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A Survey of 800 Executives Predicts More Jobs for Freelancers and Safety Specialists Post Pandemic

Health, safety, and hygiene roles will be on the rise.
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Disruptions in how companies conduct business are leading executives to rethink the mix of jobs they will need when the crisis is over. A study by business consultancy firm McKinsey & Company highlights the workplace shifts happening now:

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First, more companies have untethered their workers from physical offices, allowing people to work remotely and more flexibly from the safety of their homes.

As well, businesses have accelerated the adoption of automation and digitization to remain viable in a no-touch world. According to the survey, 85 percent of companies have, in fact, accelerated digitization, while 67 percent accelerated automation and artificial intelligence during the pandemic.

These major changes, says McKinsey, will create a greater demand for workers in health and hygiene, cybersecurity, and data analytics, as well as an increased need for gig or contractual workers.

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More jobs in health and hygiene

While executives looked favorably upon the WFH setup, with 15 percent saying part of their workforce “could work remotely two or more days a week” after the pandemic, they are also keen to return to the workplace. With this in mind, they are focusing on more health and hygiene roles.

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A whopping 83 percent of respondents said they would hire people for safety roles, with 73 percent of these focusing on “people to manage on-site physical distancing and sanitation” and 48 percent looking at workers for workforce safety and health. The question now is: What would you call these managers of distancing?   

More jobs for contractual workers

After the pandemic, an increase in demand for temporary workers is also expected. Around 70 percent of executives, mostly those engaged in accommodation and food services, are eyeing gig workers or freelancers to fill on-site roles.

The reason? “Uncertainty about how the pandemic will play out and when economies will regain momentum may be among the reasons for plans to increase the number of contractors they use,” explains the report, adding that the cost pressures to survive the downturn may also contribute to this new approach.

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To create the study, McKinsey & Company surveyed 800 business executives from around the world in June 2020. The participants “represent a full range of industries” with half working in the United States and the rest from Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

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