Dr. Sunil Ramlall and other global scholars share their views through research how the pandemic has impacted the delivery of higher education and impacted the very nature of work. The world has witnessed the impact of COVID-19 on work education and beyond. How has work changed end how has the delivery of education evolved since the pandemic? Over time, we have been gradually witnessing the changing nature of work itself. There is a general demand for more meaningful work, balance of life’s priorities, and greater input from employees and designing their work.
A fundamental shift is taking place in the way we think about the future of work and its relationship to education, training and the labor market. Until recently, expanding higher education was widely believed to result in higher earnings, reflecting an insatiable demand for knowledge workers (Brown, 2020). There is significant interest and integration of artificial intelligence, automation, and robotics shifting from prior generations of agriculture and manufacturing. While some jobs will be lost, and many others created.
Speculation about the future of work is typically centered on how new or emerging technologies could potentially change which skills are in demand, what jobs exist, which sectors will thrive or shrink, and how employee-employer relationships may shift. But changes in demographics and globalization, as well as in politics, culture, and society, will also be critical in determining where the world of work is headed (Committee for Economic Development of The Conference, 2020).
A report by McKinsey (2020) highlighted that before the pandemic, remote work had struggled to establish much of a beachhead, as companies worried about its impact on productivity and corporate culture. With the advent of COVID-19, however, tens of millions of employees were sent home, armed with laptops and other digital technologies, to start work. Now, some employers intend to increase the number of their employees working remotely at least some of the time, although at far lower levels than seen during lockdowns and quarantines.
The report further noted that across all sectors, 15 percent of executives surveyed amid the pandemic said at least one-tenth of their employees could work remotely two or more days a week going forward, almost double the 8 percent of respondents who expressed that intention before COVID-19.