The pandemic has shaken up the workplace in many different ways. This great reshuffling was challenging at first, but it helped us discover new, innovative ways to collaborate, communicate, and even grow. It also helped new sectors of the economy flourish, offering various job opportunities along the way. 

All of this occurred as workers developed new ways to approach their work. The traditional 9-to-5 office schedule is coming under scrutiny, forcing employers to make big changes. In this post, we’ll discuss what the great reshuffling is, how it has impacted employers, and what it could mean for the future of work. 

What is the Great Reshuffling? 

The great reshuffling was already slowly underway, but the pandemic accelerated its progress. As employees were forced to work from home, many began to question the need to work from an office. This led them to examine other aspects of their careers, such as their work schedules and whether their job fulfilled them with a sense of purpose. 

For those already considering these things, the pandemic essentially confirmed their suspicions. For others, working from home helped shift their outlook on work altogether. This was especially true for employees who were laid off, who later found flexibility and fulfillment in the gig economy. As a result, an unprecedented two-thirds of workers were considering a career shift in April 2021. 

This is forcing a significant shift for employers. Attracting top talent is more difficult than ever, and keeping that talent around is proving just as challenging. This comes at a time when labor shortages continue to rise as well. In fact, it was recently reported that hiring had surged to pre-COVID levels — a time when it was already breaking records. This means that workers have leverage when considering paradigm shifts. As LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslanksy said, it’s “unlike anything we’ve seen in the history of work.”

Employers can view this in two ways: either the great reshuffling is an unnerving challenge, or it’s a unique opportunity. It can prove just as beneficial to employers as it is to employees with the right approach. 

Flexibility through freelancers 

For example, freelancing offers flexibility for both workers and employers. Employers can hire freelancers rather than going through the expense of payroll taxes, onboarding, training, and benefits. This can be done on a project-by-project basis, offering employers more flexibility in their hiring process. The keyword is flexibility; it’s what workers are demanding, and in the gig economy, it’s a great benefit to employers as well. 

This, in general, speaks to another consideration: are traditional work hours really necessary? Or, should employers begin considering work on a project-by-project basis? Companies that take the latter approach can naturally offer more flexibility. As long as work is completed on time, the actual working hours shouldn’t matter.

Fortunately, various tools were either developed or enhanced during the pandemic to facilitate online collaboration. These tools allow employers to set up milestones to help employees stay on track with important projects. They also streamline online collaboration between employees. Essentially, entire work environments can now exist completely online while meeting the growing demands for increased flexibility. 

Learning and Training

Workers value employers who invest in them. This can take different forms. One is teaching employees valuable skills on the job. Train not only in areas and skills that are valuable to the position but also intriguing to the worker. It’s a win-win strategy. 

Also, many employers are forced to overlook degrees and instead consider skills. This also fits with a growing paradigm reshuffling. As college tuition continues to rise, more students are developing their skills with digital learning platforms. LinkedIn Learning and Pluralsight are great examples. Once they’ve developed the skills, students can build projects and earn industry-leading certifications at a fraction of the cost of a degree. The trend is forcing many employers to overlook degrees as necessities for employment.

Support and communication

Businesses succeed in keeping top talent by connecting with their employees. As we mentioned earlier in this article, a lack of fulfillment is one of the great reshuffle’s driving forces. To help overcome this, employees need to feel valued. They need to know that their employer understands what they do, appreciates it, and awards it. 

Whatever the option, employers should not take the Great Reshuffle lightly. Perceptions have changed on a large scale, and ‘business as usual’ is probably never coming back. As always, the companies that succeed will be those that adapt. In this case, the ones that succeed the most will find ways to use this new challenge to their advantage.