The COVID-19 pandemic came in by surprise and made some significant changes around the world. To keep everyone safe, the Government imposed restrictions on in-person meetings and leaving houses and travelling outdoors unless essential services or medical requirements could have people dealing with fines and other punishments. Depending on the number of people infected and since those numbers were high, the Government was implementing multiple lockdowns. They would ease the lockdowns when they saw the people who caught COVID stabilising because they wanted to assist the economy as best as they could. Additionally, there were restrictions on travelling and borders were shut for the most part, and people could not travel easily.
With so many changes, companies and businesses had no choice but to allow their staff to work from home. Although remote working meant a significant decrease in productivity, there was no way around it and was the only option that they had. Employers in work and industries that allowed them to hop online, and manage their businesses remotely, moved to the internet immediately. There were a few industries that were not 'remote-working' friendly, and their only option was to wait for the pandemic to get better or the Government to lift rules and restrictions about meeting and working in person.
Most countries were pushing for various schemes and changes to assist the people who were out of work and looking for jobs. They even had Government assistance that provided food and other requirements since the times were tough.
A lot of people were losing their jobs since companies could not meet their deadlines and targets. Additionally, a lot of them were shutting down or even considering moving to other locations. Since a massive part of the country was now working remotely, employers had no reason to pick people located nearby to make the work commute and could hire from any part of the world and only select the best. This meant that people who had moved to cities closer to their workplace were now spending high amounts on rent and they didn't have a job to justify the expense. Additionally, they were no longer competing with people around them but the entire world since companies could hire from any part of the world and work remotely, which was a huge value add to companies. 4.3 million people in the US work remotely with 16% of companies only working with remote staff, with the percentages being similar in the UK as well.
There were a few changes with the employment process since the pandemic hit, and people had to start implementing these changes to give them an advantage when it comes to getting the employment process. Since there was such a large amount of unemployment in the country, employers wanted to make sure that the people they were picking were thinking about the long haul and planning on staying in the company. Furthermore, most companies were now asking their applicants to provide a background check. Their primary purpose was to make sure the applicant didn't have a criminal record. Depending on the position they were applying for, they might need a more detailed criminal record. There were a few other checks that they had to handle. Most of these, although they could be coordinated online, took some time, when meant they needed paperwork and would take between a week to a month to gather.
It would create a faster system if they were applied in advance and ready at the time of applying for a job. New changes were coming about with some employers providing insurance for their employees depending on the jobs they handle. They started going through checks on drivers licences, before providing insurance since they wanted to understand the driver's details. Depending on the driver's licence, the fines and penalties marked there, and information about points on their licence, they wanted to make sure they picked the right person.
The pandemic made a lot of changes to the employment system throughout the country. Since people were not allowed to meet in person, for the most part, they had to work remotely. While employers did not have a choice about the change, they were not happy about the overall outcome since productivity significantly dropped.
To increase productivity when it came to certain aspects of their work most employers moved to better options like automation. Companies were in talks about automating for the longest time, but they were not implementing it since the cost was significantly higher, and it would take a lot of learning and unlearn at the same time. Throughout the pandemic, people in easily automatable jobs were let go of since they could be moved to machines and software while work was at an all-time low, employers had the time for proper implementation.
With such a large number of people now had a lot more time on their hands, it was important for them to work on a few things they would not have done otherwise. People were focusing on developing their talents and working on hobbies. However, people could also spend the same time picking up skills that could assist them and give them an advantage over others when applying for a job.
Some industries did not have a choice when it came to coordinating their work since they were highly dependent on meeting in person. They could only wait for the Government to lift the restrictions, so they could make plans and work when things were better. They also had to follow the rules that the Government was putting down when it came to masking mandates, health checkups, and many other rules. Additionally, whenever there were changes and another lockdown, they did not have much of a choice but to follow them and stop working again.
At the time the UK went through the second and third lockdown, protests and people were demanding that there should be tougher rules instead of getting through another lockdown. Many people depended on the work since they were unemployed for the largest part of 2020.