Bees at work (XXIX). An Appraisal to workforce and employment after COVID19 pandemic.
We wish you enjoy Easter time with your family. This episode will be super direct and “on point”. We were supposed to write it a few weeks ago, but we moved it to this day, not just because it opens the discussion for a work research agenda when it comes to an application of DBR (Design-Based Research) for the next ten years; but also because I would like to apply our “Entrepreneurial Contextual Framework” for making this appraisal. This due diligence process that we have devised will help you to learn how to do a 360-degree appraisal, not just in terms of entrepreneurship diagnostics, but also in terms of more complex issues such as “working”.
We certainly have seen the impact of the lockdowns and social distance in each of the industries all over the world. No country, no worker was isolated from the influence of the COVID19 virus. So we will try to summarize the assessment of the workers, on a general and respectful consideration of cause-effects, but from the point of view of human workers, not the enterprises. Of course, the limitations of our today´s publications are constrained by the fact that we are doing it in general, on a global basis; not for each particular society, which has precise specific circumstances to consider. In addition, be aware that COVID19 sickness has not ended yet. Many observations will come up afterward. But in general, any illnesses or massive infections that may come into the future will push us to act accordingly. Any virus, bacteria, or biological microorganisms can attack us, given the climate change context, and it promises to be repeated beyond our imagination, probably under the worst conditions at any time to come.
Eleonora Escalante Strategy Assessment of the workforce, (on a general global basis) after an illness that limited mobility and proximity and triggered lockdowns:
- Temporal Context: Have you heard of the phrase “It is all about timing”. Our global workforce was compelled to experience what is the meaning of living under uncertain conditions of timing. No one knew for how long a lockdown was going to stay. No one. Our scheduled routines for working from 9 to 5 were demolished, opening the door to new alternatives, under different time dispositions which have impacted workers with convenience, fatigue, and seclusion.
- Industry Context: Some industries were hit the most by COVID19. The workload for the health and pharma industries was an imperative impetus. No society on earth was ready with emergency contingency plans for answering the populations. The working organizations were classified according to the degree of exposure to other humans, because of contagion and propagation of the virus; and according to the degree of essential survival for humans. Working frameworks were designed for each industry under each country’s standards. Nevertheless, those workers who lost their jobs were tied to the show-arts, entertainment, recreation, and social sports, aviation, malls and public transport, and finally the hospitality, restaurants, and tourism.
- Technological Context: Communication technologies (including social media) and the internet proved to offer mechanisms to pass information at incredible levels of speed, including fake news. Each citizen was forced to migrate to social media and applications, buy a laptop or a tablet, including students; not just for video-conferencing, but also for making transactions and requesting deliverable items. The NAIQIs-Giga era was surprisingly released, with all the benefits and disadvantages. The degree of utilization of each technology affected the working style of each employee. The importance of investing in cyber-security came to all as an indispensable matter. The shortcomings and weaknesses of the NAIQIs-Giga society were perceived, lived, and felt by everyone at work.
- Social Context: Each of us has built social grids with people since our infancy. Our working styles when it comes to social endeavors were probably hit the most during the pandemic. The fact that we couldn´t stay near to others, that we couldn´t hug or made love, or touch the hands of other people and things changed our perception of social interactions at work and in our families. The fear of contagion stopped us to offer emotional understanding or encouragement. To live without the physical touch and support from family and friends caused us to become solitary hermits, impotent to help beyond the risk of losing our own life. The recluse working model was installed for the industries that allowed it.
- Institutional Policy Context: We will limit this point to the government. Each country on earth was able to observe the different solutions that presidents and ministries of health were implementing. How has this context affected working? Our governments’ policies to take care of populations varied from place to place. China has been the strictest when it comes to working controls, meanwhile, other societies have been more open, handling the situation differently.
- Organizational Context: Our managerial and administrative measures in every role of our organizations were modified. Just to comply with the social distance, rotative schedules, utilization of masks, and cleaning habits made us change our working habits. For some, companies changed even the organigrams because of lockdowns! Human resources played a vital aspect that was never considered before.
- Geographic Context: Locations with extensive and dispersed populations acted differently than those with high population densities. The measures taken in NYC were completely distinct from those taken in New Zealand. Globalized societies with long distances to procure the supply of inputs for their communities were forced to duplicate efforts in logistics. Societies that have been organized under the micro-communities concept (where everything is close to each other by walking distances) were able to handle much better the pandemic situations. Those cities with an isolated closed bubble economy were not even touched by COVID19, and their working frameworks continued operating as usual during the last two years.
- Spatial Context: Workers who had well-designed spaces to work from home were capable to sort the temporary situation of being a recluse on their private lone-wolf island. The spatial context goes beyond the physical space; it also has to include the degree of mobility. Spatial awareness came into our lives, not just at home because of the respect required of each member of the family concerning their proximity. But also when it came to the situation for planning strategies for tracking forward or backward different events. For the majority of the population (84% globally), who live in impoverished conditions or suffer a multidimensional factor of poverty, the space required to work at home was unacceptable and almost null.
- Cultural Context: Each country has a particular culture defined as the beliefs, behavior, ideas, and thoughts. Working from home was for some countries a total negation of their culture. COVID19 showed us the reinforcement of exclusion in societies when it comes to culture. I will include education here. The education of kids, teenagers, and university students has been atrociously affected by the worst.
- Political Context: Politics are defined as the structures, ideas, and activities concerned with gaining and using power in a country. With COVID19, the reversal of our freedom as individuals was touched by the politicians, to a limit in which all our human rights were basically canceled.
- Environmental Context: This context is related to the environment from the point of view of protection of the land, water, and air on Earth in which people, animals, and plants live. With the pandemic, our working efforts to care for the environment were nullified. The priority was to heal a sick civilization. In addition, a positive note occurred when lockdowns proved that contamination coming from petroleum can be cut if we don´t use it for mobility, but we begin to use eco-friendly transportation alternatives for going to work.
- Ethical Context: This ethical factor depends very much on the ethical values of the decision-makers. We were able to comprehend how different working people reacted to applying solutions to the COVID19 problem. As wide as you can see ethical responsiveness in leaders, through the eyes of morality.
- Financial Context: Industries that were related to mobility and proximity were practically broken from their roots by the COVID19. That includes educational entities, which will need to rebuild themselves. The appearance of portable digital money has been the most evident consequence of the pandemic. The crypto coins for which Bitcoin is the most popular one were even adopted by El Salvador; putting at risk our vulnerable economy. Access to finance has been modified with the appearance of new alternatives for cashing in and cashing out, payments, etc. Working people who have adopted the cryptos have added a new stress motive to their lives: living the rollercoaster of losing or gaining what they don´t have.
- Spiritual Context: Workers who practice religion for spiritual calm and stability within a community were bullied to leave their routine practices. Even though the video conference calls and WhatsApp helped to communicate remotely, the whole “religious” activities or rituals were compulsorily barred. Religious people substituted their practices by watching videos or LIVE online introductions; nevertheless, every worker that has returned to congregate is now happier than during the pandemic.
- Well-being Integral Context: Finally, Eleonora Escalante Strategy, after doing the working appraisal of the workforce, using our particular process of putting humans at the core (and not the enterprises), we are convinced that the well-being of workers was detrimentally affected for worse, not for the better. What humans need are fewer working hours to fulfill their integral activities within a time frame of 24 hours per day. At the moment, no matter if we work from home or in the office, with an 8 hours schedule/per day it is not possible to procure the well-being of employees and entrepreneurs. With the pandemic, workers were miserable operationally. Workers were pathetically affected by their mental health and finances. Those who liked the WFH alternative are a minority, particularly only working moms, disabled personnel, and in some cases those who live in remote places. All our economies are designed to thrive in the community. By shutting down the community experience, our works are also at risk to disappear with time.
I will stop here. Our next publication is “Research agenda in terms of the future of working for the next 10 years”. It is Easter or Holy week in our country. Many are now on vacation, I will publish as usual this Friday, because we are expecting to finish this saga on April 19th.
Strategic Music section.
Why did we pick up Jennifer Lopez? When it comes to music, many artists utilize several resources to get attention and attract the masses. It is obvious why: Fame, recognition, prestige, and money. The premise of selling more albums has been tied to prizes such as the Grammys, American Music Awards, the BRITs, etc.
Every career of respect on earth has good, bad, and ugly things. We are not perfect. Jennifer Lopez isn’t flawless either. She started to be recognized in the year 1999 with the album “On the 6”. After that, her Latin Puerto Rican allure, hard work, her lovely voice, dancing skills, energy, Latin urban and dance rhythms focused on the black-American and Latino populations; all together mixed with her personal life scandals, were some of the elements that made her explosive in the media. Her music was well-conceived and played to be noticed and sold. Her bands and orchestras have been supporting her on stage for decades. However, the dilemma with J. Lo. arises as an example that we respectfully and kindly will use today. Our next paragraphs have been designed with the purpose to improve the quality of life for the new female singers, so they don´t have to allow the unfair ritual that J.Lo (in between other female singers such as Shakira and Milly Cyrus) had to pass through.
Artist performers of music and female musicians don´t have to sexualize their creations. We live in a society that is too sexualized. For years everything that is selling massively has a precondition: showing off too much intimacy. Intimacy is related to private parts in human beings that express our deepest sexual nature. To entertain at shows with outfits that imply or symbolize erotic desire has been established as the norm, and that is not helping women to be valued for what they are, but for what they expose. Jennifer Lopez has enough quality music, that she did not need to be pushed to use the “sexualization strategy” in her videos or performance; but she was forced to do it. That was a ritual passage for establishing her “Latin sex bomb appeal” brand in our radars, a brand in which J. Lo. took the baton since the beginning of her career. If you watch the first video I shared (Mahogany theme), J. Lo. image was extremely elegant, evocative, and delicate, in comparison to the video from the song “Waiting for tonight”.
Now, as a civilization, we can´t continue using sexualization and sensual suggestive erogenous garments & presentations in our music. It demerits all the efforts of the female artists, and it gives the wrong impression, the erroneous message to conservative music decision-makers who could have appreciated J. Lo. music, without the need to see her sexy exposure. On a positive note, respectfully we believe that J.Lo. will have a huge call in life in her future: To help new emerging Latin lady singers to deserve a future of respect because of their musical talents, so the new generation of artists doesn´t have to accept showing off suggestive intimacy. As a Latin representative, J. Lo. has raised to unbelievable levels, but she paid a huge price for it. Nowadays God loves her so much, that has given her a second chance with the man of her dreams, Ben Affleck. And we pray that J. Lo.´s mission from now and then will be also amazing to transform the music industry into a better place. Our sincere congratulations on her coming marriage!
Songs for today belong to Marcos Witt. The three songs that we have chosen are “Lord, I seek you”, “Tu Fidelidad” and “Tu Mirada” ft. Jesus Adrian Romero. Enjoy your Easter songs during this exquisite Holy week.
See you later, blessings, and thank you for reading to me.
Sources of reference used for this publication
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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