As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it becomes even more evident that it’ll inspire lasting changes. In professional spheres, it’s already shifting job expectations associated with various positions. Some of these may be temporary, while others could last long after the virus subsides.
Employers and workers alike should recognize these changing roles, regardless of how long they’ll last. No matter what the future holds, these positions must adapt right now. Understanding these shifts can help managers and co-workers cooperate more effectively:
As students started returning to school, either virtually or in-person, teachers have been in the spotlight. School systems are expecting different things from educators now that education itself is taking on new forms. One study found that just 41% of surveyed districts require teachers to assign grades right now.
While some schools are moving away from grading, 67% require teachers to provide feedback on student work. That figure is up from just 7% in March, representing a growing trend in the education system. Teachers have to rethink how they address student learning in light of new difficulties.
Critics have been vocal about the inefficacy of traditional grading systems long before the pandemic. It’s not out of the question that schools could move away from these methods permanently. If this less rigid, more individualized approach to education proves effective, it could become the standard for teachers in the future.
2. Doctors & Nurses
It’s hard to talk about changing job expectations amid COVID-19 and not mention health care workers. On the surface, doctors and nurses have had to perform their regular duties at more extreme levels. Increased demand isn’t the only change they face, though, as the world is expecting them to be educators as well.
Amid the confusion of the pandemic, people have turned to the medical community as a source of information. According to one study, 51% of American adults get their news about COVID-19 from health organizations. That’s more than local news outlets and elected officials. As the pandemic continues, medical staff have to educate, not just treat illnesses.
3. HR Managers
With so many companies adopting a work-from-home model, HR departments have had to adapt. Many HR managers have taken a more active role as they guide employers and workers through workflow transitions. Ensuring clear and consistent communication has become a more critical part of the job.
Now more than ever, HR managers need to be flexible and balanced. Finding a middle ground between company goals and employee needs isn’t always straightforward. It’s up to the HR department to guide both sides through these issues and ensure stability.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, financial issues have plagued businesses of all kinds. CFOs encounter difficult decisions in the face of changing business models and cutbacks. In many instances, CFOs must entirely reshape a company’s financial strategy.
As organizations face economic uncertainty, CFOs need to ensure current revenue supports current needs, then address the future. It’s unclear how much longer the pandemic will last and how markets will respond. As a result, CFOs have to plan for an uncertain tomorrow, enabling flexibility and resilience.
In the past, CFOs could predict market shifts and economic outlooks with reasonable certainty. Those times are gone now, so the CFO role must become more flexible.
5. General Counsel
Before the pandemic, companies typically saw the general counsel (GC) as the head of the legal department. Now, they often take an executive role, helping shape strategy amid changing circumstances. GCs are more valuable than ever, as evidenced by their climbing compensation rates in many corporations.
Faced with changing legal requirements, GCs play a more substantial part in decision-making. They have to ensure that companies account for employee and customer safety, compliance with new regulations and social justice movements. Given the growing severity of these issues, GCs are more active and involved than before the pandemic.
6. IT Managers
The pandemic has accelerated the inevitable digital revolution. As more companies adopt cloud technologies and remote work tools, the spotlight turns to IT managers. The average IT department must go beyond addressing occasional bugs and questions and begin leading their company’s digital transformation.
Job expectations of IT staff are at an unprecedented high as functional, secure digital infrastructure becomes essential. Disruptions in a business’s network can now mean slowdowns and outages for the company as a whole. Now, virtually every organization is a tech company, making IT a central part of how a business functions.
Marketers may find themselves in uncomfortable or uncertain positions as the pandemic continues. As consumer spending has declined, companies need to make more sales, but many businesses spend less on ads now. Marketers often need to find ways to do more with less.
More than anything, marketers have had to restructure their companies’ approach to consumer relations. Marketing strategies have to become transparent and empathetic to appeal to consumers in a COVID-stricken world. Like many other workers, marketers also have to become more flexible in the face of uncertainty.
The Post-COVID Business World Won’t Be the Same
Many of these changes will likely stay after the world recovers from COVID-19. Just as consumer habits and opinions are shifting, many job expectations are also evolving. Few positions will look the same in 2021 as they did at the start of 2020.
This period of change will be uneasy for companies at first. Many of these shifts will prove positive, though, as they make businesses more flexible and resilient. It’s still unclear how the post-COVID business world will look, but it certainly won’t operate like it did before.