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Top 21 NextMapping Workplace Predictions for 2021


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Cheryl Cran founder of a future of work consultancy shares the top 21 workplace predictions for 2021. She is the author "NextMapping - Anticipate, Navigate and Create The Future of Work" and has been named #1 future of work expert by GoCatalant. FREE infographics and resources can be found at

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Top 21 NextMapping Workplace Predictions for 2021

  1. 1. @nextmapping Text me: 604.340.4700 By Cheryl Cran founder of NextMapping a future of work consultancy. For more information go to next Top 21 NextMapping Workplace Predictions for 2021
  2. 2. The 2020 Pandemic Disruption Businesses had to pivot quickly to provide workers the ability to work from home and work remotely Workers had to adapt and juggle family and work responsibilities at home Many businesses have struggled to stay alive and others thrived
  3. 3. 21 Workplace Predictions for 2021 1. Remote work is here to stay 2. Hybrid workplace is the new normal 3. Increase in mergers of brands 4. Workers reverse migrating to rural locations 5. Workers have more power over employer 6. Commercial real estate is being reimagined 7. Covid-19 speeds up digital transformation 8. Worker well being is top priority 9. Increase contract and freelance workers 10. Increase in workers wanting a career change 11. Virtual meetings to be leveraged 12. Finding and keeping good people an ongoing challenge 13. Future ready skills more important 14. Innovation To Increase in 2021 15. Real time performance feedback 16. White space to be a top perk for workers 17. Rise in virtual productivity tools 18. Business accountability for diversity and inclusion 19. Increase in demand for workers to reskill and retrain 20. Leadership accountability to increase 21. Gen C generation will shape future workplace
  4. 4. Remote Work Is Here to Stay 60% of workers surveyed say that they want to continue to work remotely in 2021. The CTO of Ivanti a security company says that in 2021 people will continue to work remotely anywhere. Workers cite that the reasons they want to continue to work remotely is no commuting, more time with family and ability to get more work done than in the office environment. Employers who said that workers could not work remotely pre-Covid were able to see that remote work could work. Employer benefits of having remote workers include, happier workers, smaller office spaces and access to global remote talent.
  5. 5. Hybrid Workplace is New Normal While remote work is here to stay research shows that 72% of workers want to have the option to work in office or work from home. Companies will provide structures that allow workers to choose when they work in the office and when they work remotely. Stanford university professor Bloom says the optimal amount of time to work in office is two days a week.
  6. 6. Increase in Mergers of Brands Covid has put major pressure on brands in 2020 and this means an increase in mergers and aquisitions. In North America it is predicted that mergers will increase by about 5% year over year in 2021 specifically in the finance, insurance, healthcare and manufacturing industries. Traditional industries that have lagged in digital transformation will seek to merge with brands that have the technology solutions and access to products and markets unavailable to a single brand.
  7. 7. Workers Reverse Migrating to Rural Real estate transactions in certain markets has had busiest sales ever in 2020. With more people working from home there is a trend towards finding larger homes with offices. New Yorkers fled to the suburbs in height of pandemic. In July there was a 44% increase in sales of homes in neighbouring counties in New York. In Canada cities like Vancouver and Toronto had record sales and people migrating to the suburbs. This trend is going impact how companies recruit and retain talent as workers will be seeking remote work opportunities. Rural communities will benefit from increase in taxpayers and infrastructures for expanding populations.
  8. 8. Workers Have More Power Over Employer Pre-Covid many employers had the power over workers as to how they work and when they work. In 2021 the rise of worker power over employer will continue. This means its a workers market where the worker holds the power of deciding who they will work for, how they want to work and when they want to work. There will be a continued shortage of talented workers and this means employers will have to provide workers with flexible work options and be willing to negotiate what the worker wants.
  9. 9. Commercial Real Estate Is Being Reimagined With the rise in remote work as a foreseeable ongoing trend many businesses are looking at ways to maximize real estate space. More and more companies are rethinking how and when they use office spaces. Offices will be reserved for face to face gatherings, team based activities and collaborations. Many large companies are looking to make space available for other purposes such as event rentals or operating like a WeWork set up.
  10. 10. Covid-19 Speeds Up Digital Transformation The CEO of Microsoft says “we’ve seen two years of digital transformation in two months” since the beginning of the pandemic. Two separate studies by McKinsey and KPMG that 80% of leaders have accelerated the implementation of new technologies as a result of the pandemic. Companies are leveraging AI , collaboration tools and self serve technologies to improve both employee and customer experience.
  11. 11. Worker Well Being Top Priority Worker burnout is a significant risk in 2021 due to pandemic fatigue. 88% of workers surveyed have stated an increase in anxiety and stress since March of 2020. Company leaders who focus on increasing worker safety and well being will be the winners when it comes to employee happiness.
  12. 12. Increase in Freelance and Contract Workers Along with the rise of remote work will be the continued rise of freelance and contract workers. Workers are seeking more flexibility and freelance or contract work allows for a worker to create his or her own schedule. More employers are structuring work around ‘how’ it needs to be done and see freelance and contract workers as a way to hire workers for project specific work. This trend will continue over the next decade.
  13. 13. Increase in Workers Wanting a Career Change A Ceridian survey has found that 64% of workers are seeking a career change in 2021. The pandemic revealed that many workers want to work remotely and will change careers to one that offers remote work. Workers are no longer looking for a traditional career path - rather workers are seeking a multitude of experiences that helps to increase multi industry experience. The pandemic caused many workers to spend time on deciding what they want to do and how they can create a new future.
  14. 14. Virtual Meetings To Be Leveraged According to a PCMA survey 70% of event planners are going virtual in 2021. Meeting planners are reimagining the future of meetings. In person meetings will come back however live streaming and virtual events will change the way meetings have been conducted. Within organizations virtual meetings are being leveraged as organizations have found that there are cost savings related to travel and time. In the past hiring a new worker meant in person interviews now virtual interviews are the going the new normal. In 2020 many workers got virtual meeting fatigue which means that there will be new ways to conduct virtual meetings in 2021 that focus on worker well being and productive use of meeting time.
  15. 15. Finding & Keeping Good People An Ongoing Challenge Yes 2020 saw companies having to lay off and restructure and research shows that industries such as technology, health, food and agriculture are growing. There will continue to be a shortage of skilled workers into 2021 and beyond. In the construction industry growth is project to be 80% until 2030. Many construction firms are resorting to outsourcing and sharing trades with other firms. Company leaders that focus on retaining top talent will be able to stay competitive in 2021 and beyond.
  16. 16. Future Ready Skills More Important The skills needed for leaders and workers in 2021 are the skills that make companies future ready. The future ready skills include: Ability to leverage technology/digital transformation Critical thinking Multiple perspectives Collaborate with stakeholders Empathy, patience, humility Move from ‘us’ vs ‘them’ Innovation Multiple perspectives ability (to see beyond situation) Flexile mindset Strategic thinking/planning Inspirational leadership
  17. 17. Innovation to Increase in 2021 Healthcare innovated at an unprecedented speed to bring vaccines to market within a year. This would have been unheard of in the past. Many companies innovated in 2020 and we will see an exponential rise in innovation in 2021.
  18. 18. Real Time Performance Feedback Goldman Sachs recently has shifted from annual reviews to real time performance measurement. Real time performance includes monthly one on ones with workers either face to face or virtual face to face. JP Morgan introduced a feedback app that allows employees to request feedback from anyone, anytime and anywhere. In the past annual reviews were the gold standard and in 2021 we will see that workers respond to ongoing coaching, mentorship and support with daily, weekly and monthly feedback sessions.
  19. 19. White Space To Be a Top Perk For Workers