How Covid19 is Transforming the Workforce

As governments continue to introduce measures to slow the spread of the virus and promote the best ways to guard against it, companies rapidly transform the workplace and how work is being done. From updated leave policies to asking all possible employees to work from home, a variety of strategies are being implemented to manage the impact of coronavirus on the workforce.

How is the situation in our member countries?


by Charel Jelles

charel jelles

All schools and daycare centers in the Netherlands are shut – although solutions are being found for workers classed as essential. Cafes, restaurants, saunas and sports clubs have also all beenordered to close their doors.

Country: In the Netherlands the government has organised financial funds related to code of your Chamber of Commerce registration. Some small to midsize companies received Euro 4 .000 directly as they had to close down because of Governmental restrictions. Other companies get compensated up to 90% max. related to loss of their revenues for the coming months. Belgium went on lockdown on March 17. The government asked citizens to stay at home and limit contact to their closest family. On March 22, the lockdown was extended to April 19.
Industry: There is a request for outplacement but the wallet is more empty than before. Euro 3.000 for an outplacement program will not be acceptable for the future. Same program for a lower price will most probably be the case. Companies who already offered virtual programs have an advantage now. They have the infrastructure and have less to adapt.

The German government imposed strict lockdown measures amid growing numbers of cases last month, ordering all non-essential shops to close, cancelling festivals, sports events, and banning any social contact among more than two people in public.

Country: 2020 is to be expected a year of crisis, but it all depends on the client. In Germany the huge international companies work meanwhile easily remote. All conferences go through.
Industry: At the very moment the coaches get easier contact with the companies, as many HR managers are working f rom home. The companies start planning outplacement and how to react after the crisis. Offers are being asked for remote programs, how it is done and how long they last, with how many consultants. As outplacement organisations we have to have the answer not so much to the question “what does it mean for our industry, but what can we do for your industry.”
Things will change, we’ll f ind out next year what the real effects are. Traffic on the website is especially focused on outplacement. The will to react to the market is there and is starting slowly. We will get more business is our expectation. In the first months remote will be of great interest for
the companies and good to use and sell and to stay in contact. Later on we can stay with our normal prices for the one to one personal meetings, higher qualified programs based on the dialogue programs (high quality, deeper education).
In the future we could offer to kind of types of outplacement:
1. more structured, learning sessions: I give you the information and you have to decide and think.
2. coaching sessions: Higher educated consultants, what do you need, face to face.


by Daniela Köning-Mühlenhoff
Mühlenhoff & Partner GmbH


by Norbert Kiesling
Schuster & Associates GmbH

Austria is in a lock down and therefor the major industry is down. Only food stores and pharmacies are open. This week restaurants will open for delivery and take away service.

Country: The Austrian government asks do not lay off your people. The government will reimburse 80% of the operating costs for the employees for 3 months. Companies keep their employees now (social insurance, tax and salary). An emergency fund has been established for small and middle size companies. There is an increase regarding unemployment. Austrian airlines have shut down operations till end of May. They have reported all their people to the unemployment department. Short term, we will not gain new business. 2nd half year or beginning 2021 new business will come, as companies will restructure then.
Industry: There is still outplacement business regarding client requests. How, as an outplacement company, can we provide our services online? How many people we can handle?
There is a lot of contradiction about home off ice. Yes/no increase on efficiency. Covid19 will have an effect on our way of working. However, in the end people will prefer, to have face to face outplacement services.

In Switzerland there is not a total lock down. Shops are closed apart from food stores.

Country: The Swiss government is trying to replace income for all (employed and unemployed).
Industry: There is still some outplacement business but not that strong. The moment the industry catches up, outplacement will be back in demand. At the moment HR departments are more focused on working at home etc . We work now with a virtual program, with distance coaching and learning. We are curious to know how long the impact of home office will last and what effect will be effect on meeting face to face, which is a usp of our work. Outplacement will stay important. Many people will be laid off after the crisis.


by Mark Richter


by Stefan Hansson
Killingholmen Konsult AB

Sweden Is one of the European countries with lesser restrictions. It is still allowed to be together to a max. of 20 persons. Nevertheless many people stay and work from home.

Country: In Sweden we have an exponential increase now of laid off employees in the hotel industry. Most outplacement will be done by phone and virtually. Recruitment has been slowed down but there is an increased interest for HR for Hire. Many companies and organizations need support in order to plan and execute lay-offs with their employer brand intact.
Denmark and Norway, these markets are almost dead. But are expected to pick up in early summer and especially in autumn. Both countries do not have conversion funds like in the other countries.
For Scandinavia we can see that people’s behavior probably will change as a consequence of this virus when it comes to how they are willing to use their laptops/computers in the future.
Industry: Our clients more and more will convert to use IT platforms instead of personal meetings. This means that we must adapt to this change or be more specialized in the
future. If the client prefers working via internet and phone, it could well be that off ices will become less important.