“I don’t want to go to the office and my boss says the same thing.”
One of my clients works for one of the biggest mining companies in Peru. She doesn’t want to go to her office when the pandemic is over. The strange thing is that she has never been to the office. She was hired virtually after the pandemic started. They interviewed her and offered her the job without ever meeting her in person. She only knows her co/workers through the internet.
This presents some challenges both for the employer and the new employee. How can she get into the culture of the company? Are remote relationships a good substitute for the real thing? I have encouraged her to make an extensive effort to ask questions and to read as much as possible about the company.
Her former employer let her go during the pandemic. Consequently she sold her car since she didn’t have to commute to the office. Now if she has to travel to her office, she will need to buy another car. A good reason to stay at home.
More than that, she will have to re-engage with Lima’s horrendous traffic. I think that workers are realizing that they put up with the stress of commuting just so they could have a job.
Many don’t want to go back to the old ways: traffic jams, polluted air, rude drivers, car expenses. Life is definitely better without these irritations. Is this attitude temporary or permanent? Time will tell.
It is clear that many are deciding to make changes. Some have told me that they miss the chance to be with colleagues and interchange with them. It is a shock, though, when they visit the old office and see it dark and cold without the vitality of the people who work there.
More than ever, the need for English language skills becomes evident. The above mentioned client landed a job with an American company with operations in Peru. Some of her interviews were in English and then part of the training program was in that language. There was no English test. The assumption is that she will be ready to participate in English when needed.
In some of the company’s meetings a translator is provided. My client has chosen to listen only in English and to do her best to participate in the discussions. This is good for practice and I think it will be noticed by the company as a positive attitude. When given the chance, it is wise to take advantage of the opportunity to practice language skills.
In such a situation it is important to show the motivation to improve our language skills and be ready to use English whenever it is needed. I believe that there will be a career benefit for those who make this effort. Promotions and advancement in the company can hinge on such things. So why not make the effort?