Amidst the tragedies and struggles of the pandemic and global lockdown, it is hard to ignore the paradigm shift that has occurred in the way we perceive ‘working’. As a result, some trends that were probably getting initiated for the last couple of years hit a jump start. Several multinational companies like Twitter have now declared remote working as an option forever. As work and life come closer than ever in human history as a direct result of remote working, here are top three work trends that you will need to consider while planning 2021.
Health is a Priority
More and more employees are choosing workplaces that are ready to shoulder health responsibilities of their workers. It makes the employees feel secured and this year of pandemic has surely made people prioritize their physical and mental health. A study by Workplace Intelligence and Oracle found out that 80% of workers prefer talking to a machine more than a human being when going through a mental crisis. This has led to top businesses investing in modern technologies to support their staff through online counseling and mental health apps like Calm and Headspace. Here’s a take on how we can start treating mental health more effectively in workplace.
On the other hand, Nokia has an automated elevator temperature detection solution to spot Covid-19 infections in buildings and PwC has an automated contact tracing tool that notifies employees who have been in contact with another worker who tested positive for the virus.
Normalizing Dispersed and Diverse Workforce
Remote working this, remote working that. Maybe we have all heard enough but a pathbreaking change caused by this phenomenon is the way talent acquisition functions. This is for the first-time talent acquisition managers of top companies headquartered in the tier 1 cities are getting adventurous with their quest for new talent. They are ready to hire from tier-2 or tier-3 cities.This helps the employees save more because the cost of living in second-tier cities and suburbs is lower. Studies even suggest that two-thirds of employees are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely.
Differently abled people are getting hired and that is huge for this marginalized group of people. According to Washington Post ‘In developing countries, 80% to 90% of persons with disabilities of working age are unemployed, whereas in industrialized countries the figure is between 50% and 70%.’
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer is a new role that is coming up. Companies like Intel has committed to doubling minorities in leadership roles in the next decade and Starbucks is aiming to have a 30 percent representation of minorities in the next five years.
Upskilling to Become Digital-Ready
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, described the impact of Covid-19 on the adoption and advancement of technology at work, saying “we’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months”. Two separate studies by McKinsey and KPMG found that at least 80 percent of leaders accelerated the implementation of technology due to Covid-19. This has led to a need of mass upskilling of employees.
A Gartner report shows that only 16 percent of new hires possess the skills needed for their current jobs and the jobs of the future. Companies are focusing their energy on retraining their employees as learning has a huge role to play in how employees will drive the growth of businesses. According to a Bright Horizons study,78% workers believe the pandemic has increased the need for companies to support their educational needs and a major aid in this mission is going to be data analytics.
Unpredictability has become the word of the day but studying the trends of past years and of 2020 helped us find a pattern, a method in the madness. However, one thing remains predictable as always and that is human resilience; human capability to innovate and collaborate, face challenges with new vigor and thus we move forward with the hope of a vaccine and a world free of social distancing.