No one could have predicted that the 2020 pandemic will bring a paradigm shift in every sphere. It’s fair to say that it shook many business models and changed the plans and priorities of organizations.
It will be nice to believe that 2021 will regain some stability in the workplace, but we cannot expect a 360-degree transition. Despite things getting normal, remember we haven’t sailed through the COVID-19 crisis completely. Health safety and security are still a priority, and workplaces are not beyond that.
So, what do 2021 stores look like for the workplaces? What changes can be observed at the level of work, talent, and technology? Will digital transformation be a game-changer?
Let’s evaluate the scenario and identify the trends transforming the workplaces in 2021.
Why will Digital Transformation be a Workplace Trend?
Thinking, why digital transformation? Well, irrespective of the pandemic, digital culture was slowly evolving in every organization. However, after the COVID-19 struck, there was a faster adaptation of digital transformation in workplaces, educational institutes, financial transactions, in-person operations, and much more.
Companies have no way out other than shifting towards digital operations and solutions to continue function with remote employees to serve their client base. Whatever changes are implemented in the workplace mainly revolve around digital transformation. As we proceed through the significant trends, the claim gets further strengthened.
Significant Trends Transforming the Workplace
In 2020, we saw that work from the office was almost on the downward side. The majority of employees have to adjust to the work from home model, thanks to digital technology.
As things are getting better, offices are opening as face-to-face meetings cannot be neglected completely. However, companies are adopting a hybrid workplace, reducing unnecessary physical space enabling the employees to experiment with a switch of remote and office work.
Virtual Company Culture
The prevailing corporate culture has to evolve to fulfil the requirements in the virtual settings. Priority should be set to the development plans for new employee engagement practices.
A robust digital transformation is essential for networking, team-building exercises, hosting online meetings, and welcoming feedback. An excellent virtual culture will help to attract and retain the talents in the companies.
Flexible Work Timings
We have already mentioned that digital technology is applicable everywhere after the pandemic. Some employees have to manage their children’s online education and other personal works in such a scenario.
So, the flexible work schedule is on the rise to boost the morale and productivity of the employees as a new workplace trend.
Going Digital and Making it Streamlined
We cannot deny that the post-pandemic digitalization process has accelerated in many organizations. However, identifying the bottleneck in technology like stepping out of the old silos is essential. This will ensure that processes get streamlined and make work easier for the employees.
Safer Work Environments
Workplace safety isn’t just the concern of warehouse and manufacturing departments. The safety policies and procedures should reflect in regular offices too.
Temperature checks, cleaning procedures, medical reports, and sick leave policies need to be recorded and communicated with everyone. Technology is also enabling offices to go touchless with scanning or QR codes.
Added Investment in Cybersecurity
The greater emphasis on digital capabilities with a remote workforce should prioritize securing confidential data. With the emerging cybercrimes to exploit the weakness, cybersecurity becomes an essential part of digital transformation.
These threats need to be mitigated through the investment of time and resources in cybersecurity practices. Those in charge of cybersecurity should educate and protect remote employees from various attacks and scams.
Addressing Talent Gaps
There is a lack of talent gaps in some industries and job roles to address the changing needs. In these uncertain times, developing skills will be challenging as there are no ways to reskill the existing workforce faster.
The shift can be on hiring contractual employees to cater to the short-term need arising out of the contingency.
Limit Employee Monitoring
Monitoring employee productivity and performance will be the biggest challenge for many organizations. When dealing with digital transformation, companies have to be careful about not disrupting employees’ sensitive data.
We can expect the new regulations to restrict what employers can track about employees.
The Rise of HR
Clearly 2020 saw the rise of HR taking the front seat as most of the issues were related to employee’s concerns. Let’s admit there were some tough decisions from safety practices to managing the remote workers.
The role demands HR professionals to be more flexible, resilient, and humane than before.
Employee Mental Health and Well-Being
With the COVID-19 crisis dominating 2020, employee mental health and wellness cannot be neglected. As the uncertainty still prevails, every decision-making process should cover the welfare of employees.
It’s pretty apparent that changes brought during the pandemic have lasting impacts. A few of them are expected to set the trend at least for some years. Though, most of these changes are future-driven as digital transformation is a big part of it.