The year 2020 brought new challenges to the workplace. With new COVID-19 regulations in place, work became more virtual and less interactive. Virtual interviews and video meetings became the norm. Face masks and social distancing were required by employees who continued to work “on-site.” With COVID cases still soaring and the vaccine just now released, what will the 2021 workplace look like? Predictions believe it will look very similar to 2020.
One thing that has taken the biggest toll on workers is mental health. According to Dan Schawbel, New York Times Bestselling Author & Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence, mental health issues have increased tremendously this past year. People are seeking out technology to help them. Dan Schawbel mentions, “Many of these technologies, like contact tracing, collaborative tools, and AI-driven software, have been widely adopted to support employee mental health, increase productivity, allow for flexibility and safety.”
With mental health issues increasing, employees also expect their employers to do more. According to Mark Onisk, Chief Content Officer at Skillsoft, “Employers must consider ergonomics while finding ways to avoid digital burnout and manage teams’ mental health issues.” Employers are expected to be there for their employees in 2021 and using digital learning tools will help both employees and employers in the workplace.
Technology will be the main focus of workplace trends in 2021. Frazee Recruiting Consultants, Inc. has begun using a virtual interviewing tool called Spark Hire and all of our applications can be done online via our website. According to market research company Forrester, “technology, it will continue to permeate the employee/employer relationship. Companies will focus their automation efforts on helping remote employees be more effective.” Remote work will be more popular than ever before, and with that comes increasing technologies.
Along with the increase in workplace technology, there is also a demand for more workforce diversity. According to Schawbel, the 2020 protests around racial inequality have put Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officers under pressure to make significant changes. Employers have to take diversity into consideration, and employees want to work for more diverse companies. Employees are also demanding retraining along with increasing the diversity and technology efforts.
Change is expected and demanded. According to Finance Editor, Jeff Cox, “Goldman Sachs sees a prosperous 2021 but is cautious about the bumpy road the U.S. economy will ride before it gets there.” In addition to changes in the workplace environment, the economy has changed too. This is something many people are looking forward to, the prosperous future, however, getting there will be difficult. The economy will go down before it goes up again. The workplace will go through these tough obstacles with increasing safety precautions, but in the end, we are expecting a prosperous future in 2021.