My thoughts about the changing workplace
I don't think I need to introduce the villain of the story. Covid-19 has affected every aspect of our lives. Many of us all over the globe are uncertain about what the future holds.
In this time of uncertainty, here are my thoughts on how tech related jobs will change.
1. Companies become open to hiring fully remotely
This unprecedented situation has forced the hands of many companies. A complete lockdown has been imposed in many areas. In India, the lockdown is almost two months long right now. In order to keep work moving, employees need to work from home (WFH). At many companies, this privilege is reserved for a few trusted and long term employees. The common fear for upper management is the productivity drop that comes from letting employees work outside the office.
Much to their surprise, employees are being just as productive at home.
This brings us to the question, if employees are productive at home, do we need to bring them into office for work?
Companies pay a lot of money to rent office space. Are these needed anymore, or can they be downsized?
Companies can now hire people from across the globe. The employee pool that they can access has just expanded. It is not limited to the physical location. Which brings us to the next point.
2. Employees get to work from anywhere
Since companies start to hire people remotely, the number of companies that you can apply to is now expanded. Physical location is no longer a challenge.
This means that you can live wherever you are and pay less or even nil rent. You are not forced to migrate to a busy city paying huge rents for small spaces. You can stay with your family and loved ones. You don't need to be stuck in a commute everyday. This means more time with the people you love.
3. Companies are willing to invest more on technology
In this situation of physical social distancing, we all rely on the internet to connect us. It has enabled us to kill time watching Netflix and Youtube. With no other option, we meet up on online platforms. Zoom is a great example of how internet companies are in great demand.
Now that everything is being done online, every company needs to make sure they have an online presence. This means that they will need to create better digital experiences for their clients, and also transition their existing offline businesses to be online. This creates greater demand for technology people.
4. Companies will want people with demonstrated skills
The economy is not in a good shape. Companies want to operate as lean as possible. They allocate resources to business units having the most revenue. They want the right resources who maximize the output given the constraints, one of which is time.
Now, more than ever, companies will look for people with a proven portfolio, or demonstrating a passion for the field with existing code contributions or community work in an open source community.
Freshers who have just graduated from college face a tough task ahead of them if they do not have these experiences to showcase. With slow and limited recruitment, you need to stand out amongst that crowd.
To get ahead of the curve, just keep on learning, and creating side projects, and posting online.
5. Companies increase focus on automation to reduce costs
Automation is one of the quickest ways to optimize costs. Mundane tasks end up automated. Human effort will be minimized wherever possible.
People who are focused on such work should try to upskill. It is not very difficult to learn web development or programming. It just takes patience and consistent effort. Twitter has some awesome people in tech who are ready to help. If you feel lost do check out the people I'm following.
These thoughts are based on some of the content I've seen and read online as well as some common sense. Dear extroverts, I'm sorry we're all stuck at home.