5 Predictions About The Future of Work In 2021 And Beyond

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We are well into 2021, but it still feels like 2020 for so many people, especially freelancers who are still doing their best to adapt and find new ways to grow their presence. With the health crisis still ongoing, changing the economy rapidly, and reshaping how we perceive work-life balance, it’s safe to say that we can expect a slew of changes to come. The workplace is already changing, as more companies are now adapting to remote work and sending their employees home.

Freelancers, on the other hand, are trying to tackle more work in less time, while improving their abilities to collaborate remotely and with multiple clients in one go. Not to mention the issue of losing projects simply because many stable companies are now experiencing financial turmoil, so nobody is out of the woods.

Then again, we have some other mindset shifts occurring as a result of the pandemic and other related changes, mostly related to how we perceive health, engagement, and transparency while working with clients. Let’s tackle the most prevalent five trends that will reshape work in 2021 and beyond.

The gig economy is rapidly evolving

future of work is remote and gig economy is exploding

Research from 2020 has shown an explosion of freelancing in the US and across the world. Those who have been made redundant are turning to freelancing to ensure income, but many are replacing their full-time positions for project-based work for the increased flexibility, better income, and more opportunities for growth. 

On the other end of the spectrum, companies, too, are embracing freelancers as a more effective way to outsource some of their work, and they benefit from this cost-effective model during the crisis to stay afloat. As both businesses and workers are beginning to embrace gig-based work, the economy will have a better chance to recover, allowing people to rebuild their financial stability through independent work. 

A stronger focus on wellbeing and satisfaction

Among the many lessons learned in the world of business, people will take their health more seriously. That includes companies that have on-site and remote workers, as well as those working with freelancers – wellbeing will be fair game for all. 

To that end, companies will begin using platforms for evaluating and elevating employee wellness such as Limeade. Tailor-made wellness programs, surveys to understand employee satisfaction and engagement, and ensuring that everyone feels safe and taken care of will all be on the rise. Showing appreciation for employees and freelancers will be another staple feature for the future workplace, making sure that people know their input matters. 

A greater need for remote transparency

remote requires transparency

For companies collaborating with freelancers and remote workers, especially in times of great turmoil, staying connected and engaged is a growing challenge. It calls for more transparency and seamless communication, which is why companies are turning to employee engagement tools that help boost visibility for remote workers. 

More companies are using live chat to stay engaged with freelancers and remote staff, but they also use these platforms to track and measure attendance and performance. The goal is to analyze the productivity of every team and then provide every employee and freelancer with the needed resources for them to work more efficiently and with less stress. 

Entrepreneurship will likely flourish

As many people have lost their permanent jobs due to the pandemic, they look for alternative ways to put their skills to use and to rebuild their financial stability. On one hand, many will turn to freelancing, but many will also build their own dedicated companies with innovative ideas. If anything, the pandemic and the related issues have inspired people to come up with creative solutions they can monetize and help people at the same time.

In digital marketing, but also in tech, fintech especially, and medical tech, more entrepreneurs will join the playing field. AI and VR will also gain more traction, but also HR-related technologies and solutions will start to flourish. 

The changing learning curve for all

So many factors that affect your ability to find work during the pandemic have changed, simply because businesses now have different criteria in mind. They look into your previous experience and skills, for sure, but now that there are many more freelancers to pick from, they want to know how you stand out – do you have additional skills or certifications to bring to the table? What about the languages you speak?

Much like companies now need to comply with new rules and regulations regarding the latest health and safety standards, freelancers are now looking to expand and build upon their abilities through online education. From communication, statistics, to development, many courses on platforms like Udemy and Coursera are now gaining in popularity. Why? because the future of work depends on multi-skilled individuals, and setting yourself up for success in a more competitive world.

From business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, remote workers, all the way to freelancers, 2021 will be a year of disrupting norms and creating new models of collaboration in favor of the human being. Yes, being customer or client-centric remains relevant, but it definitely doesn’t eliminate the need for the other party to consider the worker’s perspective. In this case, freelancers will likely obtain a stronger voice this year and in the future, and we can expect more opportunities to arise for all. 

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The views expressed by PulseBlueprint’s contributors may not align with PulseBlueprint’s own views or the views of any PulseBlueprint team member. Want to publish your story on PulseBlueprint? Here’s a step-by-step guide.