The Evolution Of Work

The Coming Consumer Boom: Three Ways Firms Can Get Ready For Growth

New opportunities require new working arrangements

A recent study by QuestionMark, an assessment firm that helps industry with its hires, customer satisfaction, employee retention productivity, predicts a coming consumer boom, with opportunities for new growth. Access the full report here.

March 24, 2021 — TRUMBULL, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A forthcoming economic boom will create growth opportunities for firms. Questionmark, the online assessment provider, is urging employers to ask three crucial questions to ensure they have the right post-pandemic working arrangements in place to take advantage of the surge.

Thanks to a combination of government stimulus and “pent up” consumer spending, economists predict that $4 trillion will be released into the United States (US) economy as restrictions are lifted. Strong growth is also forecast across the United Kingdom (UK), the Eurozone, and Australia.

New growth opportunities will require new working arrangements. For much of the last year, asking employees to work from home was the only option. But as governments look set to ease social distancing restrictions, employers have decisions to make.

For some, a year of productive remote working has proven that expensive offices are a thing of the past. Others believe that their productivity will be boosted when teams are working physically together at least some of the time.

Each employer must ensure they create the right working environment that boosts productivity, drives engagement and retains the best staff.

Crucial Questions

To accomplish this, Questionmark is encouraging employers to ask and answer three crucial questions:

  • Which skills are going to be important for future success?
  • Which of these skills and associated tasks can be effectively executed from home?
  • In what situations, and with what tasks, will individuals or teams perform better in offices or workspaces?

Lars Pedersen, CEO of Questionmark, said: “Change is coming. A consumer boom will have an impact across the entire economy. There will be new opportunities for firms to grasp. Making the right decision on working arrangements will be crucial.

“Each company will have different working arrangement requirements. Employers must ensure that they are making the best decision based on reliable and relevant information.”

Measuring staff skills with online assessments can indicate which tasks can be executed effectively from home and which can’t. This information can help employers make the best decision and explain their decision to the workforce.

For more information download the full report: “Managing a post-pandemic workforce: creating productive and informed working arrangements”.

Excerpts from the study Managing A Post-Pandemic Workforce:

Setting The Right Working Arrangements

At one stage last year, it looked like the days of the office were numbered. Digital giants such as Twitter, Square and Facebook informed their staff they would be free to work from home forever. However, it quickly became clear that this approach would not be replicated universally. Just 13% of executives were prepared to contemplate letting go of offices for good, found a survey by professional services firm PwC. The same research discovered that there is no consensus around the optimal balance of workdays at home vs those in the office.

Change is coming. A consumer boom will have an impact across the entire economy...

Investment bank Goldman Sachs has announced its determination to bring staff back to offices as soon as possible. Banks such as Lloyds and HSBC are intending to cut the amount of office space they require. Each employer must make the decision that is right for them. This decision matters. Leaders need the information to make it. Crucially, they must understand:

  • Which skills are going to be important for future success?
  • Which of these skills and associated tasks can be effectively executed from home?
  • In what situations, and with what tasks, will individuals or teams perform better in offices or workspaces?

Building A Productive Culture In A New Environment

When the world shifted to widespread remote working, employers realized that workers needed support to adjust. Many needed training in new technologies. They had to learn to communicate differently and with a greater sense of empathy. And new working patterns will require another new working culture. Employees will need the skills and attitudes to form that culture and ensure it contributes to productivity.

“Blended working”, in which people work remotely for some of the week and come to a physical workspace for the rest of it, is emerging as a popular choice. It is likely to mean:

  • Forward planning – if the right people need to be in the right place at the right time, co-workers will need to think ahead. After a year of everyone being “a click away”, this will need a mentality shift.
  • Adaptability – research for professional services firm Deloitte found that adapting technology to fit the needs of new working arrangements was easier than managing the human aspect of the transition.
  • Communication skills – when some workers are in the office and others are working from home, remote workers may feel left out and disconnected, according to a study by the Harvard Business Review. Teams need intentional support in how to communicate and work together.
  • Technology skills – global workers have got used to Zoom, Teams and other video conferencing apps. But they now have to manage meetings where some are physically present and others “dial-in.” More thought must be given to camera angles, speaker levels and presentation techniques.
  • Meeting management skills – 45% of employees report attending more meetings now than they did before the pandemic. They can find these meetings mentally exhausting. In the future meetings will combine those physically present with those that video in. Those running the meetings may have to work harder at making them a success.

Access the full report here.

 

 

 

About Questionmark
Questionmark unlocks performance through reliable and secure online assessments.
Questionmark provides a secure enterprise-grade assessment platform and professional services to leading organizations around the world, delivered with care and unequalled expertise. Its full-service online assessment tool and professional services help customers to improve their performance and meet their compliance requirements. Questionmark enables organizations to unlock their potential by delivering assessments which are valid, reliable, fair and defensible.
Questionmark offers secure powerful integration with other LMS, LRS and proctoring services making it easy to bring everything together in one place. Questionmark’s cloud-based assessment management platform offers rapid deployment, scalability for high-volume test delivery, 24/7 support, and the peace-of-mind of secure, audited U.S., Australian and European-based data centers.

 

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