The Great Resignation
Get ready for an action-packed 2022 where employees leave their jobs a dozen a day and employers pull out their hair a hundred a day. With a substantial blow to the job market, everybody around the world is rethinking their career prospects. The U.S. is just a beginning as this resignation wave will certainly sweep across the world. Employers need to understand that people are looking for jobs where they can work from home and are genuinely cared for even if they get paid less. So listen to the woes of your employees and do something about it!
WFH is Here to Stay
It’s a fact and you can’t deny it. Cross-border companies and huge multinational corporates can no longer play dumb. We need to evolve together alongwith our employment and HR policies. I won’t reiterate how beneficial -monetarily as well as medically- working from home is for employees as well as employers. I’ll only say remind everyone that what used to be an exception will slowly become a norm opening ways for the workplace to become more and more digitally inclined. Increase internet speeds, give your employees voluntary off from the office, or change your business model. I don’t care how you do it, just do it.
Mental Health Has to be A Priority
Guys seriously, it’s 2021 -plus net year is only one month away- and it’s high time you start giving your employees their much earned holidays. It’s not just for delivering a punchline or for comedic effect when WebMD says that COVID-19 has resulted in trauma in 57 percent of the world population. A working human spends well over one-third of his/her day in the office and we must try to make it mentally conducive and supportive.
Whether it be menstruation holidays for women, anti-anxiety workshops in the workplace, or a qualified counselor at the employer’s behest we need to take some steps in the right direction. It should not happen that we end up producing highly efficient but emotionally and mentally numb employees who can no longer enjoy the little things in life.
Mergers & Acquisitions in Health Space
Due to the increasing demand for medical supplies and the huge profits big pharma has been making during the pandemic, an unprecedented consolidation is taking place in the pharma sector. Utah’s largest hospital system Intermountain Healthcare and South Dakota-based Sanford Health have announced a merger in early 2021 alongwith many other major hospital chains. Major acquisitions in the Pharma sector for 2020 include AstraZeneca taking over Alexion Pharmaceuticals, the 6.5 billion deal between J&J and Momenta, and Gilead acquiring Immunomedics as well as Forty-Seven.
It’s pretty clear that as we enter the year 2022 we are going to see much more M&A activity in terms of production as well as distribution of medicines, life-saving drugs, and ancillary items like masks, sanitizers, and rapid testing kits. Whether it turns out to be a good or bad thing for the customers remains to be seen.
Lifestyle Changes – Where that Health at?
The workplace in 2021 has ceased to be a recreation of 1984 by George Orwell. It’s more like Brida by Paulo Coelho where employees are searching for passion in their work while also taking care of their overall well-being. Health needs to become a priority in the coming days and it most probably will. People will sacrifice meaningless and sedentary jobs for ones where they can take care of their physical as well as mental health. If we as employers and colleagues can help them do that we can make our offices a better place instead of a collection of cubicles.
Passion & Compassion
I’m talking to you employers. You need to start thinking of your employees much more in the post-pandemic world. 20-second bathroom breaks, abysmal salary, and negligible benefits will no longer work. If you desire passion from your employees you need to reciprocate with compassion.
I understand that it has become difficult for employers to function in a closed-down economy that has been brought down to its knees. But it has become equally difficult for us employees to find jobs where we can give our best while keeping our family and ourselves safe. A little empathy from our employers especially in this COVID scenario can go a long way.
A Culture Change (I Hope)
Finally, I predict and hope at the same time that the work-culture in India as well as around the world changes for the good. So far the focus of every company, whether small or big, has been on making profit and increasing the market cap. COVID-19 has taught us not only to be vigilant but also to give due importance to our health and lifestyle. A great man once said that humans can try but they can’t really change. I hope in this instance he is wrong and that while recovering from this deadly pandemic we can stop and re-align our priorities in life.