According to the latest International Labour Organization report [ ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work, third edition], almost 130 million jobs have been lost in Q1 2020 due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
This decline in working hours globally is leading 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy – that is nearly half of the global workforce – stand in immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed.
Zooming-in to Lebanon, our country is not only suffering from the COVID-19 crisis but also from a critical economic crisis.
Those contemporary challenges could lead us, unfortunately, to witness the highest unemployment rate in the country’s history.
What could be a potential solution? And how can we turn those challenges into opportunities?
Technology, remote work & innovative social enterprises are vital to helping us get out of this period even stronger than before.
Twitter announced last week that their employees could work from home forever. Facebook declared as well that they would be focusing on remote work hires from now onwards.
Those are only two examples of tech giants’ future hiring plans, yet the same strategy would be implemented by most tech companies worldwide.
This will open a golden door for Lebanese talents to stay in Lebanon while working for multinationals, and therefore bringing fresh dollars to the country.
( it is important to highlight that remote work is not bound to tech giants. We have many international remote work platforms like Upwork, Freelancers, Toptal, and many others that would allow professionals from a big diversity of majors to handle projects remotely.)
How many remote workers we have now in Lebanon?
We have thousands, but the number could be easily increased to hundreds of thousands with the right mentorship & exposure.
This is part of a big initiative being prepared in collaboration with the IT syndicate to up-skill the Lebanese workforce and prepare them for the remote work world.
Another important challenge in this plan execution is remote payment like PayPal, Payoneer and many similar platforms are blocked in Lebanon.
This issue is currently being checked with the prime minister advisors and the director for payment systems at BdL.
Hopefully, we will be able soon to provide our remote workers with an official solution to get paid and cash out their money as fresh money.