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The Greatest Work from Home Experiment Ever Becomes the New Reality

How psychology can help us adjust to the sudden reality of remote work and move us into a promising future.

It is fascinating to see how we all react to circumstances like the one we are in now. We all use our full potential to deal with the sudden change brought on by COVID-19. For some that means taking part in the greatest work-from-home-experiment ever, building an office space, or arranging a protocol with family members to use text messaging to communicate initiatives like having a coffee together or to avoid becoming figurants in each other’s video conference calls.

For others it means, acting as homeschool teachers for the kids, becoming experts in mathematics and geography. Whatever your situation is at the moment, we all had to adapt to the new reality fast. But even though we have all shifted quickly, there are some real consequences.

People also feel stressed out, anxious, or frustrated, not knowing what is coming, and in some cases, our behavior is not matching our values (i.e. hoarding toilet paper).

The current situation makes us change the way we look at the world. But there is also an opportunity here — we learn to value what we have, and our overall gratitude is increasing. We can choose an accelerated process of personal development rather than the psychological pressure that COVID-19 brings. Anyone who has grown mentally, physically, or spiritually knows that growth is not found in comfort.

Thinking about how psychology can help us deal with this devastating global event and prepare us to deal with similar events in the future, even when there is a vaccine or treatment available for COVID-19, we will find that the world around us has changed.

One major change taking place is the nature of work – going from a mainstream framework of in-office, in-person work, to a virtual and remote landscape.

One major change taking place is the nature of work – going from a mainstream framework of in-office, in-person work, to a virtual and remote landscape.

Gartner reports that 74 out of 100 companies will most likely consider moving more workers to remote working after the crisis has ended. This is a major change for many people, so it is important for businesses and individuals to prepare themselves.

This is where SHL can help!

SHL’s Innovative Journey

At SHL, we have been innovating to bring solutions that enable our customers in this time of uncertainty. Our recent acquisition of Aspiring Minds accelerated our product roadmap and helped us deliver state of the art technology to our customers with an even broader product portfolio, including our recently launched Virtual Solutions suite. These tools support companies to assess people, so they can select the best-fit talent and identify top potential, but in a digital, highly efficient, and powerfully predictive way AND we are offering companies free access to this suite as we experience the impact of COVID-19.

In addition to this, we recently released the RemoteWorkQ – A science-backed assessment that we created to help people in the workplace understand their strengths, areas of development, and need for support as they continue to work remotely, and as they begin to prepare for a future where remote work is the new normal. Also, organizations and people leaders are able to utilize RemoteWorkQ to understand how to effectively support their remote teams, and how to grow team connection and collaboration.

From a scientific and psychological perspective – this is one of the most timely and important assessments available since SHL’s initial Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ). It provides value to organizations getting ready for the new world of work and support your workforce as we head to the new normal.

In closing, I am reminded of one of my favorite stories of strength – the Apollo 13 mission which took place exactly 50 years ago. A team of people up against incredible odds and their motto was “failure is not an option”. I am positive that our story, thanks to the human ingenuity of our global medical professionals, and people like my colleagues and customers, will have a positive ending and we will prevail.

I wish you all a safe and insightful travel to our new and promising future!


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Marcel Verstappen

Marcel is a Managing Consultant at SHL and has been working in the field of talent assessment and development for more than 20 years. He has fulfilled different roles and worked for a range of industries, from high tech companies to the financial services industry. The field of psychology and behavioral economics has always had his special interest. He enjoys building solutions alongside our customers to help their companies and people unlock their potential to become more successful.

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