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Nine Trends That Will Shape Work in 2021 and Beyond

The year 2020 was the most volatile year in modern history, and COVID-19 has forever left its mark on the way we live and work. As we have moved into the Year 2021 and beyond, the rate of disruption will potentially increase as the implications from the Year 2020 will play out across the next several years.

Let us discuss some of the trends that will shape work in 2021 and beyond:

1- Home as the new office : One of the most visible changes in 2020 was the global overnight shift to remote work for much of the workforce. There would be a strong push for the majority of the workforce to continue with remote working.

2- Gig Economy : In the Gig economy, workers take up only part-time positions, allowing them to frequently change jobs or take up multiple jobs for different businesses at the same time. It is a free-market where companies look for independent workers or freelancers as opposed to hiring full-time workers.

3- Artificial Intelligence : People have always been worried about whether Artificial Intelligence will be a threat to human labor. Artificial Intelligence can keep creating new job roles for a vast majority of people, and thus humans will have to learn to accommodate intelligent machines as co-workers.

4- Rethinking HR : With the new remote work culture, HR needs to rethink many of its practices. Whether it is Performance Management or firing of an employee, HR needs to reinvent current practices to effectively deal with these situations in a digital world.

5- Re-inventing the employee experience : With the remote culture, all activities like onboarding, team meetings, outings, fun activities, etc. are still to be continued, but virtually and hence it needs to be re-invented.

6- Perennials – Moving beyond generations : Perennials are a group of people of all ages, stripes, and types who go beyond stereotypes and make connections with each other and the world around them. What people want from their working life – purpose, good leaders, and professional growth—does not differ all that much from one generation to another.

7- Learning as a driver of business success : For HR, we have identified three key capabilities – Data literacy, Business acumen, and Digital integration. Upskilling in these areas will help make the HR department ready for the future.

8- Effortless shared services : Both digitization and automation ensure that the HR professional maximizes efficiency. Making the necessary transition to effortless shared services leads to a better employee experience and increased customization.

9- Purpose Driven Organizations : Though working from home seems to be here to stay, many employers fear a flag in productivity and commitment as the trend continues. According to PwC, 79% of business leaders believe that purpose is the key to success. From a people perspective, the company focuses on learning, listening, empathy building, and actively works to create a service mindset for its team members.

Reference links: HBR


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