Will The Pandemic Transform The Future Of Work Forever, with David Mank, Professor Emeritus At Indiana University

Episode summary

In the last episode of Government Enabled Podcast, the host Cheryl Mitchell had a chat with David Mank, who is a Professor Emeritus at Indiana University.

We have covered hot topics such as what changes the employment will experience post-COVID, but also David’s journey from the University of Oregon, the project he had started named McKenzie Personnel Systems, to the Indiana University, and his role as a director of Indiana Institute on Disability and Community.

Find out what employment agencies have learned in a pandemic, and how will they implement those new strategies in the future. Technology has proved extremely useful especially when people shouldn’t meet in person, so how will that transform the world we knew before? The other important thing is how will people with disabilities adjust to those changes and what are the pros and cons of implementing technology.

A lot will evolve in a way we can’t foresee, but David helped us predict some of the most important changes the employment agencies and people with disabilities could experience.

Guest at-a-glance

Key insights

  • Can private and public sectors join forces to provide more job opportunities for people with disabilities? We have learned that it’s not of crucial importance to be physically present at work and the office all the time. What are the State’s agencies doing to provide opportunities and do they collaborate with private agencies to improve the work experience for people with disabilities?

  • What will be the needs of employers in the future that employees must meet? Pandemic has got us all thinking about what we can do better, how to do it, how to adjust to change, and where are our weak spots. David helped us get the idea of what employers will require the most in the future.

  • What’s the role of HR departments in providing work and support for people with disabilities? David has shared some insight into what HR departments are already doing, how they can improve, and what’s changed in the pandemic regarding the future of employment for people with disabilities.

Episode Highlights

Information boom in the era of technology and accessibility to everyone

“A continuous investment in the skills of employment specialists and staff will continue to be important. Another lesson that we’ve learned in this pandemic is that training in technical assistance will look different in the future because we’ve had to do things virtually. There now is much, much more information available online than ever before, because training has gone virtual as well.” David is amazed by how technology can gather much more people from everywhere to help them gain knowledge and skills to be competent in the job market. This especially helps people with disabilities to attend trainings from the comfort of their homes. The public and private sectors need to work together on personnel development to ensure people with disabilities receive the training they need.

The mixture of virtual and in-person training – is this the perfect balance that will suit many people?

“I suspect that we’re not going back to five days a week, 9-5 at the office all of the time. I’m sure there will be a significant in-person presence in offices in the future. But I think there will be a new mix of virtually versus working out of a collective office.” David explained the pros and cons of working in-person and virtually. Now that people have finally realized a lot of work can be done from home, will we ever go back to 9-5 in the office?

The key role of support in a workplace where people with disabilities are employed

“They’re hiring someone that, has an interest, has their own talents, and can be a productive member of their workforce and who may have a disability and, some accommodation or some unique kinds of supports may be important for them to be successful in that workplace” A person is not their disability. It’s only a tiny part of who they are. They all possess amazing skills, talents that can contribute a lot to various businesses. David explained the importance of the support those people need to thrive at work. He also told us that HR is doing a lot for people with disabilities, and they are going to improve that work in the future using new information they have gathered during the pandemic.