Habits You Must Develop to Adapt to the Needs of Modern Workplace

A while ago, there was a huge fear that AI would steal all the jobs. Now, the paranoia is almost over, and the new estimates are a bit more optimistic. No, the big bad technology is not going to run you out of the job market. This means that you’ll still have to prepare and go to work.

Sure, people have been working since the dawn of time, but it wouldn’t be that far-fetched to say that the modern workplace is monumentally different from everything in the past.

Navigate the complexities of remote collaboration by developing effective communication skills. Actively listen and interpret messages to thrive in the modern workplace.

Imagine if you went back to the 1950s and tried to explain to a factory or an office worker that your hardest-working friend never leaves their room. This switch to heavier reliance on remote work is just one of the monumental changes in this field. Here are some others that you have to keep in mind.

1. Continuous learning

In the past, onboarding was a simple process that really didn’t take that much time. You learned how to handle a few tasks, and then, all you had to do was spend a few decades honing these skills, becoming faster, reducing the likelihood of error, and becoming, overall, more productive.

In the modern workplace, there are so many tools that you have to use and even these tools are getting regular updates, new features, and occasionally even a full overhaul. Because of the integrations, it’s not improbable that your team will decide to switch platforms.

People are also more likely to change jobs than before. Today, about 30% of the total workforce will change their jobs every 12 months. The thing is that every company has a different working regimen. This much is true even in scenarios where you’re moving to the “same” position.

This habit of continuously learning is so big that it gets asked earlier and earlier during interviews. In fact, this is often one of the top three questions. Modern employers don’t really want to bother with people who have a problem with online courses, regular testing, etc.

Taking new courses and approaching microlearning self-initiatively is seen as an even better show of good faith on your part. In other words, it’s a trend worth paying attention to.

2. Taking care of your cybersecurity

In traditional workplaces, the matter of security would be pretty easy. You couldn’t take documents from work unless given special permission. With the way modern business works, it’s not strange to check your corporate email on your phone while at a packed nightclub.

Everyone uses private devices for work and not enough offices actually have a solid BYOD policy. Does this mean that you won’t be held accountable when something goes wrong? Not exactly! This is why your own cybersecurity needs to be your own personal responsibility.

First of all, you need to protect your own devices by installing the latest versions of some of the best antivirus software applications.

Another thing you need to understand is that your behavior makes the biggest difference in the world. Even the best antivirus won’t protect you if you just join any public network that pops up, or if you just leave your phone on the table at the coffee house when going to the bathroom.

Also, there’s the fact that no one can protect you from your own negligence. If your password is too weak or too easy to guess, there’s no way to stay safe in a digital environment. The laziest of people will even use this password for their private platforms, which will make matters even worse.

3. Learn how to work remotely

When we say learn how to work remotely, we aren’t referring to learning how to use a collaboration tool. There are a lot of other things you need to master in order to make this work, really work.

You’re not just trying to sit behind a computer and pretend that you’re working. What you’re actually trying to achieve is get the job done. You’re trying to be as productive as if you were in the office but without someone to look over your shoulder and with all the comfort and distractions of your own home.

You’re also trying to work in the same space where your roommates and family are trying to relax. Is it your workplace? Sure! But it’s also their home. They need to be considerate but, then again, it was your decision, not theirs, that you find a job that you’ll work from home, instead of commuting to work like they do.

The biggest challenge that you’ll have to face is the battle for your own self-discipline. It’s so easy to procrastinate when you have deadlines instead of work hours. It’s hard to understand why you have to start working at 7 A.M. when you could, objectively, stay in bed until 11 A.M. without any consequences.

All of this may be harder to learn than you expect.

4. Effective communication skills

Communicating with people in remote teams and via multiple platforms (email, Skype, Slack, Trello, etc.) is far from easy. You need to develop proper digital communication etiquette, as well as learn how to use these tools effectively.

Most importantly, you need to learn how to listen. We’re talking about the art of actively listening - not just listening to the words but actually and actively interpreting their meaning (sometimes even hidden meaning).

The modern workplace is a lot different from its traditional counterparts. It relies more on collaboration. The departments are more intertwined, and it’s a lot more important for everyone to collaborate on major projects.

Most importantly, this is the skill that the majority of modern employers are interested in, and they’ll be able to pick up if you lack it early in the hiring process.
5. Healthy work-life balance
As we’ve already mentioned, when working remotely, it’s easy to lose the concept of free time. It’s easy to disrupt your day-night cycle and get stuck in a scenario where you’re working throughout most of the day.

It’s also pretty easy to start feeling isolated when the only way you see your coworkers is on the screen. Sure, chatting is great, and it’s better than no communication at all. In fact, more and more teams are switching to remote team building, but a lot of people are still not participating the right way.

Working behind a screen mandates a more sedentary lifestyle, which can have serious repercussions for your health. This is why it’s so important that you pick up an outdoor hobby or a gym membership.

Lastly, the gig economy and online job-seeking platforms have made it so easy for anyone to find extra work. Well, some people get extra greedy or lose a sense of their own free time and effort. It’s important to learn when to stop.

Different working conditions require a different set of skills

It’s not just about the tools for work. Under the influence of modern technology, the entire work culture has changed. This is why you need to keep up with it if you want to stay competitive and, even more importantly, feel at home in this new work environment. While the list goes on and on, the above-listed five are definitely the most important items worth addressing.
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