The biggest impact of Covid-19 businesses have faced may be remote work. Following an extremely disruptive year, an increasing number of employers expect remote work to become the new normal. This shift in the workplace does not seem to hurt productivity in any way, and there is a growing realization that undoing remote work practices after a year or so would be challenging.
While the world still awaits a vaccine and healthcare remain the core focus, businesses seem to have picked up momentum after the initial break caused by the economic slowdown. Organizations are now looking forward to accepting and working in the ‘New Normal.’ Companies are permitting new employees to work remotely by shipping assets and using technology-enabled collaboration and productivity tools. In this context, it is vital to understand the key trends that will shape work from home in 2021 and be ready to adapt to these changes for a smooth work environment.
More advanced productivity tools
Teams who have never worked remotely are finding new pain points and needs with the software they’re currently using. Expect to see new tools that take unique approaches to a range of organizational needs, like file sharing, remote onboarding and learning management, and client management. Existing tools will provide more seamless integration with each other, offering a better experience for their users across multiple platforms.
Increased information security
With more employees working from home, companies must be proactive to protect intellectual property. Businesses have the opportunity to crack down on security measures through secure VPNs, automatic software updates, and device encryption. Smart leaders would do well to provide regular cybersecurity awareness training to employees.
Asynchronous communication first
Entire teams are transforming the way they communicate, and that includes cadence and immediacy. Asynchronous communication allows employees to work together regardless of time zone and availability. More workforces will continue to explore and perfect their asynchronous processes throughout the year.
Employees looking for a hybrid model
According to research, employees want a hybrid workplace model, where they have the flexibility and freedom to work from home when it works best for them or suits the type of work they need to do, but they can still work from the office sometimes.
The sudden transition to remote work saw personal proximities diminishing. Most organizations have lost human connection within their workforce. Work that would earlier be more dynamic in terms of regular human interactions, collaborations, and networking was restricted from switching off. Leaders and managers had to leverage their emotional and intelligence quotient to craft and sustain a cohesive workforce that is essential to attain business results.
Increased use of communication platforms
Distributed workforces were already on an upward trajectory but have been completely kicked into overdrive with the COVID-19 pandemic. With many companies extending work-at-home opportunities through the mid-next year, reliance on cloud-based collaboration platforms such as Flock, Microsoft Teams, and Slack will only increase. This means more teams will be looking to harness the cloud’s power to store the flow of data from multiple collaboration platforms. Next year, this will generate more focus, awareness, and need for data protection and management for collaboration software.