Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
10 workforce trends to look out for in 2021

10 workforce trends to look out for in 2021

Move over dedicated workspaces, and say hello to on-demand offices. With 2020 having paved the way for unprecedented changes to work life, what else is there to keep an eye on in 2021?

The year 2021 has a lot on its shoulders, after the unprecedented changes 2020 has brought about. One thing's for sure - while we should never settle and should always expect the unexpected,  each experience does make way for a new possible trend. On that note, a new report by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, titled The Future 100: 2021has identified 10 key workforce trends to keep a lookout for in 2021. These are detailed below.

Trend #1: The rise of micropreneurs

With countries around the world forced into lockdown in the past year, or at least the likes of it, many people have turned to side hustles either to overcome boredom, or for an extra income (ever noticed the sudden surge in home bakers?). According to the report, the key to economic recovery may be in these small businesses blooming.

Trend #2: At-home empires become common

With work-from-home now being the norm for many, living spaces are quickly evolving to encapsulate everything from the boardroom to the bedroom, marking an important shift in home design and space functionality.

Trend #3: Workcations may be the new in-thing 

The swift normalisation of flexible remote working means many employees can now work from anywhere - even from a hammock on the beaches of the Maldives. Thus, holiday destinations are hoping to attract these workers with novel long-term visas and extended-stay offerings as digital nomadism goes mainstream.

Trend #4: Employees become activists

Employees in many businesses are demanding more socially-conscious conduct from their employers today. In fact, per the report, 74% of Gen Zs surveyed say they refuse to work for a company that goes against their values. Businesses could face grave consequences if they fail to take note.

Trend #5: The chief health officer joins the C-suite

For businesses, the pandemic has rammed home the fact that public health and financial considerations cannot exist in silos. With that, chief health officers could indeed be the latest members of the leadership board.

Trend #6: It's time for virtual-first HQs

Given that a significant number of employees can work remotely these days, the lines are blurred between both physical and virtual worlds - thus opening the door to a new formula for collaboration and a future of distributed work.

Trend #7: Gen Z careers shift in expectations

The pandemic has re-adjusted Gen Z's expectations. The value of a university/college degree is increasingly being questioned and the stigma of unemployment has been blunted, with this generation turning to social media to document job hunts and impress employers.

Trend #8: Climate careers may be a game-changer

Climate change is making its way onto curriculums, meaning a rising generation of climate professionals. In fact, Gen Zers list climate change as a top global concern and, with this demographic already making up a quarter of the world’s workforce, they are expected to bring to the table their ideals on climate action.

Trend #9: Say hello to on-demand offices

The travel and hospitality industries are shifting gears to accommodate a new type of visitor: the nine-to-five worker. In the absence of their traditional clientele, hotels and restaurants are repurposing their spaces as rentable offices.

Trend #10: Preventing 'shecession'

The report noted that women are bearing the brunt of the recession, losing out on jobs at a higher rate than men, which could undo a lot of the progress that has been made by women in the workplace. Therefore, employers are introducing new initiatives that will attempt establish gender equality in the workplace.

Lead image / 123RF

Readers' Survey 2021: We'd like to hear from you! Please let us know what content is most valuable to you in 2021 by taking our 3-minute survey now. Thank you, readers!

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window