In 2020 it seems like the whole world has been turned on its head. Up is down. Left is right. Things that we took for granted have been drastically reconsidered like getting on a public bus, holding the door on a crowded elevator, dancing shoulder to shoulder to the sounds of a DJ at a bar, even going into work each day.
Between the unwelcome shock of both the bushfires and the pandemic and the much-needed Black Lives Matter protests – each day seems like it’s packed with enough twists and turns to last a decade. This year is unlike any other and the way we live our lives is equally changed.
So let’s examine all the ways the working world has changed in 2020.
Massive Job Insecurity & The Job Hunt
When talking about the working world in 2020 the first reality you have to consider is the fact that not everyone can work in 2020. With the economy taking a major hit many businesses have stood down, fired or cut hours down for their employees. Similarly, many jobs, particularly in the service industry, think waitressing, bartending, security and events staff have found their jobs almost completely erased by the realities of the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, we’ve seen a worldwide rise in unemployment. The effects have been felt differently across different nations, in America, the New York Times reports almost 30 million people are collecting jobless benefits, in Australia, unemployment has passed 7.4% a grim 20 year high. Across the world, as governments and job markets struggle to react to the uncertainty of the future, unemployment figures are on the rise.
So if you’re in the sadly common position of finding yourself jobless and searching for new employment during a pandemic you might to better to tailor your search to jobs that can easily be done from home. Work from home jobs have become a necessity in 2020. Think online jobs that can be done from a laptop anywhere in the world: content creator, software developer. E-commerce manager, online therapist, social media specialist and the like. Think of how you can tailor your current skillset to a popular work from home job or consider upskilling in an online skill to make yourself seem more appealing to potential employers.
Actually Working From Home
With crowded high rise office buildings now becoming impossible to manage many people have been asked to work from home. While we’ll miss the chatter of our co-workers, office-provided snacks and the ability to be able to physically separate our working life from our home lives, this is just the way it has to be for the minute.
So, how do you manage to make working from home work for you?
Try and find a dedicated space to work that is somehow separated from your home life. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a dedicated workspace at home but if you can create a little nook that you can be in from 9-5 and then move away from when you’re trying to spend time with your family. There’s nothing worse than waking up and seeing your work laptop staring back at you – you need to create a healthy distance.
Your new co-workers are now mindbogglingly long email chains and work from home tools such as Slack, Zoom and Google Teams so you need to make sure your communications game is absolutely on point. Be clear and concise with how you communicate, ask questions, set clear expectations, be polite and personable but make sure your emails get to the point. For more tips about how to communicate effectively over email – check out this useful guide.
Working Around Your Kids
For working parents, your adapting to working from home is even more challenging. Not only is your office now your kitchen table but your home has transformed into a classroom, daycare, school playground, canteen – the list goes on! It’s beyond impossible to manage and so you should cut yourself some slack when it comes to how much you are able to achieve while working in this newly reimagined environment. Try and set boundaries – your two year old won’t understand ‘mummy’s working’ but older school-aged children are capable of being a bit more independent. You can say to them, here are your tasks, mummy will be able to check on you in one hour. It might not always work but, hey, it’s a start. Ask for help, if you have a young child that naps during the day, ask your boss if they’d be able to schedule conference calls and important work during that period. It never hurts to ask for a little extra consideration.
Most importantly you need to be kind to yourself. 2020 has been hard for everyone and parents are bearing the brunt of these changes. So, if you find your productivity slipping or feel overwhelmed – take a deep breath and remember that just getting through the day is a victory in 2020. You’re doing okay!