We’re all doing things differently now. Since COVID-19, we’re changing our lifestyle, our habits and how we work, often for the better. So it’s a good time to think about protecting yourself against a changing future.
The world has changed, and it’s still changing. Taking steps to protect your income and secure your financial future against uncertainty is more important than ever. And part of protecting yourself is making sure you’re informed. Here’s a run-down of how the world of work is changing, and how we might need to adapt.
How is the world of work changing?
A lot more of us are currently working from home, and that looks likely to continue for some time. This comes with challenges, like collaborating without your team around you and adapting to new technology. But there’s also the opportunity to get a better balance between work and family time, and save on travel costs. And with less people on the roads commuting each day, it’s also a welcome break for the environment.
Changing working hours
Remote work isn’t the only change to come from the COVID-19 pandemic. With many parents balancing working from home with home schooling or changed childcare, businesses have needed to be more flexible with working arrangements. For some, this has meant reducing or changing working hours or even setting up job sharing. With this added flexibility proving to work for many businesses and employees alike, it’s a shift that we’ll likely see continue in the post COVID-19 world.
While some have welcomed reduced or flexible hours, others are working less than usual because they’ve had their hours cut, which can be a financial challenge.
One of the most unfortunate impacts of COVID-19 is that people have lost their jobs.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the number of people in Australia with a job fell from 66% to 63% between early March and early April. Thankfully there’s been financial support and government schemes available to help. If you have lost your job, as a first step, check with Centrelink to see which payments you’re entitled to and how to claim them.
People working in hospitality, travel, manufacturing and retail are seeing their industries change rapidly, as businesses pivot into a different style of work. Some restaurants have introduced home dining and food box delivery so they can keep serving their diners in some way, while many fashion retailers have shifted their delivery and returns policies to make it easier for customers to shop online. With restrictions starting to ease, it’s likely that these industries will continue to shift the way they operate, with many embracing these new offerings and ways of working as part of their new normal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the resilience of Aussie workers, as businesses have been forced to temporarily close and their staff shift to completely new career paths. It’s temporary for some, but for others it has brought an unexpected opportunity to gain new skills and explore work in different industries.
Changing jobs and industries can impact your income protection. If you have an existing income protection policy, it’s important to update your provider about changes to your job role or working environment, particularly if it’s a big change. This is to make sure that you have the right level of cover, and you’re paying the right premiums.
Security when you need it
Income protection insurance helps replace your lost income if you're unable to work because of an illness or injury and, in some cases, if you are made involuntarily redundant.
But remember, some policies have waiting periods and qualifying periods before you're able to claim, so keep an eye out for those.
Now is a good time to think about which aspects of your job you miss and would be happy to return to, and which things you’d like to change. You might have realised that you prefer a different working environment, shorter hours, or that you want to work in a different industry. This is good to know when making future career decisions.
If you have free time now, think about how you can use it to prepare for future opportunities. Consider updating your CV, taking an online course or gaining a new qualification. You could start by finding a relevant course for you with online provider Upskilled.
We’re all facing new challenges in these difficult times, and it can be hard to see the opportunities. But they will come.
And if you’re looking for some certainty in a constantly changing world, consider Virgin Income Protection to help protect you and your family if the unexpected happens.
Be kind to yourself, keep in touch with friends and family, and keep focused on the positives.
Get a quote for Virgin Income Protection.
Virgin Income Protection is available to Australian Residents between 18-60 years of age. Applications subject to acceptance. Cover limits, exclusions and conditions apply. Premiums vary depending on personal circumstances and generally increase with age and cover. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement for further information.
This information is of a general nature only which means it does not take into account your personal financial situation, needs or objectives. For this reason, you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Before making the decision, please read the Product Disclosure Statement and Financial Services Guide. View Privacy & Security information issued to you when you purchased this product.
Virgin Income Protection is promoted by Virgin Money (Australia) Pty Limited ABN 75 103 478 897, authorised representative No 280884 of Virgin Money Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 51 113 285 395 AFSL 286869, and distributed by TAL Direct Pty Limited ABN 39 084 666 017 AFSL 243260. Policies and claims administered by TAL Direct under agreement with the insurers, TAL Life Limited ABN 70 050 109 450 AFSL 237848 and for Involuntary Unemployment Cover, St Andrew's Insurance (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 89 075 044 656 AFSL 239649.