There’s no denying it - the working world has changed. For better or worse, remote work is now the norm for the foreseeable future and the trend of working from home is likely to rise well into the next year.
According to a study conducted by IBM from over 25,000 adults in the United States, over 40% of respondents indicate that they feel strongly that their employer should provide employees with an opt-in remote work option when returning to normal operations. That may look like a part-time split between being on-site and working remotely, or giving employees the option to choose where they work. Remote work is growing on people, as more than 75% of those polled indicate they would like to continue to work remotely at least occasionally, while 54% of respondents would like their primary way of working to be remote.
Working remotely with tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype are great for professions that can be done largely without direct human interaction. But what about the retail and hospitality industries that rely on face-to-face transactions to thrive? Staying in a jobless purgatory isn’t the answer for either those who have found themselves laid off or those who are having to face difficult decisions about their own businesses. There needs to be a proactive solution for the millions of retail and hospitality workers who are finding themselves job searching in what is likely an entirely new field of work.
Credly has long made the argument that skills are skills. Whether someone is a customer success manager at a software company or a bartender at a busy restaurant, customer service skills, empathy, grit, and creative problem solving are all critical characteristics for both employees to be successful. Having verified, shareable proof of those skills - regardless of what industry someone works in - is how the United States is going to take the currently millions of unemployed employees in the service industry and equip them for success so they can enter the workforce in a new role ready to hit the ground running.
For those employees who remain in the service industry, gaining new skills to adapt to the new way people are buying goods and services will be critical to the success of small and large businesses alike. Skills like maintaining store security while remaining contactless, new payment options, and software to mitigate risk to the employees, and of course, customer service skills that allow shoppers to feel supported during an uncertain time will likely emerge as relevant in the industry.