Top 10 workplace trends in 2021: 17 experts weigh in

What a year it’s been. Here's what Proxyclick (ScaleUp of the Year 2020) and 10 experts are seeing in their crystal ball for 2021. Source + more info here

Our world was turned upside down this year - completely transforming work, the workforce, and the workplace as we know it.

For many organizations, Proxyclick included, that meant suddenly handling a fully remote team and remote onboarding processes, making rapid adaptations to products to meet unforeseen customer needs, and bravely facing what’s been called “the unknown” and “the new normal.”

So this year, as we’re still amidst a pandemic - thankfully with a vaccine on the horizon - our annual Workplace Trends are undoubtedly more difficult to foresee than in previous years (For a pre-pandemic blast from the past, see our 20202019, and 2018 editions). 

But as we’ve already witnessed changes that shed light on what we need to keep organizations happy, healthy, and productive, we’ve rounded up important experts’ insights from our conversations we’ve held this year. 

Top 10 trends to look out for in 2021

1. The changing purpose of the office. It’s not just about going in to get your paperwork done. The office will be about a whole new experience around socialization.

2. Going digital, but making it streamlined. Yes, the digitization of the workplace has accelerated since COVID-19 came into our lives. But tech must also make people’s lives easier, and that starts with breaking down old silos. 

3. The transforming role of HR (and all) leaders. All those in leadership positions, especially HR, will need to be more humane, more flexible, and more resilient than ever before.

4. A focus on employee health and wellbeing. We’ve highlighted this before, and it’s not going away. Learnings from a pandemic show that the health and wellbeing of your people need to be a top priority now and moving forward.

5. The touchless technology takeover. Offices and facilities are going touchless. That starts with implementing technologies to allow people to enter the building simply by scanning a QR code.

6. Prioritization of data privacy. Data privacy laws were not written for a pandemic. We need to rethink how we handle and protect people’s sensitive information, and that starts with implementing the right technologies.

7. A call for agile working (and flex spaces). We’ll need to give employees the option to work whenever and from wherever they choose, to help them perform at their very best. And flex spaces can provide many benefits to foster these agile ways of working.

8. Sustainable, not simply reactive, office design. We can’t just put up a bunch of plastic shields to prevent the spread of the virus, without thinking long-term. New materials and systems need to be in place to ensure sustainable design.

9. Cohesion and collaboration across industries and roles. With workplace safety a major priority, and as remote working expands, there’s a newfound need for increased interconnection among industries and organizational departments.

10. Better personalization and choices in the workplace. Creating a workplace that employees will actually want to go back to will be about allowing for flexibility and choices.

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