The Future of Work: Top 10 Predictions for 2021

Modern notebook computer with future technology media symbols

 

2020 is almost in our rearview mirror, and it seems unanimous across the globe that people are ready to turn the page on a new year. While we’ve seen a dramatic shift in a number of areas, from social interactions to travel restrictions, perhaps one of the biggest changes is the landscape of the traditional workplace, and how digital technology is helping organizations to stay alive and operational through remote capabilities. 

In this post, we share our predictions on 10 trends that we believe will have a dramatic impact on the future of work in 2021.

  • Covid-19 Driving the Digital Workplace

This should be the #1 topic for most end-of-year wrap up articles or looking into 2021. The devastation of Covid-19 can’t be understated, and it’s impact reached every corner of the earth. Since everyone needs to work, special attention has been paid to how the workplace environment is changing rapidly towards a digital environment.

2021 will be a big year in the continuation of how companies continue to figure out their remote work policies and even how they bring in new talent. With in-person interviews being limited or even canceled, companies will need to expand their horizons. Look for companies to start rightsourcing in order to keep up with meeting business goals and projects.  

  • Latin America Will Play a Key Role in Innovation

A few years ago, a key phrase for organizations was modernize or die. It’s no longer good enough to modernize, organizations need to innovate or they will render themselves obsolete. Innovate or die is the new term, so companies will look towards other avenues of bringing in talent, such as outsourcing from nearshore borders. 

In 2021, we’ll see organizations look to regions like Latin America for bringing in top talent to drive innovation. Latin America is an attractive option because of its proximity to the US as well as its capabilities in working with the latest technologies and infrastructure. We’ve already seen some US-based organizations take the first steps in creating relationships and developing cutting-edge solutions and services. 

  • Managing Digital Operation Workflows and Processes

As we discussed, companies of all sizes are putting into place digital workflows in order to adapt to the world around them. In order for organizations to be successful, these efforts need to be adequately documented and communicated across the entire organization. In 2021, organizational leaders will need to secure these workflows in digital operating models to ensure these plans become a reality. Those that treat these changing digital operating models casually will sacrifice productivity and uniformity company-wide. 

  • AI, AI, and More AI

In 2020, AI continued to emerge as a necessary technology for organizations to innovate, and we don’t see that slowing down in the New Year. In fact, the Security Industry Association (SIA) just named AI the #1 trend in its annual Security Megatrends report. We’re still in the early stages of what AI is capable of doing, but the vision for this technology is endless. 

In 2021, we’ll see AI touch other relevant areas for organizations, playing a critical role in business operations and revenue management. Additionally, AI will be a critical element for HR departments, being able to help flag potential new hires, monitoring current employees and their work, processing daily paperwork, etc. 

  • Collaborative Tech Platforms Time to Shine

Now that organizations are seeing the benefits for remote work, collaborative technology platforms will be prevalent in helping to solidify digital operations. While tools like Zoom, Slack, and Basecamp are currently a popular item, 2021 will bring in a range of new services that no one knew they needed. These tools will also help define the culture of organizations and how they operate. 

  • Unlikely Partnerships for the Sake of Digital Transformation

The term “we’re all in this together” is not lost on the business world. Since some organizations are farther along with their digital transformation efforts, we’ll see more alliances and partnerships between service providers in 2021 that might break the traditional mold, linking together companies that are a bit more on the competitive side with each other, but with the end goal of providing valuable services for their clients.  

  • Public Cloud Will Continue to Gain Widespread Adoption

The move for organizations to adopt enterprise cloud applications has been a priority the last few years. The speed at which business runs these days, companies can’t afford to spend valuable time maintaining their own systems and implementing new solutions. 

2021 will continue to move companies in the direction of public cloud services to some of the big players like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Being able to spin up solutions and gain real-time insight from data, all without having to worry about maintenance, reliability, and security, will drive more enterprise adoption. 

  • Measuring Digital Transformation Efforts

Digital transformation has been a buzzword for the past few years, and organizations are continuing to prioritize this venture, but leaders need to know how to quantify these efforts. Being able to speak intelligently about the company’s AI and digitalization efforts and how to define and showcase these metrics are critical in showing value to key stakeholders. In 2021, organizations will begin to develop metrics that will define its digital transformation efforts. 

  • The Over-Availability of Office Space

According to a recent survey by The Kung Group, 66 percent of founders are entirely reconsidering their investments in their offices. Depending on if business goals and operations are running smoothly, it makes sense that founders will cut the cost of having a brick and mortar location. In 2021, we’ll see many organizations downsize as many, if not most, of its workforce will choose to work remotely, along with continuing to hire talent across the world.  

  • Growing Expectations for Outsourced Talent

Price will always be a determining factor for every business, and has been historically for companies outsourcing talent to save some money. Organizations are now seeing that it’s more important to spend a little bit more in order to get a little more. To meet demand and continue growing, we’ll see organizations in 2021 invest more heavily in outsourcing talent in order to gain highly qualified professionals, improved efficiency, and optimized processes. 

Needless to say, the world will continue to change drastically in the next 12 months. In the New Year, pay attention to the uptick in outsourcing opportunities, especially outside the US, and the talent and expertise required from these services. Digital transformation will continue to be an important trend, with organizations getting a better handle on it by enlisting top talent and being able to measure activities. Additionally, Covid-19 will continue to play a critical role in how business gets work done and how organizational leaders make operational decisions.

With WillDom, we can get your organization better prepared for the digital workplace demands. Learn more about our capabilities and how to start your journey with us by visiting our website today!