One often hears in the wake of the pandemic that “What if it could go back and become normal again”. At the same time, we are many who are convinced that what was normal yesterday will not be normal tomorrow. In 2010, the author and entrepreneur Peter Hinssen released the book The New Normal. In it, he argues that connection to the Internet is as obvious and necessary as water in the tap and electricity in the wall socket. That digitalisation will change society and business conditions at the same time as it adapts you to be digital and flexible. The alternative is that you become irrelevant.
The pressure for change during the pandemic has been strong and digitization has accelerated. Changes that were predicted to take several years now became a reality in just a few months. Many people have lost their jobs at the same time as many industries have a crying need for manpower and skills. And the risk that it will get even worse is great. Not least for the logistics industry, which in the global survey Talent Shortage, produced by Manpower Group, ends up at the top of the list of industries that suffer from skills shortages. That the driver shortage is great and a problem is well known to everyone in the industry, but with the new technology challenges and a more focused work on sustainability issues, they compete today for other skills in digital technology, automation, artificial intelligence, sustainability, analysis and customer satisfaction.
In order to stand in the competition for competence, we as employers must be perceived as an attractive one. We can do this by, for example, prioritizing health, well-being and flexibility that enable a balance in life based on the demands that new generations bring into working life as well as to maintain the skills that already exist within the companies. In a recently presented survey from Benify, as many as 81 percent of those who worked from home during the pandemic answer that they want this opportunity to continue. This is confirmed by most other studies. The reason is probably that the puzzle of life becomes easier to solve and you experience a higher quality of life at the same time as you are efficient in your professional role and deliver.
A report from the global company Gartner says that we are in a hybrid revolution. A working life where you work both in teams and individually, where we are on site and at a distance. They describe it as a unique opportunity to go from an office-centered to a people-centered way of working. They see it as an opportunity to redo and do the right thing. It is important to remember, however, that it is not possible to drive as usual in some form of hybrid solution. The new working life will place new and other demands on the leaders of the future who must be able to handle and support employees in all ways of working in a flexible work environment.
For those who think it was better before, even more heavy messages will come. Life before the pandemic will never come back. Sticking to old behaviors is increasingly an unsustainable strategy. In August last year, the UN released its latest climate report and the message is clear, the situation for the climate is urgent. Immediate changes are now needed to reverse the trend and everyone must contribute. For us at Tempcon, sustainability issues have always been a priority, just as with many colleagues in the industry. Right now, lots of initiatives are underway with biofuels, electric power and fuel cells to be able to transport the goods in a more sustainable way. A journey that has only just begun and where we see that the digital world is an important factor in a more sustainable real world.