2020 brought workplace challenges no one could have foreseen a year earlier, and HR departments responded accordingly. With the introduction of remote work, HR departments have met this year’s uncertainty with grace and dignity. And that’s worthwhile. The skills learned in 2020 will be valuable in the months and years to come. Here are 4 ways the future of work will look different in 2021 and beyond.
Once the genie gets out of the bottle, you can’t put it back.
That’s the case for the remote work we grew accustomed to in 2020. According to Upwork, 41% of Americans currently work remotely. And more than half of those workers will continue working remotely through 2021. To put this in perspective, that’s a better than 87% increase from before the pandemic. And it means massive changes throughout America’s companies.
First things first, some workers may stick with the flexible schedules they’ve acquired as a result of the pandemic. The workday may no longer be 9-5 for an entire office. Depending upon families’ individual needs, some workers may even work from noon-8 pm instead of following the traditional workday.
Another thing we can expect this to affect is the future of business real estate. Our companies’ physical footprints might look different going forward. Office space will need to serve a purpose, like providing for teamwork and meetings. Employees may not commute to the office anymore only for the sake of oversight. 2020 has proven there’s no need for that.
The technology we had grown accustomed to in 2020 isn’t going anywhere either. In fact, companies like Zoom are prepared for this precise eventuality. That’s because Zoom went from 10 million daily meeting participants at the end of 2019 to 300 million in April. And that was at the beginning of the pandemic.
But that’s not all; the continued use of cloud computing will increasingly automate workflows. This includes remote computing and automated onboarding. When your workers are remote, so is your interview process and your onboarding process. These are eventualities HR professionals need to prepare for.
With the experience of 2020 behind us, we’ve learned the importance of health and well-being. And that’s not only for ourselves; it's for our entire workforce. It is probable that employee wellness could be the make or break decision behind many potential employees’ final decisions.
Burnout was a hot-button topic before the pandemic hit. And after the stress of 2020, it’s an even more important focus. Especially since it’s readily acknowledged, burnout has more to do with our work environments than employees themselves.
Finally, communication is paramount. With employee engagement and company culture continuing to take place remotely as well, employees will need company purposes to engage with. And they’ll need to know how their roles affect their company’s overall direction. This means HR professionals (and entire teams) must maintain clear lines of communication and transparency across long distances. This means employee surveys and online engagement will be crucial, especially for remote workers.
Of course, there are many resources available to HR professionals. Here at StellaPop, we provide a number of workplace services.
We've designed our talent acquisition services to target, identify, and recruit outstanding professionals. These are employees trained to help our clients boost productivity and increase efficiency while adhering to the “next generation” of work. In fact, we provide cost-effective staffing solutions on an outsourced model. This model is designed to maximize the power of human capital and drive the ongoing success of our clients’ teams and businesses.