Do we need to upskill in business post-pandemic?

Work from home


The business world has undergone a massive transformation as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic. For those who once exclusively worked in offices, the swift adjustment to remote working was the first hurdle. Then came the need to fortify revenue streams and better support the mental health of staff; all while the situation changed daily. It may feel that there’s little room for upskilling right now, but new skills and values are exactly what businesses need to thrive in this post-pandemic era. Read on to discover what these new in-demand skills are and how you can obtain them. 

How did businesses change during COVID-19?

It’s important to reflect on how the ways of working have changed during the pandemic to help identify what’s now important. 

  • A sudden shift to remote working for typically in-office workers, 
  • a series of snap lockdowns with little warning resulting in 64% of businesses reporting a reduction in demand, 
  • job insecurity with widespread dismissals or reduction of hours with a historically high level of unemployment of 13.8% in Australia,
  • a merging of work and personal life for working parents and primary carers. 

These are just a few key examples of the new challenges that businesses and employees are looking to overcome. Despite the uncertainty, many rose to the occasion and quickly adapted, with fewer businesses reporting decreased revenue seven months into the pandemic. 


New values and ways of working 

When overcoming these initial challenges of COVID-19, businesses and employees have started to recognise new values and skills that will be important as we move forward. These include:


The need to adapt has become necessary for both individuals and businesses. Staying agile and quickly adapting to the government’s guidelines has allowed businesses to alter their focus when the need arises. Many businesses were able to identify new growth opportunities. This can be seen in restaurant’s pivoting to more takeaway options or tourism companies adjusting their marketing to attract domestic audiences. Businesses that recognised the situation and swiftly adjusted their operations and ways of working were the most likely to succeed. 


Those who remained resilient and persevered despite numerous set-backs became valuable assets to the team. With constant change and little information, businesses and employees who understood how to be resilient were able to recover and deliver what was needed in the short term. 


Changing roles, responsibilities and ways of working have meant that people are required to learn new processes and upskill in new areas. This is evident in the switch to remote working, where many people had to become familiar with working virtually and upskilling in online presentations and handling data safely online. With fewer job opportunities and people out of work, COVID-19 also allowed people to recognise that upskilling and personal development can contribute to job security. 


Featured business and personal development skills

Personal and professional development is required to overcome obstacles and emerge successfully post-COVID. These are the three key areas in which people should prioritise when looking to upskill.


Embrace a digital transformation

Many businesses understand that most people prefer a hybrid work arrangement — switching between remote and in-office when the need arises. Thanks to this, it’s predicted that offices will not return to pre-COVID capacity levels. Instead of resisting this new reality, businesses should invest in technology that can facilitate a smooth work from home experience. Similarly, employees should upskill in their digital capabilities to maximise their opportunities within different types of workplaces.


Connect with new social skills

With fewer in-person social interactions, people must readjust their approach to networking. Humans are social creatures and require connectivity to be productive. To adjust to the new remote workplace environment, new skills in networking online are required. 


Understand emotional changes in society

While some thrive in change, others may require extra attention or care during and after turbulent periods. COVID-19 highlighted a variety of mental health issues for people facing this new landscape. Upskilling on how to receive and give mental support is an important element to any business. The Australian government’s Mental Health Commission has developed resources on how to create a supportive workplace with mental health support. 


Be a change leader with an online MBA

Periods of uncertainty require resilient change leaders who can successfully lead their employees and business. Griffith University’s online Master of Business Administration has a holistic approach when teaching real-life business skills. Taught 100% online, this program is flexible with dedicated academic advisors there to help you achieve the best learning outcomes. Challenge yourself and upskill in key areas of the business landscape today and become a highly influential and capable leader.

For more information about studying Griffith's 100% online Master of Business Administration, call us on 1300 737 945 or book a call with an Advisor today.


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