2020 represented one of the biggest and most rapid shifts in the workforce in modern history, particularly in terms of remote working. For the first time, workers were no longer flocking to city centre offices en masse and instead were at home or in local coffee shops, dialling in remotely. Many companies that never even considered home working have now done a complete 180 on their position, with some companies packing up their offices for good and switching to a work-from-home-forever mode of working.
With all that in mind, predictions for the future of work in 2021 look very different from what we might have thought back at the start of 2020. However, there are lots of trends that the COVID-19 pandemic has simply accelerated, rather than having appeared out of nowhere, and when looking ahead to the rest of 2021, we can see that too.
Mental Health Support Can’t Be Ignored
Aside from the mental health toll that the massive shift in the way we live has had, remote working has also had a significant impact on the way we think, and it’s just not feasible to continue as normal. Today’s workers need to know that their company has their back. Remote workers, even pre-pandemic, reported higher levels of isolation and loneliness, as well as reporting feeling disconnected from their team and their work in higher numbers than office workers.
In today’s remote working landscape, companies need to be giving their employees’ mental health support, care and consideration. Whether this is through additional PTO, wellness schemes, building a culture that values mental health or simply offering additional points to check-in and genuinely take breaks, it’s something that workers don’t just like, it’s something they need, and something that more companies than ever will be offering in 2021.
Technology for More than Just Tasks
As workers have moved from communal office spaces to their own little bubbles, the way we organise our workflows has changed massively. For many organisations, just asking your colleague to do something was all that was needed to get it into their to-do list, but today, workflow management is a lot more sophisticated. Digital and remote scheduling and organisational programmes like Microsoft Teams, Jira, Notion and more are growing exponentially in popularity. Appropriately managing workflows and team responsibilities is so important, no just to productivity, but also to helping make sure employees are engaged and don’t struggle with burnout over time, something the current state of the world has exacerbated. Platforms such as these won’t go away when companies start tentatively returning to the office either, as they help improve productivity, accountability, organisation and more.
The integration of these platforms and apps is also becoming increasingly important to allow users to work within one platform as much as possible, with two-thirds of workers saying that having all their tools in one place makes them feel more productive and positive at work.
Collaborative Working Will be Easier, and More Important
Collaborative working looks a bit different for every organisation and every sector, but almost all companies require some form of collaboration between their workers on a daily basis. For obvious reasons, collaborative working became a bit more difficult in 2020, with teams no longer able to collaborate in person the majority of the time.
Fortunately, technology has stepped in, and there are now so many different ways to work collaboratively. From breakout rooms and similar technologies on video calls to improvements in IM services, real-time updates in project management software and collaborative documents, there are so many ways to work collaboratively even when workers are miles apart! In 2021, these solutions are only set to get better and better, with cloud solutions, real-time collaboration tools and video technology leading the way.
If you’re interested in finding out more about cloud solutions and want to see how Cloud Geeni can help you stay ahead of workplace trends, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert team – we’d love to hear from you.