I know, we are already in June, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to jump on the remote work trends bandwagon. Don’t worry, I am not going to get all Nostradamus on you and write some amazingly far-out clickbait predictions.
Still, I do believe this year is going to bring a lot of changes and it’s important to talk about them because they will not only alter the way we work, they will alter the way we live. I think most of them will impact our lives for the better as we settle down and realize that the way we used to work won’t be coming back. So, without further ado, here are my top 5 remote work trends for 2021.
1 – Fewer Zoom meetings (Finally)
We all want human interaction. Aristotle used to say humans were civic and political animals in desperate need of attention. So It was no surprise that when the pandemic hit, everyone rushed to Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams to get their fix or daily meetings, kick-offs, and team-building exercises. But when the dust settled, everyone was having a billion calls a day, most of them about things that could have just been an email.
This year, companies that want their workforce to be all-remote will likely cut down on conference calls to focus on productivity and clear objectives.
I also predict a spike in chiropractor appointments.
2 – A collaboration software arms race
Team collaboration software is on the rise and that’s a good thing. Before the pandemic, many companies were applying collaboration tools and software to increase their productivity and manage their employees. But many small and medium-sized companies were only testing the waters. Today, collaboration software is a must if you want to manage teams without getting your inbox filled with endless conversations about details you don’t need to know.
Luckily, there are lots of companies working hard to make new platforms and upgrade older ones. This year we will see a lot of competition in the collaboration software market with new
companies that will be Slack, Zoho, Asana, Trello, and Flowdock a run for their money.
3 – Flexible hours and more offline time.
Oh, the irony. We always thought that working remotely would give us more free time to spend playing video games, reading books, riding our bikes, or… you know, all those other imaginary projects. Turns out working from home means you are always at the office and with lockdowns all over the place, it can feel more like a sentence than an actual job. Well, good news, that’s probably going to change this year.
More and more companies are debating how to cut down on unnecessary tasks to give their employees more free time, something that most likely will be a commodity for any company looking to hire the best talent available.
4 – A growing concern for cybersecurity and HR technologies.
Everyone online means everything is online. For many companies, both big and small, that presents a new security threat they were simply not equipped to face. That is also the case for HR departments. Paying people remotely, evaluating performance, and assessing potential situations used to be something that was done in an office. Not anymore.
This year we both cybersecurity companies and HR Software developers will need to up their game if they want to supply an ever-growing market of businesses that need answers to questions they did not have a year ago. This will probably also involve a lot of retraining and re-skilling for company personnel.
5 – A growing push for diversity, inclusion, and equity.
The actual physical office used to have a lot of problems. First of all, the distance was always an issue. Commuting is and has always been horrible both in the US and in other parts of the world. In fact, according to a recent poll made by Maritz’s People Science, long commutes have a huge impact on happiness. Physical offices also restricted diversity. People working at your offices were most likely locals that could reach the place with public or private transportation and location had a huge impact on selection.
Eliminating both things will bring a new age of inclusion in the workforce. In a couple of years, we will think it’s common for our teammates US, India, Kenya, and South Korea. Companies will start choosing candidates for their talent, skills, and potential instead of their proximity to the office or their local culture, and that’s going to have a huge impact on workplace and company cultures.
CEO of Netuniverse