The 2020 pandemic has changed the lens through which we look at the workspace. If before, remote work was not so popular, this year made it stand out. The next year will decide how we’re going to use the available technology to take the remote work environment to the next level.
Business leaders understand the power of workforce distribution. An international work environment becomes more appealing to entrepreneurs since it facilitates access to wider employee talent pools.
This is exactly what happened in 2020. As we can see, the shift from offline to online increased employee productivity, and data can support this claim. As of now, 77% of remote workers report being more productive, while 99% of them would like to continue telecommunicating in the next year. The demand for online work is increasing, so the offer must follow.
This article will look at workspace trends before the pandemic, evaluate the changes that took place during 2020, and predict the upcoming trends for 2021.
Let’s get started and look at what the Future Workplace might look like in 2021.
How The Workspace Looked Before 2020
In 2020, about 60-70% of worldwide employees worked remotely at least one day per week. However, only about 15% of big companies admitted having employees perform their work online on a full-time schedule.
Today, millennials are the largest labor force participants in the United States, representing 35% of the workforce, writes the Pew Research Center. Research shows that 75% of millennials think that a “work from home” policy is necessary within every company. And with an increased number of young professionals entering the field, it’s obvious that something had to change; the pandemic simply sped up the process.
What Changes Are Taking Place In 2020?
The pandemic outbreak happened in March 2020. Since then, companies had to either switch to an online environment or close off. While many businesses failed because of low economic stability, most of them switched to a remote work environment and continued their activity. Since most workers proved highly productive during the pandemic, the new workspace seemed to have worked successfully.
According to a study at the Society of Human Resource Management, about 70% of today’s employees are struggling to adjust to an online work environment. So, while this pandemic successfully boosted some workers’ productivity, others had trouble accommodating. The same study shows that 63% of employees admit that switching to a remote environment has been challenging for them from a morale perspective.
What To Expect In 2021
We must be aware that the workplace will look different in 2021. Many businesses have shifted or are shifting to a remote environment. Nobody knows for sure when this pandemic might end, so companies must do what’s necessary to keep afloat. The multitude of uncertainties might encourage an even greater number of businesses to switch to a full-online environment. Here’s what we see coming in 2021.
Virtual workspaces will be a thing
More online meetings
No more open floor plans
Working from anywhere
Increased use of online services
Privacy might suffer
1. Virtual Workspaces Will Be A Thing
Today, going to work physically isn’t necessary anymore. You can simply log into your computer and access your workload. In 2021, we’ll see a change in the traditional workspace. Companies might require employees to switch to full-time online positions. Thus, workers won’t need to commute anymore but work from the comfort of their own homes.
The more this pandemic will last, the more people will get used to virtual workspaces. Thus, they might settle and choose this option over commuting, even when the offline option will reappear.
2. More Online Meetings
With increased remote work, we will also see an increase in online meetings, webinars, and remote conferences. As of now, this is the only way to have people communicate safely, so we predict that this will remain a thing of the future even after the pandemic ends. Video communication has proved effective, productive, and the best alternative to face-to-face communication for now. Since it works well, we don’t see a need for this trend to change.
3. Distributed Workspaces
Since businesses are switching to an online workspace, they have increased access to a more widely distributed workforce. This is a great benefit for international companies; they can now hire employees from all over the globe at no extra cost. With a more diverse workforce available, companies will develop ideas faster, and diversity will be further encouraged in the workplace.
4. No More Open Floor Plans
The idea of an open floor plan was to facilitate communication between leaders and employees and improve collaboration. While this is clearly an advantage to be considered, this idea will probably become a disadvantage in the year to come. That’s because studies at the South Korea Disease Control show that the virus can spread in an open-floor office very quickly. Thus, more companies will reconsider their workspace plans in the years to come.
5. Working From Anywhere
As expected, we will see a huge increase in remote work policies. More organizations will accept the new system and even encourage it. With an increased remote workforce, we will experience life through different lenses.
6. Increased Use Of Online Services
As essay writing service reviews report, managing projects online will be difficult without the necessary technology. Good thing we have it! With the rise of the online world, we’ve seen a boost in the use of online services.
More companies will start using organizational and time-management tools, as well as online communication platforms. This will keep productivity rates high and employees happy. It will also help remote workers engage in a rather broad range of remote activities, such as webinars or various training programs.
7. Privacy Might Suffer
Since there’s a downside to everything, we’ll see a decrease in privacy among remote employees. However, this can be fixed with the appearance of new safety programs and regulations that’ll keep data secured and untouchable. Therefore, we’ll definitely see an increase in cybersecurity technologies available for the wide public.
The year 2021 brings about many important changes. The virtual workspace will be the new trend, along with increased access to online meetings, webinars, etc. We will see a more widely distributed workforce that’ll keep diversity on point, while online services will be used at a higher rate. Privacy might suffer, but that’s not necessarily the case as long as more cybersecurity programs will be developed.