On March 23, 2020, United Kingdom declared a lockdown to rein in the Coronavirus pandemic.While this restrictive measure taken by the government seems to have helped in controlling the spread of the virus, it has also had drastic effects on the work-life of millions of people as a lot of workers have lost their jobs. And millions more have been placed under short term employment schemes.
Nearly all sectors of the European labor markets have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown and mobility restrictions. Most businesses have been forced to shut down completely, while most businesses that are still operating have recorded a fall in revenue.
The European economy is projected to shrink by about 7%, with the unemployment rate rising from 6.7% in 2019 to 9% in 2020 as projected by The European Commission’s Spring Economic Forecast. With this in mind, it is important to know how Europe’s businesses are preparing for the transforming labor market.
This post seeks to address the following;
• Professionals in great demand: What professions will have an increase in demand
• Who risks losing their jobs?
• What is been done by companies to make employees keep their jobs?
What Professions will have an increase in demand?
Many businesses and professions have suffered great losses due to the COVID-19 Lockdown. However, there are some currently thriving as they have experienced a significant increase in demand.
The restrictive measures implemented by the government to halt the spread of the virus has led to major adjustments for companies as most businesses are adjusting their business models and environment to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis.
Here Are Six Professions with Increased Demand
Health workforce imbalances are a major concern in the European region. According to the WHO European Region Core Health Indications, the number of physicians and nurses in the region has increased by approximately 10% over the last ten years. However, this increase is unlikely to be enough to meet the demands of the population. The demand for nurses is even much more, as they play a significant role in taking care of the aging population.
Getting the right numbers of health workers is indispensable if Europe is to curb the Coronavirus pandemic effectively.
1. Healthcare Specialists
Healthcare specialists are experiencing a surge in demand owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has revealed the importance of good health and the crucial role played by professionals in the healthcare sector in treating and curtailing the spread of the virus. A lot of medical equipment and products are also in high demand, such as surgical masks and hand sanitizers.
Health workforce imbalances are a major concern in the European region. According to the WHO European Region Core Health Indications, the number of physicians and nurses in the region has increased by approximately 10% over the last ten years. However, this increase is unlikely to be enough to meet the demands of the population. The demand for nurses is even much more, as they play a significant role in taking care of the aging population. Getting the right numbers of health workers is indispensable if Europe is to curb the Coronavirus pandemic effectively.
2. Delivery Jobs
As people adhere to the social distancing guidelines and stay at home, job vacancies have opened up for delivery drivers. You can find a lot of job offers on Jobsora. There is a high demand for delivery guys who can deliver groceries and other essentials items since movements are restricted.
Since the Lockdown, the demand for delivery drivers in Europe has skyrocketed, with increased numbers of restaurants offering home delivery. Most restaurants have been forced to close to adhere to social distancing guidelines, and some have adopted home delivery services as a way of keeping in businesses during the crisis.
More than ever before, many businesses are now working remotely to ensure the safety of their employees in the face of this pandemic. While some sectors of the economy are crashing, this sector is experiencing an all-time high because the valuation of the telecommunication companies has skyrocketed.
4. Remote Jobs
Professionals such as web developers, content writers, marketers amongst others are also in high demand. As most workers have been made to work from home as a result of the social distancing guidelines, many businesses have gone digital, they have become automated. This accounts for the significant increase in demand for professionals that can do their jobs remotely.
5. Software engineer
Software engineers are also high up in the list of professionals in demand, as companies across various industries seek to improve their tech talent. Most software engineers can work from home. As a result, they can keep on working while adhering to the stay at home rule.
6. Data Analysts
Most companies are currently hiring data analysts to help them analyze the numerous data on COVID-19 spread and how it can affect their businesses. This places this profession on the list of jobs with increased demands.
Who Risks Losing Their Jobs?
It is no news that the COVID-19 restriction measures are taking its toll on all sectors of Europe’s Labor Market. However, its impact varies from sector to sector. Majority of the workforce are employed in sectors with a huge fall in demand because of the Lockdown, thereby leading to massive job losses across the region.
EU’s stats agency reports that about 397,000 people in the European Union lost their jobs in April. The European Union’s jobless rate rose from a 12 year low of 6.4% to 6.6% in April.
The International Labor Organization has warned that 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy are in the immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed.
To effectively minimize the number of job losses owing to COVID 19, one has first to understand which jobs are at most risks; in other words, those who risk losing their jobs. Those with the immediate risk of job losses are young professionals who work in sectors that are mostly affected by the shutdown.
According to research conducted by McKinsey & Company, about 7.6 million jobs are at risk, with people with the lowest incomes being the most vulnerable to job loss. Data from the research suggests that nearly 50% of the jobs at risk are in occupations earning less than £10 per hour.
Another group of people who are most likely to lose their jobs are people in sectors that are most affected by the social distancing guidelines. These sectors include, but are not limited to the hospitality, retail, art recreation, transportation as well as construction.
It is clear from the above, that if no swift policy action is taken, many people are at risk of losing their jobs owing to the impact of COVID-19 on the European Labor Market.
What Is Being Done By Companies To Make Employees Keep Their Jobs
While the stay at home rule might have helped a long way in combating COVID 19, it has no doubt had drastic effects on the wellbeing of employees of various companies. It has altered the normal way of working, and companies and employers must also adapt and take measures to keep their employees during this period.
Here are five ways companies can help employees keep their jobs
• Training Employees To Work Remotely
The early adopters of any innovation more often than not make the best of it. With many companies going digital, it is important to train employees on the concept of remote work. Organizing an e-based advanced training can give employees the skills they need to thrive in a remote working environment.
• Flexible Working
More than ever before, the concept of workplace flexibility has become very important. Working from home affects employees differently. Employees have different living conditions and responsibilities; it is therefore not advisable to generalize working flexibility plan for employees.
It is important to have conversations with employees to know when and how they can work best with minimal distractions.
• Improve Corporate Communications
It is pertinent for employees to have accurate information on the company’s strategies and different changes made by the company to adapt to the new reality of work in the COVID 19 period. Many employees are scared of losing their jobs as a result of information they get from different sources. It is up to the employer to take up the responsibility of reassuring them of their job security and updating them on the recent crisis management strategies adopted by the company to combat the effects of the pandemic on the company.
• Review the Company’s Health Policies
While lockdown restrictions are being lifted, any sick employee needs to stay home to avoid risking the wellbeing of other employees. However, most employees have been found working in an office even while they are sick. This is why it is important to have a more flexible sick policy that allows employees to admit their health conditions honestly without fear of exhausting
their limited sick days.
• Provide a Safe Working Environment
As an employer, you have to make sure the workplace is safe for employees to work in without the risk of contracting the virus. It is advisable to practice the social distancing guidelines, and if the office space is limited, you might want to consider running shifts to ensure that the work area isn’t crowded at any point in time.
• Taking Employees Wellbeing Seriously
A healthy employee is a healthy business. Employers should develop strategies that help the company ensure the wellbeing of employees in the face of this crisis. You can consider introducing meditation into the daily schedule as a way of helping employees deal with stress and making them more alert and productive.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Europe’s labor market significantly, with an increase in the number of job losses. Those at a higher risk of losing their jobs include low-income earners, young professionals working in sectors such as hospitality, retail, arts and entertainment industries. With this in mind, companies have to adopt measures such as flexible working hours, improved communication, and the provision of a safe working environment to ensure the safety
of their employees.