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With the world turned upside down for many businesses over the past year, the subject of the “future of work” has never been timelier as organisations look to regroup in a post-pandemic era.

The Covid-19 crisis forced numerous organisations to rapidly adapt and whilst many are still dealing with the immediate fallout, it’s important to keep an eye on longer terms trends and drivers of change too.

We’ve highlighted five key themes that we expect will dramatically impact the future of work. Each theme will be explored in more detail in future blog posts, but an overview of the main areas include:

  1. Technology

As nonessential workers shifted to home, a McKinsey report of 800 executives found that half had increased digitisation of customer channels, via ecommerce, mobile apps or chatbots to meet demand during the pandemic. Where having staff in one call centre was no longer viable, for example, technology filled an important void in continuity of service. Consumer and business behaviour has changed considerably as a result, aided by technology, and it’s a trend that is only set to continue. Organisations need to ensure they are both capable and savvy, deploying technology that will support both their business and customers.

  1. Learning and development (L&D)

The World Economic Forum announced a reskilling emergency, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution meaning that one billion people need to retrain by 2030. The advent of technology has largely caused this surge, both taking and creating jobs. Whilst high tech skills will obviously be in demand, specialised interpersonal skills in sales, human resources, care, and education are also required. Businesses need to be prepared to upskill staff, utilising online and offline learning and development resources, to ensure talent remains competitive. Click here to see the L&D blog piece

  1. The hybrid office

With 25% of employees wanting to remain working from home full time, many businesses are exploring the need for staff to be present in offices and what to do with corporate real estate. This has significant ramifications across businesses – from purchasing technology to ensure flexible working options are viable, to collaborating with HR teams to ensure learning and career development remains on track for home workers. It’s a significant overhaul that will require careful planning and consideration.

  1. Health and wellbeing

With Covid-19 having posed such a risk to health and wellbeing, it’s understandably become a main priority for many employees. When supporting existing employees or hiring new staff, it’s vital that businesses show how mental and physical health is a top priority. Ensuring home working is accessible to all and utilising wellbeing technology are just some of the important areas to consider investing in.

  1. Recruitment

With so much occurring over the past year, businesses will need talent to drive through lasting and impactful change. From implementing new technology to reskilling departments, hiring wellbeing professionals to securing the best international talent, recruitment is a top priority for many organisations in a post-pandemic world. And with so many events over the past year impacting inclusivity – such as the Black Lives Matter Movement – there is even more to consider during the process. Hiring the right talent can transform a business, future-proofing an organisation, so it’s crucial to recruit the best people.

All these themes interlink and represent the main areas we believe are going to significantly shape the future of work. Do keep an eye out for future blogs, as we explore each in more detail, over the next few months.