Reading Time: 3 minutes

At this time of year companies and the workforce evaluate the past year and plan to be more equipped to remain relevant and successful in their field. However, 2020 has been a particular year, to say the least. Our whole lives have been disrupted, especially our work lives. Work and life are now blended more than ever and trends that were developing at a steady pace have had to be accelerated to accommodate the new needs.

In this and the following blog, we will have a look at the major workplace trends which are being predicted for 2021.

  • Companies can no longer just be in business to make profit

With the health crisis and economic recession, employers are being expected to do more, as employee wellbeing has become a priority. Companies are being more supportive of their employees’ needs by providing support such as flexible working hours, remote working, and creating safe work environments. Many companies have and will continue to set up plans to enhance employees’ health and wellbeing at the workplace.

  • A decentralised and hybrid workforce

Many workers are either working remotely full time or are working some days from the office and the rest of the days remotely. The latter provides the structure of the office and the socialising aspect, while at the same time offering the independence which is possible when working remotely. Depending on the needs of the workplace, such options are possible and doable. Since around 72% (Masterson, 2020) of employees are still missing the physical presence in the office and want a hybrid way of working, many companies will continue to offer these flexible workplaces during 2021. It is important to remember that these new ways of working have helped in workers’ productivity as they have avoided commutes, saved money, and improved work-life balance (Masterson, 2020).

  • Focus on gender equality

Although there has been progress for women in the workforce, the pandemic has highlighted the struggles that women face. Since women take most of the load with childcare and managing the household, many women have found it extremely hard to juggle work and personal life and for many, this pressure has had a detriment on their career. This is especially so since women are many times the lower earners and when it comes to deciding on who will look after children/vulnerable family members, it makes more economic sense for the higher earner to keep working (Haridasani Gupta, 2020).

Therefore, societal issues like childcare and share of household work need to be addressed as these continue to be struggles for women. Furthermore, companies need to accelerate inclusion efforts to remove the gender gap.

As seen above, the employee and employer are very quickly evolving. Therefore, whether you are an employee or a business owner, you need to watch carefully how these trends will evolve and keep up with them.  More predictions for the 2021 workforce will be tackled in the following blog.

Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on annjulene@willingness.com.mtor call us on 79291817.  

References:
Chang, J., 2020. 12 Workplace Trends For 2020/2021: New Predictions & What Lies Beyond? – Financesonline.Com. [online] Financesonline.com. Available at: https://financesonline.com/workplace-trends/

Galer, S., 2020. SAP Brandvoice: HR Trends 2021: The Number One Workplace Competencies To Survive The Pandemic. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2020/10/28/hr-trends-2021-the-number-one-workplace-competencies-to-survive-the-pandemic/?sh=4ce5cbc26967

Haridasani Gupta, A., 2020. Why Did Hundreds Of Thousands Of Women Drop Out Of The Work Force?. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/03/us/jobs-women-dropping-out-workforce-wage-gap-gender.html

Masterson, V., 2020. Slack Put 5 Remote-Working Myths Under The Microscope. Here’s What It Found. [online] World Economic Forum. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/10/slack-remote-employee-index-myths/

Schawbel, D., 2020. The Top 10 Workplace Trends For 2021. [online] Linkedin.com. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-10-workplace-trends-2021-dan-schawbel/

Schawbel, D., 2020. What It’S Like Being Pregnant Working At Home During This Pandemic. [online] Linkedin.com. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-its-like-being-pregnant-working-home-during-dan-schawbel/