2021 is just around the corner and many companies are deep in the planning cycle.

I have 21 predictions to help you and your company for 2021 and beyond.

The predictions include company culture, mental health support, building and adapting to the hybrid office, company strategy and experience-based on-sites vs offsites.

  1. Company Culture is taken seriously and treated a dedicated recurring workstream throughout the year not just quarterly
  2. Staff happiness and development will be treated as business-critical. Businesses have to evolve away from sending more pulse-based surveys into more actionable and trackable methods. 
  3. Culture community managers are formally hired or existing staff member moved into the role 
  4. Company culture because a pillar in company strategy 
  5. Flexible schedules vs traditional 09.00 to 17.00.
    There will be a fundamental shift away from one schedule fits all, this will means more and better flexibility for teams, departments, offices and companies. Flexible will mean communication has to improve and calendar management is taught. 
  6. The hybrid workforce is built out and developed, hybrid requires real investment from leadership teams, the staff at all levels and tech investment and positive shift away from forcing in-person work into the existing tools 
  7. Remote first continues – while 20% of staff work in remote locations not from home. This will be key for managers of all levels to understand and build out flexible tools and methodologies to support their teams and departments.
    in 2021, businesses have to work out how to manage this safely and work with external providers and tools to manage this and support staff safely. 
  8. Satellite office spaces are scoped out – centralised HQ will be essential but smaller geo focused areas will need to be scoped out and offered to truly answer all of the requirements in the modern work environment. 
  9. Office Design: On sites will replace traditional off sites – on-site in the office, reconnecting with the space (the office), the identity and the people will be vital, off-sites were often used as a break away from the small four walls, now many will need their feet in their base. There will be a need for training and workshop consultancy to ensure high quality outputs
  10. On sites will be arranged every month to replace poorly co-ordinated video calls 
  11. Experience-based on-sites and off-sites will be introduced, vs sitting around a large conference room table, we will see more outdoor spaces utilised  
  12. Small project(s) on sites and QBR will be selected to take place over away from video, where permitted safely.  
  13. Remote offsite sessions and more traditional team-building getaways will be selected to bring teams closer together. Leadership teams will create bi-annual getaways to address strategy 
  14. The virtual HQ will become popular for a small set of tech-minded companies. Colleagues building their own avatar within a virtualised HQ where you meet in the kitchen, in breakout spaces and 
  15. Video calls are not optimised for more than three participants – we will rooms and gestures to talk move forward 
  16. The move away from ‘chat first’ based apps to asynchronous communication starts to develop 
  17. Phone calls – walk and talks replace recurring video calls. Typically for one to ones and meetings / stands not requiring screens or multiple screens 
  18. Gesture-based apps are integrated into chat (Slack, Teams, Workplace) tools to add benefit to presenting remotely 
  19. Pre-recorded video’s, pre-recorded audio will become commonplace vs long-form written content, pre-recorded video will become one way we reduce reliance on poor presentations and multiple voices and questions over video 
  20. Mental health support and large double-digit investment by companies into external partners and apps 
  21. Colleagues will require more emotional support and have formal times where they can take burnout and mental health time. This requires many companies to adapt and change their HR policies 

For many leadership teams, 2021 can feel daunting and uncertain, however, by building the right plan of action and running through these questions will enable you and your company to succeed and reduce the stress and anxiety that will seep through your company.

Happily reach out to discuss the future.