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6 Workplace Trends for 2021

December 29th, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we view just about every aspect of our lives. 2020 has been fraught with stress and uncertainty, but it has also inspired an incredible amount of resiliency and innovation, particularly in the workplace. As a result, the past year has redefined the way businesses conduct their operations as new approaches and technologies have been adopted out of necessity.

Workplace evolution is normal, but our rapidly changing world has accelerated this process over the past year. In order to remain successful, your company will need to deftly navigate the challenges associated with these changing work trends. The following insights will help you understand some important trends that will impact your business in 2021 and beyond.

Remote Work Will Become Increasingly Prominent

man on his laptop in a remote working environmentAs the world shut down last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers were forced to implement a remote working model. For many companies and employees, it has been an eye-opening experience:

  • Many employers found that productivity was maintained, and in some instances increased, when remote work went into effect
  • Many employees appreciated the ability to create more flexible hours and eliminate long, arduous commutes as they began to achieve greater work-life balance

Due to these improvements in quality of life, it should come as no surprise that 98% of employees have expressed a desire to continue working remotely, at least some of the time, for the remainder of their career. Employers who embrace this model can offer a benefit highly valued by many employees, giving them an advantage when trying to recruit the top talent.

In addition, recent advances in technology has allowed many companies to experience a seamless transition to remote working:

  • Cloud platforms allow employees to access important documents from any location
  • Time management and project management tools make it easier to monitor progress on important projects and ensure tasks are completed in a timely manner
  • Communication software such as Zoom, Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams has made it easy for employees to collaborate remotely and for client meetings to be held from any location

According to Upwork’s “Future of Workforce Report,” 73% of all departments will have remote workers by 2028. This trend is the future of the way we conduct business.

A Global Talent Pool

The rise of remote working provides an additional benefit to employers – the ability to cast a wider net when seeking out talent to hire. A remote working model allows employees to work from virtually anywhere in the world. This also allows you to hire the best person for the job, regardless of where they live. Over time, this can be a huge benefit to your company as you seek to raise the quality of your team.

Having a global team can present challenges with certain aspects of running your business, such as scheduling meetings that include individuals living in time zones that are many hours apart. Therefore, it will be crucial to place an emphasis on employee flexibility and adaptability in your hiring process.

Employees Are Prioritizing Flexible Schedules and Work-Life Balance

a napkin with a work-life balance word cloud next to a coffee mugWorking an office made the 9-to-5 schedule a bit of a necessity. With the rise in remote working, many employees have found that they’re able to adjust their schedule to better balance their work and personal lives. Taking a break in the middle of the work day in order to attend to the needs of your children and then putting in a few evening hours has become much more commonplace.

Many employees have come to appreciate this flexible schedule, and it is becoming increasingly valued as a way to achieve better work-life balance. In fact, 71% of employees have indicated that a rigid work schedule negatively impacts their personal life. By encouraging flexible work schedules, employers can:

  • Increase employee engagement
  • Improve work-life balance
  • Reduce employee stress levels

Generation Z Is Entering the Workforce

Generation Z, the group of individuals born between 1997 and 2020, is now entering the workforce. The oldest members of Gen Z are now 23 years old and by the end of 2021, this generation will comprise approximately 36% of the workforce.

The assimilation of Gen Z individuals into the workplace will involve different challenges than occurred with previous generations. As digital natives, they have spent their entire lives raised in a fast-paced, technology driven world. They don’t remember a time without the Internet and have used mobile devices from a young age. As a result, Gen Z individuals expect and rely on access to numerous digital tools as part of their work experience. Employers will need to begin adopting more digital collaboration tools to ensure this new generation of employees thrive as they enter the workforce.

More Training and Up-Skilling Is Required

As the workplace becomes more global and an increasing number of technology tools are being adopted, it’s essential that your employees have the skills necessary to succeed in this changing work environment. This will require more training and up-skilling.

Training and upskilling provide many important benefits to your business. It’s a crucial way to nurture and retain your top talent. This will pay huge dividends for your company in the long run, allowing your team to become increasingly productive.

A Greater Focus on Diversity and Gender Equality

Employees are starting to demand a greater focus on diversity and gender equality, and employers who make this a priority will be in a better position to attract the top talent. Approximately 70% of job seekers indicate they prefer to work for a company that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and gender equality. This is an important consideration to prioritize moving forward.

What Do These Trends Mean for Your Business?

Each year, changing workplace trends will impact the way businesses run their operations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate at which these trends are evolving has rapidly accelerated. The companies that do the best job adapting will be poised for greater success over the next few years. Premier Employer Services can help make sure you’re not left behind.

We’re the only employee engagement services firm with an Elevated Engagement Plus™ approach that will help your business continue to thrive amidst this changing landscape. As part of our unique approach, we will:

  • Determine your specific organizational goals
  • Identify your unique challenges
  • Take the time to understand your current workforce dynamic
  • Create a custom program to help you succeed

By developing a goal-based program of employee engagement that utilizes planning, communications, benefits and results tracking, we can keep your employees successful and inspired. Ultimately, this will elevate your business and help you remain a leader in your industry.

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Please contact us today to find out how we can take your business to the next level. We serve clients in the Denver, Colorado area.