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Even prior to COVID-19 and the revolutionary working practices established as a result, the professional services world was investing significantly in digital transformation for their businesses. The pandemic certainly sped up the required adoption of this tech and has ultimately changed the ways we work forever.
This week, the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) released a report highlighting the new 3:2 working week, which focuses on employers encouraging their workforce to navigate this new working world with a hybrid office/home solution. With this permanent shift comes the requirement to manage people and operate remotely whilst also adopting the technology that will enable this. The report also lists the best ways for companies and their workers to work together to ensure not only the success of the business but also that of its staff.
In the past 18-months, remote working was a necessary evil, and organisations were often fire fighting, resolving issues as and when they arose and implementing working practices with as little as 12 hours notice. But as new working practices become permanent, it is crucial that businesses now evaluate the skills required for this way of working. Suddenly networking skills are no longer as crucial in the world of business, and a new, specific list of traits are paramount to success.
To help guide employers through the upcoming months and years, Search conducted market research to determine the skills and attributes required to run and manage a partial or entirely remote business successfully.
With HR and line managers no longer available on-site to provide support, we have broken the list down into four key quadrants providing a rounded view of the post-COVID working world.
We spoke to Laura Mallinson, Divisional Manager for Marketing at Search on how she believes COVID-19 has impacted the skills and attributes we now need in the working world.
How do you think your sector has changed the most in the past 18 months?
Overall the digital industry has adapted incredibly well, most of our clients were already set up to work remotely and so the transition for most was pretty seamless. Because of this newfound flexibility, we’ve seen a massive blur in regional boundaries when it comes to commuting etc. – we’re working with so many exciting businesses who are now able to consider talent from further afield. For example, we’ve recently completed assignments for an award-winning agency in the North West that have been able to recruit talent from London. This is a game-changer for both clients and candidates and has meant that digital opportunities are accessible to everyone, no matter where they live in the UK.
What skills were employers prioritising and what skills are they now deeming more important?
Previously, there was a strong concentration on culture and team with the ability to influence teams. However, this has changed since the pandemic hit. Working with many large agencies, we are now seeing self-motivation, results-driven and confidence being prioritised.
Can you see your sector changing further in the future?
Overall I think the sector has found its feet pretty well and I think hybrid working is definitely here to stay. Most businesses are embracing having their teams working from home 2 days per week which is great to see.
What advice would you give to a candidate in this new world we’re working in?
Don’t underestimate the importance of face time! Whilst the new Zoom world is great, innovative, and provides everyone with so much flexibility, there is so much to be said for actually having face to face conversations and meetings with colleagues, managers and wider stakeholders. Whatever your level, you can learn so much from your peers and leadership team simply from just listening.
To discover more industry insights, including candidate motivators and most in-demand marketing roles in 2021, download a free copy of our Salary & Benefits Guide.