The New Employee and Workplace Trends of 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was certainly a year of massive changes. Both employers and their employees experienced unprecedented changes, including a shift to remote working, more flexibility for employees, and the meteoric rise of tools like Zoom to help teams communicate. In 2021, here are some ways that these changes are still impacting workplace trends.

More compassion in the workplace

Many employees saw hardships due to the pandemic, from a spouse’s sudden unemployment or the loss of a loved one. Many others had to make changes to their work-life balance, juggling work-from-home duties while also caring for children or other family members. As a result, some employers are taking a more compassionate approach to meeting their employee’s needs. This might mean offering flexible hours, showing employee appreciation more frequently, or simply being understanding when a usually attentive employee is struggling to stay on top of their work.

Feedback that goes both ways

In 2020, employers had to make plenty of adjustments to keep their company running smoothly, efficiently, and safely. For many, this meant implementing work-from-home policies or bringing on remote workers, while others modified their health and safety protocols to keep their employees and customers safe. Now that we’re a year into many of these changes, employers are turning to their employees to get feedback on what changes did—or didn’t—work. This type of “360 feedback,” when employers seek out feedback from their employees, is a way that employers can learn from their employers and will likely be around to stay in 2021.

The continued use of new tools and methods

The COVID-19 pandemic and shift to work-from-home meant than employees and employees alike had to quickly acclimate to new technology, particularly tools like Zoom and Skype that allowed them to have face-to-face interactions with their remote teams. Beyond the pandemic, some employers may choose to continue using these tools, especially if they have employees who plan to continue working outside the office. Additionally, many employees likely improved their communications and collaboration skills by adjusting to a new workplace environment, and will bring some of these skills back to the office.

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