon by the pandemic. As times change, the ways companies operate will continue to evolve, and employees who can continuously adapt and update their skills are bound to become significant assets in their organizations.
4. Agile communicator
Being an agile communicator means demonstrating active listening, understanding and validating other peoples’ position and perspective, and making conversations more collaborative for everyone involved. This skill supports open-mindedness and more productive brainstorming, meetings, and discussions.
Agile communicators choose their words carefully; they practice their knee-jerk reactions to come from a place of openness and understanding, not confrontation. It’s more like being a “yes, and…” person. When employees develop this soft skill, communication at work can become more collaborative—a healthy culture to have for companies with a remote or hybrid setup.
5. Emotional intelligence
Statistics show that 75% of hiring managers value EQ over IQ. Emotional intelligence entails having an awareness of other people’s emotions, behaviors, and their point of view, especially when they are becoming uneasy or confrontational, as demonstrated by nonverbal cues. Additionally, someone with high EQ shows more empathy towards others.
This soft skill is critical for improving trust and maintaining productivity at work. Working in the new normal will come with many challenging and uncertain situations. It will require people to be more considerate and understand others’ emotions and feelings and their own. High EQ is not a touchy-feely soft skill but rather a predictor of outstanding leadership.
6. Work and life segmentation
Work-life segmentation among employees was put to the test during the first few months of remote work caused by the pandemic. This is a skill not many people find easy to develop. Having the capacity to attain enough time and commitment to enjoy your personal life without compromising work performance (or vice versa) can greatly improve one’s quality of life and professional growth.
The future of work will likely require employees to go back to the office or a hybrid of some sort, where employees get to work remotely for a couple of days a week. Time management and assertiveness to follow and let people respect your timetable are key components that will help you manage fatigue and avoid turning into a workaholic or someone who neglects work due to social commitments.
The world after the pandemic will never be the same, and soft skills will be viewed as equally important, if not more important than hard skills. The existing skills and practices pre-pandemic need to be tweaked and improved to suit the times, but there are also new skills to acquire to give you a leg up.
If you need a hand in finding talents that possess these soft skills, you can reach out to a credible recruitment agency in the Philippines. Manila Recruitment will help you find the right people for your business needs.