2020 proved to be a year no one really saw coming. Although there were certainly some predictions around increases in remote work, no one could have foreseen the huge jump it took in the past year. Work, for many of us, has changed forever. As we begin the new year, let's explore some predictions for the future of work in 2021.
1. One in five (20%) of workers will work from home at least one day a week.
Before the pandemic, 5% of the American workforce worked full-time from home. While the full-time percentage will at least double to 10%, an even higher percentage will work from home at least one day a week - likely 20%.
2. Technology will continue to evolve to ensure that online interactions are more reflective of real life.
At Preciate, we believe in this premise so strongly that we spent a good deal of time creating our patent pending Social Presence Technology, which is at the core of our virtual business mixer offering (Preciate Social). Our technology makes you feel like you’re moving through 3D space instead of staring at a 2D screen, enabling the expression of social signals and cues by allowing users to move away or toward people to start a conversation, hear the background noise of other people chatting, and give toasts.
3. Hybrid office-home work arrangements will drive an overhaul of management.
As remote work arrangements make it impossible to “manage by walking around,” old school managers will first fail to manage well and then call for their employees’ return to offices. When their most talented people refuse to waste time and money commuting, managers will have no choice but to adapt to the new realities of managing. They will implement better tools and new techniques, or they will be pushed aside by ascendent managers who do.
4. Sales, events, and conferences will permanently shift from in-person to virtual.
Over the years, sales has shifted from entirely in person to telephone to email. Today, making a sale is about catching the customer at the right point in their purchase process: more touches more often, powered by virtual meetings and socials, yields a higher return on investment. Similarly, conference sessions moving forward will be consumed asynchronously at the remote attendee’s convenience. While this can lead to more efficiency, it will require much more intentionality to draw attendees to sessions without the spontaneity of in-person events.
2021 is sure to be another year of change and innovation at work and beyond. Though it can be tempting to resist change and stick with what is familiar, this year will be an important time to adapt to our changing world whether that's with new management techniques or a virtual socializing platform.