Specialists Advise Mentoring To Help Employees Adapt To Working In A Virtual Office Environment

There have been many lessons learned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those lessons is the ability of workers to adapt to working in a virtual office environment instead of a physical one is invaluable.  

According to a recent article appearing on the HR Dive website, for older workers, this new way of doing things can allow them to shine in the area of soft skills.  While it is widely perceived that millennial workers, who are in their 30s, have more technical know-how, older workers in their 40s and 50s have the kinds of skills in communications and problem-solving experience that can make them shine in the age of telework.

Carla Bevins is an assistant teaching professor of business communications at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. She told HR Dive’s Sheryl Estrada that she hears from recruiters regularly that what companies are looking for are those workers who are critical thinkers and can communicate clearly.

“When mature workers are able to effectively use technology in their work, their well-developed soft skills — I argue they are essential skills — translate to strong work production in online environments,” Bevins said.

Reskilling & Upskilling for Virtual Work Environments

To help companies adapt to life after COVID-19, Bevins recommends providing training so that workers can improve their work performance in their jobs is of primary importance. “ Where positions become obsolete, new training in technology, like web design, can help employees with transferable skills maintain their positions within the company and provide valuable input,” she advised.

Bevins also suggests mentoring and networking as being beneficial to workers and their organizations.  Mentoring helps older workers gain experience as trainers and leaders, while reverse mentoring by younger employees can teach technical skills and innovation to older workers and make the playing field more level and diverse. 

Bevins believes that when organizations have multiple generations working together, it gives a company the advantage of having several uniq