2020 has changed the workplace dramatically, affecting everything from how we communicate with our coworkers to how we do business with clients and market to customers. In 2020, on our District Offices’ blog, we covered new topics like virtual onboarding, how to hold safe in-person meetings, finding your remote work style, and more. And as we all hope for a return to normalcy, it’s hard not to wonder how much of this is here to stay?
With the vaccine rollout, there’s finally a small light at the end of this very long tunnel, so let’s look ahead into 2021 and focus on a few of the upcoming workplace trends.
Trend #1 Safety + Wellness of Employees & Customers
The first two quarters of 2021 are going to look similar to last year as social distancing and sanitization will be just as important in combatting COVID-19. Moving into quarters three and four, companies will likely need to be flexible and hyper-aware of employee’s safety concerns. According to a survey by ADP, safety will remain a major concern among employees, and a significant number of employees still feel it may never be safe to return to work. It’s important to stay on top of how your employees are doing.
Mental health will also continue to stay forefront of mind in the workplace. After 2020 led to an even bigger increase in mental health issues and workplace stress, this topic will continue to dominate most workplace well-being conversations. What do you currently offer as benefits/assistance that caters to mental health? It may be time to dive in and double check your offerings.
Trend #2 Diversity in the Workplace
Diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workplace will be major players in 2021. Employees will increasingly demand action and pay attention to social responsibility. This means more companies will be looking to partner with businesses that can help them close gaps in their workforce. Data insights into companies’ racial, cultural, and gender demographics will be looked at.
Trend #3 Hybrid Work Environments
There’s likely not going to be one magical day when everyone returns to the office. Most companies will take a hybrid approach to get employees back into work. This could mean a few days in the office and the rest remote. Flexibility will continue on as a key move in 2021. Microsoft is leading the way with an environment that allows most roles to remain remote with manager approval.
However, it depends on the kind of business being run. Some companies will opt to be fully remote as a new strategy to cut costs and be able to hire a global workforce.
Trend #4 Reskilling
Upskilling and retraining employees are going to be important in 2021. As COVID-19 was a major disrupter, companies all over the world are looking at new tech and ways of doing business. Skills that are needed in the workforce now are cloud computing, disaster recovery, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Trend #5 Dispersing
As we covered earlier, the pandemic forced more employees than ever to be fully remote for safety reasons. Jobs are now looking for talent everywhere, rather than just within 50 miles of their building. This means cities like Austin and Denver are booming and larger metro areas are seeing increased living in the suburbs. Employees are going to relocate to feel safe and save money, and employers are going to cater to this.
REI has sold its headquarters and moved to a decentralized workplace. Other big players will likely follow. Companies will handle pay, relocation, and remote work differently based on what’s best for them. Keep your eye on this trend, as it’s likely to boom in 2021.
At District Offices, we’re dedicated to creating a workplace that gives your organization everything it needs to adapt and meet today’s business demands.