Digitisation is part of the evolution of the labour market. The phenomenon is not considered new, but due to the pandemic, it has been in focus in many areas over the past six months. We all experienced it personally. But what is digitization? How has it changed our professional lives and human relationships? What difficulties or opportunities did it bring into the workplace? And how should employees move forward? Guest article by Fanni Pintér, the career path and career counselor psychologist at Corvinus Student Support Services.
Written by: Fanni Pintér (guest author), cover image: fauxels, Pexels
Digitization in itself is much more a tool than an actual goal. When hearing this expression, we often associate it with artificial intelligence and robots, which are part of the process, but maybe less known is the fact that users of digital solutions are still human in a large percentage of cases.
Due to the pandemic, several companies were forced to introduce home offices in March. Where no structure and architecture had been developed so far for this, a real effort needed to be made to ensure a smoothly running working environment on a daily basis. None of the labour market players was an exception to this, as everyone experienced and continues to experience difficulties to this day. As career starters and job seekers, we were faced with the reality of conducting the entire interview process online, together with its difficulties and novelties. After a successful interview, the onboarding processes also had to be performed in the virtual space. Get to know colleagues, get acquainted with the environment, learn how to use the systems.
Anyone who transferred their previous work to the virtual space also struggled with what and how to organise, and had to look for alternative solutions. Opinions are divided about how much the home office was actually a quarantine office. During the mandatory working from home, our different roles could easily blur, which was made more difficult by the fact that in many cases the development of the organisational background took place simultaneously. But what next? A characteristic of digitization is that it is fundamentally a slow process. Now, however, expectations have skyrocketed, making it difficult to adapt to constant changes. In March, the reorganisation swept through the labour market so suddenly that we hardly had a chance to take a breath.
Danger or opportunity?
The spring period can also be interpreted as a pilot version, as we were forced to try several tools and methods. We experimented. The most important thing was to find the opportunities, tools, processes that help transfer the work to the online space. A number of skills that had not previously been of such importance were valued. Suddenly, the division of labour also began to be organised on a skill basis. Instead of "whose job is it?”, the organising force became "who is the most skilled at this?”.
In the meantime, we discovered what works well or even better in the online world and what we would prefer keeping in our personal space if possible. And while the main question in March was how to collaborate effectively with colleagues from afar, today we are more so looking for answers to how we can incorporate our experiences and thrive in a world where online and offline spaces are not exclusive, but relate closely to each other. After all, in most places there has not been a complete reorganisation to offline mode, and moreover, in connection with the second wave of the epidemic, the hybrid way of working - that is, a combination of personal and online presence - is becoming more and more standard.