Virtual is our new reality
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in February, many people expected the measures to reduce face-to-face contact as temporary. As in, we’ll close schools, offices, and businesses for a few weeks – a month tops – and that should be enough to take care of this virus. As we now know, clearly that scenario didn’t play out. Instead, here we are, several months deep into various versions of lockdown, with no clear end in sight. As we came to accept that this was going to be our reality for the foreseeable future, more and more of our lives moved online. Sure, there’s been the switch to remote work and learning, but we’ve gotten to the point where many services and activities now can be done virtually. While some of these things – like virtual tourism, or attending a concert via live stream – can’t measure up to their real-life counterparts, other things, like virtually attending therapy and the job hiring process may stick around. Here are 12 things that could stay virtual forever.
One of the biggest pandemic-induced societal shifts has been the transition to remote work – especially for people who work in an office. While telecommuting has become increasingly popular over the past several years, many employers that didn’t allow it before COVID have had to reconsider their position. Moving forward, human resources manager, Tracy Cote, says that remote work will be the norm. “COVID-19 accelerated the efforts of remote work for many companies and hiring people virtually will become a standard part of new workplace practices,” she tells Reader’s Digest. A big benefit for the company is not only the reduced overhead of smaller or non-existent office space but also a more diverse talent pool as companies will have access to potential employees who previously would have not been considered because of their location.
The job hiring process
If you’ve ever had to take the time and effort (and sometimes money) to travel to another city for a job interview only to not get the job, then you already know how much easier everything would have been if that process took place fully online. Now, thanks to COVID-19, it largely has been. And according to experts like Brian Stern, president of Modern Hire, this shift is going to be permanent. “There are a few reasons for this shift,” he tells Reader’s Digest. “For some businesses, the rise in applications they received began to come through in mass quantities during the pandemic, leaving them with little means to sift through to identify and hire top talent quickly. By adopting technology like pre-hire simulations and virtual interviewing technology, which support fast and objective hiring decisions, companies can drastically reduce logistical constraints, shorten the time-to-hire cycle and keep both employees and candidates safe amid ongoing covid-19 concerns.” for these reasons, stern says that some of his clients have opted to keep their hiring processes virtual post-pandemic. this wouldn’t be the first time that the world as we know it has changed because of a public health crisis.