Oh, what a year it's been! So many changes and disruptions that were definitely not on the radar when we rang in the New Year. While there has been a lot of devastating losses this year, there've also been new trends the business world can be grateful for.
Big Strides in Technology Use and Development for Businesses
2020 has seen trends in increased uses of AI and Hyper-automation to automate not just tasks but entire processes. We're also seeing increased uses for and improvements of voice technologies with virtual assistant options. Additionally, there's been a great push in data-modeling and futurist AI to aid in adapting to changes before they're in full swing.
Getting Active About Social Issues
Speaking out on social issues can be a careful balance for businesses. Last month the Harvard Business Review came out with an article guiding businesses on "when" and "how" your business can go about taking a stand. They suggest asking yourself and your company the following questions:
- "Does the issue align with your company's" mission or values?
- "Can you meaningfully influence this issue?"
- "Will your constituents agree with speaking out?"
However, your business answers these questions and decides to move forward; the events of 2020 have definitely lead to an increasing trend of businesses speaking out.
Work From Home Hybrids
Additionally, many companies are now embracing work-from-home hybrids. Businesses that can are now offering work-from-home or remote days to employees. This not only works well during the heights of the pandemic but offers flexibility to employees moving forward.
By being forced to find ways for their employee teams to work remotely, they've discovered that their employees can work remotely. And even in some cases, it's increased productivity.
It also shows respect for the needs of employees as they can have more flexibility in how they manage their time.
Repurposing and Reinvention of Traditional Office Spaces
Rethinking the traditional office setup with trends to co-working spaces and remote working has been built over the last several years. However, 2020 made the big push for even the most resistant of businesses. 2020 has called into question the need and purpose of large centralized office locations.
As some businesses embrace full and even part-time remote employees, huge company offices house every department at all times is unnecessary. Some are even suggesting breaking apart your company offices into multiple locations. This is done in order to offer professional, physical locations where employees can have lower commute times, build their career identities, and develop professional relationships.
Additionally, as companies move toward agile models to improve adaptability, creating spaces for their agile teams rather than a hierarchy structure means their office space needs are vastly different. As we move into 2021, we'll be seeing trends of creative uses of office space or the shrinking of those spaces increase.
Greater Focus on Employee Wellness
Employee burnout and work-life balance have never been in sharper review. 2020 has brought employee mental health to the forefront of company leadership's minds. This is probably one of the best business management trends of 2020.
Leadership has increased an emphasis on check-in on their employees rather than checking-up on their productivity. This has included quick emails as well as implementing chat-forums. In the team, discuss specifically how employees are handling stress, what they could use help with or any issues they see coming. Good management teams are following up on any hints of burn-out and answering it with empathy.
If you want to make big strides in 2021 but need some help implementing some of these trends, get in touch. We're here to talk about how you can thrive in the new year and beyond.