2020 had its fair share of ups and downs, with the spread of the Coronavirus, unrelenting wildfires, as well as calls for social change throughout the world. These and other events that shaped the year brought about some drastic changes in the way we live our lives and our approach to the workplace. With lockdown measures being instigated in most countries throughout the world, businesses had to resort to remote working and virtual communication (think Zoom) to keep their companies running whilst protecting their employees from the deadly virus.
Even in this new year, as the virus still plagues a majority of countries across the globe, it is expected that a good number of the changes effected in 2020 will persist into 2021. Not only will mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus remain the center of most decisions made by companies, but most of them have found that many of the changes they were forced to make were actually better for the overall health of the business and its employees. Seeing as most of them have had months of testing and trial-and-error to find out what works for their teams and what doesn’t, it’s fair to assume that 2021 will be a better year for company work cultures.
But what do the experts have to say? In this post, we’ll detail some trends that industry leaders think will dominate the workplace in this new year, that you can employ in your business to help you win 2021.
1. Remote working
Although for years it has been hailed as the future of work (long before the advent of COVID-19), remote work only took full effect last year. But as many companies embraced it, they reveled in the benefits that it has to offer, and as it stands now, most big-name corporations have made it a permanent fixture in their workplace culture. From Facebook to Microsoft, Twitter, and Dropbox, many have elected to let their employees work from the convenience and safety of their homes indefinitely. Companies like Deloitte went a step further and permanently gave up some of their office space due to increased disuse and low face-to-face consultations. In the case of Facebook, employees will have the option to work remotely for the next 5 to 10 years, so for them, remote work is a trend that will hold even past 2021.
As a result of the pandemic, you may have also had to carry out your operations virtually for most parts of last year. And although your transition into remote work may have been bumpy (especially if you had not dabbled before), experts advise to continue streamlining your virtual operations this year to create a flawless remote workplace for your employees. Many predictions had already pointed to remote work dominating the workplace in the coming years, the pandemic only expedited its adoption.
Remote work not only offers a vista for financial savings for you, it has also been found to increase productivity among employees and improve their mental health. Such benefits have made a compelling case for remote work, and many are of the expert opinion that it is now truly here to stay.
2. Inclusivity and diversity in the workplace
A recent survey conducted by Hubspot indicated that 59% of employees thought that their companies had made an effort to cultivate inclusive cultures in the workplace during the year. Another survey says that 70% of job seekers take into consideration a company’s commitment to fostering diversity before considering them as a potential employer. These stats show that employees are truly concerned about how diverse a work environment is. In this age of social consciousness and progressive thinking, diversity goes beyond just having that one minority hire in your staff. It is a deliberate effort to include people of all creeds and cultures into your fold without any discrimination so long as they meet your hiring criteria. It is not enough to just talk about change but to put it into practice. With remote working in full swing, it means that you don’t have to limit the scope of your recruitment to your geographical location. With Ureed.com, you can get new hires from different locales in the world at the touch of a button.
3. Hiring Freelancers
Aside from having a wealth of experience and possessing incredible tenacity, freelancers are also slowly but surely starting to dominate the workforce. Nothing embodies this phenomenon more than this prediction from Forbes that forecasts that by 2027, over 50% of the American workforce will be freelance. Many employers have saved themselves fortunes by opting to hire freelancers to take on seasonal jobs instead of hiring full-time employees whose talents won’t be utilized around the clock. By leveraging the skills of competent freelancers on tried-and-tested platforms like Ureed.com, you not only open yourself up to a world of recruiting talent on demand, but also elevate your business to new heights of impeccable work with fast turnaround times.
4. Increased digital transformation
According to Microsoft’s CEO, COVID-19 has brought about two years’ worth of digital advancement in the space of a few months. At least 80% of leaders fast-tracked their digital transformation due to the pandemic according to a study by KPMG. Although in the past, implementation of new technologies was usually met with resistance, IBM now shows that the pandemic helped businesses overcome this hurdle. And as businesses look to improve their efficiency and delivery while working remotely, it is expected that newer technologies will be created and adopted in the course of the year.
If you hope to remain at par with other businesses in your field, then you should be open to incorporating these innovative technologies as they’re rolled out. It is always better to get in on the ground floor than to play the catch-up game later on. Many of these technologies will aim to narrow skill gaps, improve the mental health of employees, encourage collaboration, and increase flexibility and safety. That being said, it is also important to give your employees the necessary support as they get up to speed with the increasing changes.
Although 2020 was a near-apocalyptic year, it’s now gone and 2021 gives us a chance for reinvention and new beginnings. Despite the fact that we can’t accurately predict the events of the new year, 2020 gave us a chance to identify the shortcomings that we can correct in the course of 2021. With the pointers given in this blog, as well as smart decision making, you can be sure that 2021 will be your year of success!