COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our lives — at home and at work. Some of these changes are short-term, but most will have a lasting impact. While organizations have worked to adapt to the shift in technology and processes, one of the most profound changes has been that of our mindset.
Even as we roll out the COVID-19 vaccination for mass distribution, many of these new changes will permanently reshape our conception of the world of work in the times to come.
Remote work has become the norm and many organizations like Microsoft, Gartner, Adobe, PayPal, Salesforce, Slack, Twitter and more have adopted an indefinite work-from-home model.
With that in mind, it has become increasingly more important to redefine and further clarify company values and culture to keep organizations in sync with the new normal of working. Here are some workplace trends that you can expect to see in 2021.
Demand for New and Emerging Skills Will Rise
New-age technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, Robotics Process Automation (RPA), and edge computing will see increased adoption in the coming years. This digital transformation will result in an increased demand for professionals with these skills and for employee training in these fields.
As digital learning platforms witness even more growth, organizations will have to prioritize ways for making learning and development accessible to its employees and this will perhaps be the most important trend this year.
The Rise of Digital First Workplace
While adoption of technology, automation and analytics has become a necessity, organizations will customize their technology suit to best meet their needs. But largely, the future will see an increased reliance on technology products required for remote work — video conferencing, virtual collaboration, process automation, data management and more.
Employee Well-Being Will Be Critical
This year will largely focus on the employee experience, especially encouraging your workforce to become physically and mentally healthier. T2020 created a lot of ambiguity, resulting in apprehension among employees. It’s now an organizations’ responsibility to make employees feel safe and secure regardless of whether they are working from home or the office.
If your organization is working from home, creating an environment built on trust and collaboration will be more important than ever. For those going to an office, ensuring employee safety is paramount as people work in close proximity to one another.
A Year for Globally Dispersed and Diverse Workforce
Both freelancing and the gig economy have seen rapid growth in the last decade, and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. The fact that everyone is working remotely has allowed organizations to open their doors for a global workforce.
Another trend at play is the migration of employees to less expensive areas, temporarily and permanently. Organizations have already started to consider this and are redefining their travel and incentive plans as they continue to hire full-time and part-time global talent. Without a doubt, 2021 will be the year of more dispersed and diverse workforce.
Aggressive Diversity and Inclusion Targets
Diversity and inclusion are no longer strictly boardroom discussion topics. They are central issues that have taken center stage. Following the Black Lives Matter protests throughout 2020, many organizations have hired senior leadership to manage diversity and inclusion and have started to take tangible steps in that direction.
Focus on diversity and inclusion is going to be a major trend in 2021 and we hope to see some positive changes in the year to come.
Look for the Silver Lining in 2021
This year will be pivotal for defining workplace culture and trends. Despite rampant job losses, it’s going to be challenging to find talent for organizations as many professionals who already have jobs would be skeptical to switch. Keeping that in mind, this might be the right time to invest in your employees and their growth.