Here are things you can do to thrive now and prepare for life after the pandemic
How much longer can you hold out with the financial constraints brought about as a result of the alteration in lifestyles due to the Covid-19 pandemic? One month? Two months? A year? No matter how much longer the restrictions ensuing from the pandemic last, the negative impacts will last just as much, if not longer.
With news reports regarding the imposition of fresh stay-at-home orders in some parts of Canada, and with B.C announcing record high Covid-19 cases recently, there are indications that the social and economic constraints of the pandemic may not ease out anytime soon. With this knowledge, what are decisive actions you can take now to further adjust for the long summer and, also, to make the most gains by the time the pandemic is eventually brought under control?
Thousands of job losses have resulted from the pandemic, and many more have seen their income dwindle either through wage reductions or a nosedive in business sales — all different situations that force us to rethink the ways we have always worked and done business.
For both the business owner and the employee, the ramifications of the pandemic are many. In some cases, they hold potential opportunities for the labour market to re-engineer the operational models that have served us for eons.
There is a growing possibility that the idea of working from home seems ever more feasible even after restrictions must have been lifted by the time the pandemic is over. It’s a two-way street as business owners are discovering that there are clearly cost-savings and efficiencies resulting from having some or most of their workforce working remotely. Likewise, employees are lured by the convenience of strolling from their bedrooms to their workstations within their homes. This is coupled with financial savings from not having to transit to and from the workplace. But beyond these obvious benefits, there are others.
In ‘the new normal’ as we have grown accustomed to describing life in the pandemic era, employees with valuable skills may gradually shift towards being self-employed — for the mere fact that remote working environments afford some degree of flexibility to entertain projects from other persons or organizations other than the one that has hired them. Workers in the field of data analysis, accounting & bookkeeping, programming, graphic design, marketing, and content management are some typical examples of skilled workers whose value may be needed by different business entities. The autonomy over their work environment, in addition to the lure of multiple sources of income, would make such opportunities irresistible. More so, the pandemic exposed the financial situation many were living in prior to its emergence, effectively propelling many people into searching for additional income opportunities.
The obvious debilitating impact of the pandemic needs not to be emphasized; regardless, it serves as an eye-opener for one to explore, exploit or create such opportunities that would address the needs of a socio-economic world post-Covid-19. The business owner who typically drew up budgets for renting office apartments will save significant sums from cutting expenses in addition to ancillary expenditures such as on utilities in office structures.
With regards to human resources and personnel management, the business owner may, rather than keep a remote staff on payroll, opt for outsourcing certain job roles. Some jobs are neither central nor routine to the daily operations of an organization and, as such, management may decide it is more efficient financially and operationally to outsource that role to a freelancer with competence in the area. The cost-savings that would accrue from such a decision may be a significant factor that determines whether the organization makes a profit or records losses at the end of the fiscal year.
Similarly, an employee working from home but providing his services to multiple clients would maximize the returns on time spent daily solving problems for different interests. This is clearly distinct from allocating the entire work hours in a day to one client — the employer — with a fixed monthly income and unalloyed loyalty based on employee contracts. The time reclaimed from not having to transit to and from work could, also, be allocated towards learning a new marketable skill as there are tons of online courses that provide opportunities for gaining competency in different skills.
Making the most out of the pandemic restrictions is not limited to the aspect of cost-savings and maximizing income opportunities only. In other perspectives, the dynamics of the restrictions implies, also, that there is ample time to spend with the immediate members of one’s family — and this has invaluable returns, especially due to the need for emotional and social bonding that could potentially ameliorate the adverse mental effects of the pandemic.
To round off this week’s article, here is a list of additional activities you can invest in during this period if you’re aiming at learning a new skill, building a new habit or completing an important task on your life’s bucket list:
- Writing a book
- Cultivating a habit of reading books
- Learning how to cook/make new meals
- Learning the basics of a programming language
- Taking advanced programming courses
- Create an online course
- Developing a workout regimen and sticking to it
- Starting a home garden and growing your own food
- Taking swimming lessons
- Learning from one of the diverse arts of self-defence (e.g. boxing, karate, taekwondo, kung-fu, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Judo)
- Writing/recording a song
- Learning to play a musical instrument (e.g; saxophone, piano, harmonica, guitar)
- Learning woodwork or metal craft
Many of these activities highlighted above have their potential rewards; psychologically — as it gives you a sense of accomplishing something new; financially — you could sell your skill/competence in this area as a service or cut back on expenses if your goal for learning is strictly DIY.
The Manilla Blog Team