2021 Digital Industry Predictions Part 2 of 3: How We Work
Posted by Ken Forster
2021 - A Look Ahead: How we work
Each year we look back, take stock of the present and look ahead at the technologies and trends likely to impact the way we work, the way businesses operate and the most exciting innovations ahead of us. As we look into the new decade, there are advances in technologies that enable powerful new innovations, changes in how we work and create, and changes in how we power growth and move about.
In this three-part series we explore “Foundational Technologies”, “How We Work” and “Where we are Going”. This blog post series will provide a high-level perspective and at the end of this series we will provide a more detailed 2021 outlook report, exploring the implications of these critical trends in a broader context.
In Part 2 of our 2021 Outlook we explore the changes and trends affecting "How We Work." During the pandemic, we saw enormous changes in work – remote workforce, adoption of automation, and rising emphasis on wellness and corporate responsibility. We expect that these changes will persist and define the nature of work over the next decade and beyond.
The Rise of Distributed Work
The future of work will look different from pre-pandemic. Office space will change with the inclusion of safety barriers for those working in close proximity, less allocation of space per employee as workers alternate working from home and at the office. Workers may be able to work from anywhere and decamp from costly crowded cities to rural areas and small towns. This means that opportunities will be distributed more broadly, as jobs formerly requiring workers to live in costly urban areas provide greater access to labor pools across a wider geographic distribution.
Exponential Automation – Robotics Ascendent
The International Federation of Robotics estimates that global sales of robotic services are expected to increase from $17 billion in 2019 to more than $55 billion by 2023.Robotics are transforming manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, even physical security. According to a recent Industry Week survey almost half of respondents identified automation and robotics technologies as either critical or important, with 1/3 saying they have yet to embrace any automation.
New Priorities – Wellness and Corporate Responsibility
In 2020 health concerns took center stage for businesses as the realities of pandemic risk hit home across the globe impacting nearly every size and type of organization. The first priority of every organization is to ensure the health and safety of employees, and we have seen a shift in focus across businesses as health and wellness (both physical and mental) become increasingly important. HR departments have broadened their mission beyond talent acquisition and retention to include cultivating the well-being of their people.
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