Virtual Work Experience: Key to Post-Pandemic Success | SFS

Why virtual work experience is still important in a post-pandemic educational world

The etiquettes, cultures and practices of the working world are never static. They evolve and are responsive to societal change. So why should the methods we use to expose and prepare young people for it be any different?

The COVID-19 Pandemic saw people worldwide hurtled into adapting to a fully digital world. For the first time at scale, parents and children worked side by side from the kitchen table. It was a steep learning curve for many, which exposed digital skills gaps that were keenly felt. Having adapted to these new working methods, many employees began to appreciate and value remote work’s flexibility, and demand for these roles has grown. Employers recognise that to attract the best talent, offering remote, hybrid, and flexible working hours is essential, not desirable.

We are now almost 2 years post-pandemic, and while there is a growing call for a “return to the office,” businesses arguably expect new employees to have the same virtual working skills as their pandemic-experienced counterparts. To work in a hybrid way, even if full-time in the office.

Student working from standing desk at library.

To present and deliver projects digitally, linking with offices and colleagues nationally and internationally. The cost and efficiency benefits, as well as employee satisfaction, is something employers are not blind to, and were exploring pre-pandemic.

Virtual work experience should be essential evidence on a CV, equal to traditional in-person delivery. It demonstrates self-discipline, digital literacy, and problem-solving skills. These skills are essential for success in a remote or hybrid work environment and other areas of life.

Virtual work placements allows students to try various industries and companies from anywhere in the world. Geographical constraints no longer limit students. They are free to explore a broader range of career paths with employers outside of a commutable radius. Bringing agriculture to sprawling cities, and high courts to the valleys. Students can explore the whole world of work beyond their parent’s and school’s network.

Furthermore, online work experience for students can be more accessible and inclusive than the traditional offer. Employers can design programmes that are more inclusive and welcoming of students from diverse backgrounds. Remote work can embrace its flexible nature, allowing students to engage outside of the 9-5, complimenting their studies. Delivering remote work experience also up skills the employer’s workforce. Learning exciting and engaging ways to provide training and work collaboratively, increasing digital and creative problem-solving abilities.

It’s clear that virtual work experience is a vital part of a young person’s career journey and adds value beyond its pandemic origins. When delivered with high-quality design, it enables young people to create a more competitive CV, demonstrating the same skillset as their more experienced counterparts. It widens opportunities and levels the playing field as the world of work continues to evolve.

Written by Rhiannon Collins, Customer Support Team Lead, Speakers for Schools