The world of work has unexpectedly changed

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The world of work has unexpectedly changed


Post Covid-19 essential employee skills to develop.

The world of work has unexpectedly changed. We thought we had time to prepare ourselves for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), but suddenly, we found ourselves trapped in a lockdown. The impact of Covid-19 forced employees to work from home, attend online meetings, homeschool their children while at the same time keeping their families happy and taking care of themselves.

Two months down the line and we realise we are living in a new reality - the world of work we knew will never be the same after Covid-19. We are confronted with the question - what skills do employees need to deal with this new reality?

The reality is that change is a constant that cannot be avoided. The overarching skill to acquire to adapt to change is resilience. Resilience can be defined as the mental, emotional and physical toughness to overcome adversity, hardship and even illness. One can develop resilience by creating a positive mindset through focusing on positive thoughts. Positive thoughts would inspire positive behaviours that would move us forward to find our inner strengths.

The second skill that will help employees face challenges is the willingness to learn and adapt. The new workforce has to be continuous learners to stay relevant in a workplace where demands are changing on a daily basis. Continuous learning goes hand-in-hand with the third skill – creativity.

Creativity is not only about designing and developing new things; it also involves the ability to think outside of the box, finding solutions for problems and envisaging opportunities for improvement, growth and new initiatives. The key to creativity is a solution-orientated mindset – a mindset that believes there is always a way to get to the other side of the wall; one just has to find it.

Nobody can operate in a vacuum – we are an integrated part of the communities that surround us. This places a huge emphasis on interpersonal skills such as relationship building, communication and being a team player. Employees have a responsibility and role to play: they have to be willing to support and be supported, to lead and follow, to show empathy and seek for help and to work together toward achieving a common goal.

The new world of work does not have to be scary – it could be an exciting new experience.


Phillys Botha, Academic Manager: Online Delivery


10 Jun 2020