2020 has been a very special year, we can certainly all agree on it. The coronavirus landed in Finland in early March. The pandemic caused a global economic shock that drove Finland’s economy into recession. That followed heated speculation about how the economy will develop in the future and many came forward with different future scenarios. But the fact is that the world in which a global pandemic dictates the order of precedence is very difficult to unequivocally interpret and even harder to predict.
There is now unheard-of uncertainty in the world when the “behaviour” and all effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) cannot yet be known.
The corona crisis has highlighted the fact that there is no more going back to the old world order, which means that a new one has to be created. What could that new one be, then? What can we learn from this situation in terms of the labour market and Finnish working life? How one should be able to create sustainable corporate activity in such a world?
Eeva Hellström and Timo Hämäläinen, the leading experts at Sitra, write in their article that “the global pandemic is the most recent example of the ‘meta crisis’ that has been in the making for years. Such meta crisis, including the escalation of environmental problems, the rise of inequality, the rise of diseases connected to lifestyle, mental health problems, and the rise of populist leaders, extremism and terrorism, have all arisen from the fact that previously well served thinking and operational models and the traditional institutions and structures of society are no longer sufficient when daily life, economy and co-operation are more and more specialized and complex. When you look at the changes in the modern world, you have to take into account that not all these problems originate from the pandemic, and they are not the cause of the corona but have only become strongly visible with the crisis at hand.
There has been a mass awakening during this year to the reality that the world order, the systems of society and economic life in their current forms are ancient and invalid to the new world. Corona has shown how weak and vulnerable our current operations are. The world has become so multi-minded and interdependent that we have grown out of our old ways and solutions. New, more agile and diverse solutions are needed to better manage the new world order. The patterns and structures of the economy and society, as well as the competence and worldview of the people, must adapt to a more complex and unstable world. In the corona spring, one example of companies’ outdated operating model failure has been extensive permanent workforce layoffs and/or layoffs. If companies that have had to lay off temporarily and/or permanently staff a lot had been using agency-hired labour, the shift of staff from work to potential other jobs would have been simpler. Staff hiring is one of Burgal’s solutions in adapting to this so-called new world. Staff hire is a good means of reliably and flexibly finding work or employees. Furthermore, the corona crisis has shown that market supremacy should shift to more broadly and practical close cooperation between different sectors in order to make respond better to the economic complexity. Each sector has its own strengths, as well as its weaknesses. If the sectors joined forces, new skills could be created and economic renewal could be accelerated, which is necessary in this time.
In new operating environments, which are now starting to be built, for example, through technology, for success new kinds of thinking models, mental growth, understanding and accepting of different visions and values, and a new level of cooperation and confidence across the sector, stakeholder and nation-state borders are needed. These measures are needed from the public, private and third sector to improve opportunities for citizens and organizations as well as to develop experimentation and learning processes. One goal that could be set is for a new, more sustainable balance between the efficiency of society and the ability of people to adapt.
We in Burgal are very innovative and want to create and bravely brainstorm the new order. The fact that the effects of coronavirus are now clearly visible in the number of people employed is alarming information for Finland, and we want to be actively involved in the debate that outlines the new ways and environments. In our view, it is pointless to return to old practices after such a massive crisis, rather now is the time to develop new solutions with far-reaching and developmental effects. In the past, there have been similar periods of upheaval or fracture in world history where there have been a need to radically reform the course of action. In that sense, the situation is not new or unique. This gives hope that we can find a way out of this situation too.