Predicting what the future holds in store for us is difficult, and the current COVID-19 situation has proved that despite the best planning made ahead of time, things may go wary. Many employers would have planned their business goals for 2020, but none would have been prepared for the pandemic, economic turmoil, the mental health crisis, disruption in employee engagement and holistic wellbeing, and the global unrest.
With 2020 throwing a curve ball, here are the latest trends that experts are expecting to prevail in 2021.
HR Responsibilities and Undertakings
The events of 2020 have forced HR and the management teams to address issues that were usually not considered important by many employers. Right from the country’s politics to the current educational systems and childcare facilities, employee mental wellness, parenting concerns, caregiving ease, social communication, workplace safety, and other amenities, employers are now considering many issues that were previously out of their purview. Addressing these events have added to the HR responsibilities, and the administration needs to comply with the trending demands to ensure employee wellbeing and corporate wellness.
Focusing On Employee Health and Wellness
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled employers to rethink employee wellbeing and safety, along with considering workplace safety mechanisms. Employers are now shifting from traditional illness prevention methods to a more organized and holistic approach to ensure employee wellbeing. The management must seek employee feedback through pulse surveys, polls, or discussions to know their interests and demands. They can address the concerns by offering suitable modules through corporate wellness programs. They can also include new wellness modules that amplify the advantages of employee financial health, mental wellbeing, and workplace safety to prevent burnout and make it flexible for the employees to work comfortably.
Embracing Remote Work
The social distancing and government restrictions have made remote working the new normal. To safeguard employee health and safety, many employers have announced remote working by necessity until 2021. Studies have shown that employee productivity has been steady despite the increased remote working levels. Although there were initial struggles with employee engagement and communication, with time, employees have adapted themselves to the changes. Studies have also shown that only 7% of the employees want to return to the workplace, even after normalcy resumes. Almost 74% of the CFOs are planning on making remote working a permanent option for employees who can manage their work without having to come to the workplace. To ensure employee engagement and wellbeing while working remotely, employers must implement new policies, digital technology, and processes to ensure stronger teamwork, develop new skills, and drive positive workplace culture.
Proposing Flexible Working Schedules
The 9 – 5 working schedule is no more the norm of modern companies. Employees of the modern generation are gravitating towards companies that offer them opportunities to work from anywhere and anytime. The fact that the competition is high and employees are busy hustling between multiple responsibilities is driving the need for employees to work remotely with flexible working hours. Studies show that 71% of employees felt rigid work schedules are negatively impacting their work-life balance and caused burnout issues. The current pandemic has shown that working remotely with flexible schedules has boosted employee engagement and productivity for many companies. And so, employers must design their workplace policy on par with the trends with pliable working schedules to enhance work-life balance, reduce employee stress, boost workplace wellness, and make work more interesting.
Higher EVP and Social Purpose
Things are changing in the world of business and technology, impacting the daily lives of the new-generation employees. With the changes, the expectations of employee benefits and perks are also changing. Having a strong employee value proposition (EVP) is the key to hiring top skills and retaining talented and loyal employees. Companies that show interest in social purposes and prioritize employee morale and values, are most chosen by the Millennials and Gen Z. workers. For example, employers can include volunteering programs in their corporate wellness programs to build a sense of social responsibility and for employee wellbeing.
With the modern technological era evolving, even the work environment needs to change in its automation, technology, and globalization fronts. Understanding the latest trends and making changes to workplace policies redefines the ethos, establishing a positive and modern workplace culture. This empowers businesses by having a competitive edge over others in the corporate wellness market and also boosts employee wellbeing, workplace engagement, and organizational productivity.