Content exclusively created for stratx-exl.com by Tomedes
In a year that has felt more like a lifetime, the COVID-19 pandemic pulled the rug from under our feet – for many of us, our professional work, and our life goals, have been dramatically altered. Practices that were a necessity to cope with the crisis, may now come to define how we work and take on new challenges in the future.
Automation and AI will definitely become an increasing feature of the future digital economy. So will employees who are levelling up to have a better understanding of business processes and the skills and experience to contribute in agile and creative ways.
What is Upskilling and Reskilling?
You’ve probably seen these terms a lot in the media recently – but what exactly do they mean? Both words imply learning new ways of doing things; however, there are differences. Let’s dive in.
Upskilling is the process of learning new things that aims at enhancing your existing skillset.
Upskilling commonly happens in the workplace. Organizations may need to expose their workforce to new ways of working; consequently, introduce new programs of skills training as part of learning and development plans. A better understanding of team roles benefits everyone and brings added value to the entire organization.
What if you are job-seeking, thinking of switching careers or simply looking to set yourself new career goals? There is no point in getting left behind - you can get online certifications or attend remote learning courses at any time. It’s always a good idea to have work-related qualifications and add in-demand skills to your curriculum vitae.
Reskilling is learning different skills towards capability building for a new role, an assignment, or a total career switch. This could take the form of corporate training, executive education, internships, or apprenticeships where you can pick up experience through doing the work, so practically learning by doing.
What are the top 5 most relevant skills for remote working?
If you are getting ready to join the job market, looking to switch careers, hoping to progress into a more challenging role in the next year, or if you are simply looking to improve on soft and hard skills in your current position, here are 5 essential job skills that managers and HR leaders are looking for in determining the best of the breed.
1. Continuous Learning
The days of finding a job that suits your routine and just signing in - signing out, are over. To get ahead and improve your capabilities and position, you need to be curious, practice and ingrain continuous learning. Look at boosting your soft and hard skills, to improve your effectiveness at work and your long-term career prospects.
Pro tip: Try boosting your professional skills with LinkedIn Learning or Udemy and don’t be afraid to put learning new skills on the agenda in management meetings. Reach out and partner with learning and development experts to get you on a good track.
2. Time Management
In the last year, a lot of employers have had to adapt to remote working, and this has meant trusting employees to manage their own hours and get work delivered on time. Time management is more important now than ever with all the distractions of smartphones, social media, and pressures of working in a domestic setting.
Smart tip: At the end of your day, list out all of tomorrow’s tasks, with the trickiest first in line. Once you’ve crossed the scary ones off the list, the rest will be easier to tackle, and you’ll be on target. Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique?
If you imagine remote working means doing everything on your own, you would be surprised.
Being a team player is more important now than ever as online apps get us to meet around the virtual boardroom table. The dramatic uptake of platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, and Slack, in the last year, has meant us embracing more collaboration and learning even when working alone from home.
Skill tip: See what your colleagues are doing, and why they do it as part of the project. This will help you understand the team better, and how you can contribute more to successful outcomes.
4. Creativity and Resilience
2022 will see more rapid change in business methods and new markets with businesses having to adapt and be agile to thrive. These new challenges will mean employees with creativity, who can find practical solutions and ideas to move a project forward, will stand out and be first in line to advance.
Resilience means also taking responsibility for these ideas if they don’t immediately work, or fail to make any impact at all. Being able to bounce back from a setback, and having the maturity to try to improve, will show leadership or management teams you have the right temperament to inspire the confidence of others.
Pro tip: Try to change your routine, and read articles on your industry and success stories with projects like yours, and you may find new ideas and inspiration to boost your creativity.
5. Cloud Computing
Here is a direct skill to give you the edge in 2021. Our resources, data, and work routines have shifted to the cloud much faster than was anticipated before the pandemic, so the world needs people who can understand and work with the cloud.
Even if you are not a software engineer or programmer, understanding best practices for working with cloud-based technology will give you a rounded understanding of the project, and you may be able to provide better support to managers and clients who may lack those insights.
Skill tip: Take a tour of videos on cloud computing and read up on upcoming trends. You’ll be more relevant and can impress your peers in meetings (and perhaps, earn kudos from the developers as well!).
How are businesses adapting to the "distance economy" for 2021-2022?
COVID-19 has sped up the need for businesses to embrace digital transformation and executives and staff have embraced online remote video meetings, teleconferencing, and the use of cloud computing. Hosting a Zoom or Teams meeting has become part of the new normal for companies around the globe. Apps have the ability to manage scheduling across time zones and adapting work to evolving shift patterns, for a multilingual workforce, on different continents.
“Current trends are accelerating the need to enhance existing staff with training and helping them to develop new skills,” said Ofer Tirosh, CEO of Tomedes translation agency. “Increasingly, they need to have great digital communication skills, know multicultural best practices with producing content for clients, and understand the role of SEO in our new ‘distance economy’.”
It is estimated that 48% of the U.S. workforce is currently employed remotely. A similar pattern is emerging globally as we gear up for 2022. It is estimated that 30% of all employees will be continuing to work their shifts remotely for the foreseeable future.
Working remotely has benefits for employees, and allows both personal and work life to balance harmoniously. For instance, mothers can juggle their parental role with professional duties far easier when working from home. With increased convenience, it’s no surprise that according to FlexJobs, more than 65% of global employees prefer to work from home full-time as the new normal.
There are significant benefits of remote working for employers. Employers surveyed by Finances Online reported a 52% increase in productivity, matched by a 48% increase in efficiency, as well as health benefits for the workforce with a 44% increase in morale, a 43% boost to employee retention, and long term trending improvements in carbon footprint, decreased bureaucracy, and better worker diversity.
“In the distance economy, long-term job security and an attractive salary alone won’t retain top talents,” said Jenny of a leading business media outlet. “Continuous learning, enhancing understanding of the cloud and communications, and flexible work schedules that benefit both employees and employers will be key for 2022 success.”