Building resilience in the world of virtual work

A resilient workforce is priority one

As governments across Canada plan for post-pandemic reset and recovery, ensuring businesses have workers with the skills to help them transform and innovate should be a foremost priority. A resilient labour market is the answer to two important challenges ahead: it stands to reconnect workers with paid employment and diminishes reliance on government supports.

Businesses must have access to a workforce willing to step into uncertainty with them, adapting to new realities, building new product lines and finding new ways to connect with customers. The skillsets for that transformation are a critical ingredient to recovery.

But we also need data. For most of the last decade, Canadian policymakers have been talking about the need for good labour market information. The better the information, the more informed the decisions made by individuals, businesses and governments. Short a crystal ball, most labour market information relies on a combination of yesterday’s data and educated guesswork…

Building resilience in the world of virtual work

“A positive explanatory outlook on life will allow a person to own their role in things going well.” – Dr Melrona Kirrane, associate professor of organisational psychology at DCU Business School,

On lockdown and remote working, Dr Kirrane said we should never under-estimate the capacity of the human spirit to respond to adversity.

Life has always presented difficulties and stress, and things we cannot change, Dr Kirrane said, but we can always choose our response to stress. With COVID, our back-up resources, such as office structures and colleagues, are now much more limited, so we must leverage what is inside ourselves.

“We often massively under-estimate how we are able to dig deep in order to respond to challenges that come our way,” she said. With fewer external resources we must rely on our inner selves. Resilience or psychological capital is not something we are necessarily born with, but it can be developed, Dr Kirrane continued…

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