What the Future of Work Looks Like: 5 Top Trends

By: First Union


What the Future of Work Looks Like: 5 Top Trends

The pandemic sped up a process that was already in place—the reshaping of the modern workplace. Due to such things as the shift to remote work as well as an increased emphasis on digital deployment, the future of work has arrived. That said there are some definite trends emerging which business owners are going to have to be prepared for in the months and years to come as these don't seem to be going away anytime soon.

Shift to Remote Work

A recent poll found that almost 50% of US employees are prepared to work remotely for the foreseeable future as a result of the crisis. This means the technology needs to up its game for many companies. We will be seeing more digital tools to this end employed for collaboration. Also, leaders will need to be able to have a means of monitoring employee productivity and performance.

Emphasis on Data

In the interest of keeping track of employees who are remote, supervisors will have to implement systems for gathering and analyzing data. It is essential that they have a firm handle on the employee experience overall and thus utilize the data available to assess, evaluate, and make any needed adjustments as far as training and reskilling for example. There are now platforms and software available that enable managers to collect data on each individual's performance. They can then via these same platforms deliver needed training and information.

More Gig Workers

What many are discovering is that replacing full-time employees with contingent workers or gig workers is proving extremely cost-effective. Especially now when things are tight for many firms, finding ways to trim the budget is key. Gig workers are becoming more pervasive throughout the country—and again, this is in part tied to the reality of remote work being the new norm. Using contingent workers also helps companies stay a bit more flexible. Recent research suggests that over thirty percent of US companies are in fact replacing full-time positions with freelancers. The tricky part will be continuing to evaluate performance and thereby keep everyone on the same page.

Focus on the Employee

Employee experience is everything. What the pandemic showed us if nothing else is that a company is as strong as its employees—that said, the company needs to foster its employees. Apart from performance, the challenges of the past few months, have also put the spotlight on employee health and well being. Struggling to adjust to a remote reality, many employees needed all the help and support they could get. Employee-centric attitudes and practices are going to dominate the workplace culture in the years to come, and with good reason.

More Resilient Business Models

That is to say, the pandemic highlighted weaknesses in companies. It showed the gaps. Now more and more firms are actually designing with resilience in mind. Should another crisis strike, this time, hopefully, more companies will be better prepared to navigate the inherent challenges posed. Organizations should be built around a more responsive mindset. Agility and flexibility are going to be so important moving forward. This also again goes back to the employees as well and ensuring that their needs and concerns are considered in developing a more responsive business model.

Organizations Becoming More Complex

In light of events, companies are nationalizing; that is to say, they are becoming more geographically spread out. Not to mention, more of a focus is now on secondary markets in order to help minimize major disruptions moving forward.

AI Will Be More of a Factor

AI has already made major inroads even with smaller companies. Helping to automate and digitally transform businesses, AI will only become more prominent in the years to come. With enhanced access to data and information, companies will be able to make more accurate predictions and thus smarter decisions across the board. Even something as simple as helping businesses to keep track of relevant social media conversations is greatly being facilitated by the integration of AI technology.

Shift to Increased Collaborative Efforts

Ironically, as team members get further and further apart physically speaking by way of remote work, the focus on collaboration is stronger than ever and will continue to be so. We frequently heard throughout the crisis, we are in this together. And that stands for the workplace as well. People realized how much more successful they were when they collaborated and worked together to problem-solve. So whether working from home or some other such remote location, it's a pretty safe bet to say that colleagues are going to continue to eagerly collaborate in order to get things done.

Integration of Wellness Programs

Hand in hand with the rise of the more employee-centric workplace is the integration of wellness programs as part of the benefits package. Employees want to work for those companies that authentically care about their health and well being. And given the circumstances recently faced, this is totally understandable. We will be seeing more and more programs of this nature being offered to company employees in the years to come.

More Diverse Workplaces

One of the key lessons in 2020 has taught many a business owner is the need for more diversity. Especially in upper-level jobs, the lack of presence when it comes to minorities and women is most definitely obvious. Moving forward we will be seeing more high level and leadership positions filled by underrepresented voices.

First Union Lending would love to help your small business. We've been working with clients since the beginning of this crisis and we are invested in seeing them through. We offer short term loans, lines of credit, and merchant cash advances among other programs. Even if your credit is on the lower side, we likely still have a funding solution for you. Some clients receive the money in as little as two business days—we really do work that fast. If you are in need of cash to weather this storm, call today. We are here to help!

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