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As we prepare to say goodbye to 2020, we are already looking to tackle the challenges and opportunities that will emerge in the New Year. From remote work to AI and data science, check out Amotec’s Top Trend to Watch in 2021.
Working (and Hiring) Remotely
While the Coronavirus Pandemic has brought many changes to our way of living and working, one area of specific change is the office… or lack of. Remote work continues to grow into the standard with companies needing to continuously improve how and when they are communicating. “Water cooler talk” has been replaced with Zoom waiting rooms while impromptu collaboration has been challenged by structured video conference calendars.
Beyond the workday, the way hiring is conducted will see a shift that may not go back to the pre-pandemic status quo. Companies who were fortunate enough be able to continue hiring this year have had to rely on video and phone interviews to identify top talent. In 2021, we expect video interviewing and onboard to become even more prevalent. Additionally, virtual or virtual training and onboarding means HR departments will need to work even harder to highly company culture and develop strong employer-employee relationship.
Employee Benefits: What’s Trending
While “trending” employee benefits ebb and flow as times change, several key benefits have been highlighted throughout the last several months. These benefits will continue to grow as one of the top-requested among employee and companies who choose to embrace them will gain a competitive hiring edge over those who do not.
Remote Work: As mentioned above, the remote workday continues to grow into a standard benefit for organizations. Companies who choose to embrace a remote workforce will open their organization up to more talent as geographic and transportation challenges become a non-issue.
Flexible Schedule: While “work/life balance” has been a buzzword for years, companies were tasked with walking-the-walk after talking-the-talk for so long. Organization who provided flexibility for employees dealing with shared work spaces at home, children doing remote learning, caring for sick relatives, mental-health strain, and more during the pandemic have emerged as top employers to prospective candidates while companies who fought to keep a strict 9-5 workday become perceived as outdated.
Mental-Health Focused Wellness Programs: Wellness programs are nothing new. Often paired with healthy eating initiatives or get-active challenges, wellness programs aim to help improve employees’ overall health. In 2021, we expect employers who offer wellness benefits with a focus on mental-health to emerge as modern and employee-centric while those who don’t provide flexibility and mental health resources run the risk of employee burnout.
Technology & Automation
As technology moved into being the leading force in the workplace, AI, data science, and machine learning take center stage in the coming year. According to LinkedIn, a demand for four specific skills is expected to accompany the rise in automation technology: specialized technical skills, critical thinking skills, human-centered soft skills, and digital fluency.
Both employers and candidates are going to feel the change as new technologies continue to take up space in the workplace. Company leaders and policy makers need to embrace new technology while all diversifying their workforce to avoid a skills gap as technology advance faster than user-skills can develop. Additionally, increasing the diversity of the technologies used can help protect organizations from future headaches as some tech rises and others leave.
While companies and candidates reflect on the challenges and changes brought forward in 2020, it is essential to look toward the new normal in 2021. Failure to adapt and adjust can lead being left behind in a post COVID-19 world.