Covid-19 and the Future of the Professional Landscape

Covid-19 singlehandedly is potent enough to disrupt job markets and economies alike for years to come. Firms and employees also have had to invent new ways to stay productive (Caligiuri, 2020). One-third of lower-paid employees have lost jobs or been furloughed, compared to less than one-in-ten top earners, with these experiences also more common among atypical employee (Gardiner, L. and Slaughter, H., 2020)

As this pandemic has lasted longer than people had initially anticipated- the changes it requires will now have to be permanent.

The future of work has been changed via four shocks:

  • Massive job losses.
  • Significant Digital Transformations.
  • Unparalleled debt burdens.
  • New costs of socially distanced office and workspaces

The above matters in two ways. Firstly, for firms, it translates into a sunk cost hysteresis (rehiring workers is very different to retaining workers). Secondly, the digital transformations, office space costs and debt burdens will push firms to replace domestic workers with international alternatives. (Baldwin, 2020). Hence, this transformation of the job market is indicative of a future with reintroduced standards and expectations.  There will be an increased need for tech literacy for most workers, but this trend has always sustained In recent years. While the world recovers from this pandemic, it has reintroduced the way of living in several ways ( face masks, hygiene and social distancing.). As those changes are likely to stay for a while before they lose popularity, the changes to the job market are here to stay.

However, all is not as bleak as it may seem. Almost all education institutions had to transfer their delivery mode to online platforms- a process that improved efficiency. Students from all around the world are now able to access world-class education from the comfort of their own home. Worldwide talent now has no geographical immobility. Top-ranked firms and universities can now scout for talent, which will, over the long run, benefit society as a whole. The 4th industrial revolution has introduced its own challenges and benefits, coupled with the further limitations of covid it could mean a much better and efficient professional landscape. Students and professionals alike should make sure that they spend their time in this market to improve their CV with as many certifications and qualifications that help them stand out in this -now even more- competitive field.


  • Baldwin, R.E., 2020. Covid, hysteresis, and the future of work.
  • Gardiner, L. and Slaughter, H., 2020. The effects of the coronavirus crisis on workers. Resolution Foundation.