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Future of Work: The Big Ideas of 2021

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

LinkedIn report, Scott Olster, released the 24 Big Ideas that will change our world in 2021 (US edition). As a workplace strategist, I couldn’t help but grab a cup of coffee, a notebook and a pen, and reflect & set intention on how these ideas will impact the future of work.


Amid the list were 4 big ideas that I am watching with great ease:


The office will fight to win you back

2020 forced us to reconsider not only how we work, but where we work. Many spent more time working remotely than any other time in their lives. As we prepare to hopefully move towards normalcy, employers will need to reimagine the workplace – considering designing “activity-based working” and enticing people with unique experiences. Workspaces will become places where people gather for leadership, personal development and culture for collaboration and congregation.


For leaders, character will be everything

For the first time in a long time, 2020 created a space for leaders to lean into empathy. Given the impact of COVID-19 and heighted conversations on racial justice, both social issues, leaders must continue to hold space for building connections and inspiring hope. Leadership is becoming less of an optional quality, and more of an essential competency. Specifically within the realm of leadership, servant leaders must inspire by leaning into generosity and invest in human capacity.


In 2020, companies promised racial equity. In 2021, they will be held accountable.

This just in. 60% of Americans say they expect brands to take a stand on racism.


One thing is for sure, stakeholders will continue to demand organizations to prioritize diversity, model inclusion and build equity. Organizations like NASDAQ are proposing a rule that would require more than 3,000 companies listed on the exchange to have at least one female board member and who self identifies as an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ.


They say the proof is in the pudding – 2021 will show which organizations are truly taking the issue seriously, versus simply issuing statements.


We will dive deeper into virtual worlds

2020 forced us to get digital. 2021 will require us to dive deeper into virtual worlds. Expect collaborative gaming and programming environments to bring together communities looking for social connection in a COVID-19 environment. We may also see augmented and virtual reality taking off to greater heights in our “new normal”. Within the spaces of learning and development, we must consider how to leverage the power of technology to touch, move and inspire people towards greater heights.

#futureofwork #humancapital #covid19 #diversityequityinclusion #diversityandinclusion #talentmanagement

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