Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the future of Engineers
Engineers have seen many developments gather further momentum due to the coronavirus pandemic. Working from home is no longer just the occasional exception to the rule; in many places, it’s become the norm. Adapting to this has required staff to get accustomed to new tools and communication methods in a very short time. Focusing too much on specific software knowledge, however, brings with it the risk of losing sight of the big picture. The impact of coronavirus has instead highlighted how soft skills – such as flexibility and adaptability – are vital for engineers, but the capabilities will also be required once the pandemic is over. Inga Rottlander from the StepStone job portal sums it up: “Yes, COVID-19 has created an exceptional situation. The ability to adapt quickly to new circumstances will remain important even once it’s over, though, because the pace of change is growing in the world of work and will increase further in the years ahead.”
“New types of coordination with customers and colleagues are making it necessary to get to grips with different forms and rules of communication, especially in the international context.”
In the future, the skills that have become essential during the pandemic will therefore no doubt be expected as standard from engineers. This includes the ability to organize themselves, which is particularly easy to practice when working from home. Working autonomously is also a key component of agile project management. Methods such as Scrum are becoming ever more popular in mechanical engineering. Communication skills have also become even more important – a development that the pandemic has accelerated. New types of coordination with customers and colleagues are making it necessary to get to grips with different forms and rules of communication, especially in the international context. This is what is referred to as “digital soft skills.” All in all, the engineers of the future will have a high level of emotional intelligence. That means being aware of their own emotions, understanding how to deal with them, and being able to respond appropriately to the emotions of their fellow human beings.
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