The pandemic has hit every industry hard. The consequence of such an economic impact has been the rising cases of unemployment throughout the world. There are millions out there that are without jobs right now. And while the situation is steadily moving upwards, the expectations are that it will still take at least another couple of years for things to get back to normal. However, there has been another side to the pandemic than the well-documented business failures and struggles. It has brought about significant changes to the world of work.
Businesses have been forced to quit their long-held beliefs about how people work and the workplace needs to function. Most of the businesses out there are not referring to the employment playbook that they used to before the pandemic. They are looking to come out of the pandemic with new working models and a workforce that is diverse, engaged, resilient, and inclusive.
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What the pandemic is also expected to bring about sooner rather than later is a demographic transition. However, this would take a lot more than just going back to the period before the pandemic. It will take a complete change in how demographics are viewed by different people – a change in perception.
The developed economies of the world are facing challenges in properly dealing with a high percentage of people that are way past their days of youth. Even some developing economies are facing the same challenges but not India where the challenge is the growing youth population. The likes of India and other emerging market economies are expected to reach the culmination of their changing demographics phase in the next twenty years or so.
What this growing youth population in developing economies should have meant is an increase in the demographic dividend – the percentage of the working population that is supporting their retired family members and children. However, this advantage could soon turn into a disadvantage if these economies are not able to create more jobs for this growing population and also create high paying jobs and productive ones.
Talking of India, its youth population is more than the overall population of several developed countries. The unemployment rate for this group has reached a staggering low before the pandemic. This growing unemployment rate in the youth population and their inability to land productive jobs makes them look for jobs in the informal sector. The problem with employment in the informal sector is that it isn’t regulated by the government and doesn’t have any tax rules.
Technological advancement is also expected to be a game-changer in the world of work in the time to come. That expectation is based on how digital platforms helped businesses to stay operational and get work done during the pandemic. Technology has again proven to be a boon for many businesses and economies. Even during these desperate times, technology enablement allowed businesses to survive and minimize damages.
The pandemic has affected every industry in one way or the other but has also given them an opportunity to reinvent the world of work according to their needs and the needs of those who they will employ in the future.
Reference: “RETHINKING THE WORLD OF WORK” | Sabina Dewan and Ekkehard Ernst
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