How the future of work arrived in 100 tragic days

Longread by EY

The last 100 days have changed the world. Like everything else, HR will never be the same again.

The emergence of COVID-19, and the response of governments across the world, have fundamentally changed the way we live and work. The scale of the impact is breath-taking; approximately half of the world’s population moved into some form of pandemic lockdown. The pace of change is incredible – scaled remote and flexible working, long-anticipated as a core component of the future of work, have arrived overnight.

Lockdown, shelter-in-place, self-isolation, quarantines – call them what you will – have drastically constrained our freedom of movement and action since the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency on 30 January. The traditional model of in-person/centralized-facility work has been suspended as billions of people adopt personal protective behaviors. Their front doors have become frontiers to a world which, per The Economist, “has closed.” Simultaneous supply-and-demand shocks have left millions of companies scrambling to sustain business continuity.

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