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In the previous blog, we looked into some of the workplace trends which are predicted for 2021, such as hybrid workspaces, ethical leadership, and the focus on gender equality. In this blog, we will continue to explore some other predictions.

  • The necessity of upskilling

During 2020 many noticed that to survive this surreal economy, they needed to reskill and update themselves. This was no longer a choice, but a necessity. As businesses have had to shift according to the new needs, so did the skills required to do the new jobs and tasks. Therefore, companies should provide more training for their employees, but also employees should seek opportunities to further their skills and knowledge. Indeed it is to be noted that training brings out personal development.  

  • Digital Transformation of Companies

We have already been aware of the importance of technology in our lives, and 2020 has proven that it is indeed a necessity, not a luxury. In fact, in April 2020, Microsoft CEO, Satja Nadell said that there were “2 years of digital transformation in 2 months” (Spataro, 2020). This further corroborates the fact that more training is necessary for all employers to be skilled and updated about such technological advancements.

  • Essential workers considered as truly “essential”

People working in essential jobs, such as those working in transportation, healthcare, food, and agriculture, essential retails (e.g. grocery shops and ironmongers), etc. are usually paid lower than the average hourly wage of the rest of the workforce (McNicholas & Poydock, 2020). However, in these hard times, we have noticed that such services are indeed essential for society to function. Some companies are already showing their appreciation and considering the value of such workers, however, more needs to be done to make such jobs more sustainable.

  • Opportunities for change

With companies having to shift their ways and people working more flexibly, there is an opportunity to look at things differently. If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us is that people are resilient and have the potential to make major changes. Furthermore, since certain major issues which have been around for many years (such as the lack of quality work for essential workers and problems encountered by women in the workforce) have come up to the surface, this will cause pressure to those on the top of the scale, to do something about them.

The responsibility to bring out such changes in the workforce will be on both the employee and the employer. Employees should keep learning and updating to expand their skill set, while employers are to keep an open mind to meet new demands.

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

McNicholas, C. and Poydock, M., 2020. Who Are Essential Workers?: A Comprehensive Look At Their Wages, Demographics, And Unionization Rates. [online] Economic Policy Institute. Available at: https://www.epi.org/blog/who-are-essential-workers-a-comprehensive-look-at-their-wages-demographics-and-unionization-rates/

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/

Spataro, J., 2020. 2 Years Of Digital Transformation In 2 Months. [online] Microsoft 365 Blog. Available at: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2020/04/30/2-years-digital-transformation-2-months/