Days of disruption

The pandemic may change the very nature of jobs in the long run


The churn during and after the lockdown may have implications on the very nature of what we consider a job to be. It has also not been equal in wreaking its misery—all round statistics show that most pink slips were handed to young professionals.

“Companies chose to lay off lower level as well as entry-level staff, people who they could easily get back once the situation got better,” points out Sahil Sharma, co-founder of GigIndia, an on-demand job platform. Neha Bagaria, founder and CEO, JobsForHer, says that companies are hiring employees with experience, considering that getting freshers trained in the current scenario is challenging.

The present situation has been both a boon and a bane for women professionals. As Bagaria points out, “The double burden of work plus family duties may have contributed to many women dropping their existing jobs, or even losing their jobs, when their productivity got affected.” But as the pandemic threw opportunities like work-from-home (WFH) and gig projects, women have come forward. According to GigIndia statistics, women gig workers on the platform went up from just 12 per cent before Covid-19, to 29 per cent in September. Work applicants from small towns have risen from 5 per cent before the pandemic to 58 per cent presently, with a 115 per cent spurt in WFH jobs.

The pandemic may change the very nature of jobs in the long run. “What does job security mean?” asks Sharma. “It means that in a moment of crisis, your job will be safe. But last few months we saw that nobody’s job was secure!” Sharma says the definition of “job security” has now changed to “holding multiple jobs—one or two or even three part-time ‘gig’ work or assignments at the same time.”