COMPANIES need to invest more in training that will allow employees to be better prepared for the highly digitalized post-pandemic environment, experts said.

“It is critical for employers to really put an upskilling agenda or a retooling agenda as we face the effects of digitalization, which has obviously accelerated in the last 21 months by the pandemic,” Willis Towers Watson Managing Director James Matti said at BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum on Thursday.

Trends such as remote work, virtual meetings, e-commerce and virtual transactions, as well as automation and the use of artificial intelligence, are expected to stick even beyond the public health crisis.

Digitalization means that new skills and capabilities are needed and companies must provide the appropriate programs for their employees to remain competitive.

A “growth mindset” is needed in order to take advantage of emerging opportunities, according to Mr. Matti, whose firm provides risk management advisory services.

Some industries are expected to be heavily affected as digitalization makes further progress.

“We need to be prepared to change industries perhaps several times during our working life and that also means that there’s a responsibility to ensure that we have education available,” Lars Wittig, country manager for International Workplace Group, said.

Suchita Prasad, senior expert at McKinsey & Company, noted that 90% of experience officers are expecting their organizations to offer a hybrid working model, which will dedicate at least one day to allowing employees to go on remote work every week.

Meanwhile, 66% of organization leaders are considering redesigning their office spaces to accommodate hybrid work.

“The HR (human resource) managers have spotted the importance of more flexibility in terms of workplace and alternative workplaces and they knew that it would allow them to attract and retain talents better,” Mr. Wittig said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte