The coronavirus pandemic seriously upset the global jobs market in 2020, and now that it is slowly being brought under control, predictions for 2021 have moved a little to the quirky side. Look out for the following eight trends in working this year:
The Rise of the Serious Side Hustle
Rather than relying on salaries that might not be there, some people have boosted their side hustle – or even hustles – into full time income. Freelance work has proliferated with the rise of remote working, and businesses are beginning to see the merits of establishing close ties with two or three good freelancers rather than paying a salary to workers who might spend some of the time not actively working, such as in between projects. It is not uncommon for people to treat their salaried work as the side income, relying on their ‘side’ hustle as their main source of income.
The Semi/ Fully Self Employed
Following on from the above, some have taken the plunge into living their dream: writing full time, photographing weddings and landscapes and pets, designing websites and so much more – the world of self-employed people went up sharply as hospitality industry workers, actors and others creatives were laid off in droves during the pandemic. Many of them have found steady income by working for themselves.
The Remote Operator
Even those who are fully salaried and in traditional jobs are requesting to continue working from home, at least part of the time. Many people are resigning from jobs when they are told to return full time to the office, and headhunters in London are responding to this desire, persuading employers to try out remote candidates and finding well-paid work for those who are in search of new, remote-friendly employment.
The Balanced Life Worker
People are turning away from the capitalism-driven tendency to work all the time. While this is more an issue in the USA, even in the UK there were people working hideously long hours to make high salaries – that they tend didn’t really have time to enjoy spending! The pandemic has made many people aware of the things they were missing out on – leisurely walks in the parks, spending time with children and partners, and even pet ownership. And having achieved a better work-life balance now, they remain reluctant to return to the rat race of commuting to the office for long barren hours.
The Socially Aware Office
As well as the viral pandemic, there were a number of social issues that came to the public’s attention, such as an awareness of racial injustices, gender disparities and so on. As a result many businesses are looking to ensure that they practice what they preach when it comes to diversity and equality, and equally, employees are moving away from companies with entrenched chauvinistic or colonial attitudes.
Artificial intelligence is booming and will soon proliferate throughout our lives. From the likes of household assistants, expect to see AI on roads, controlling traffic flow, in stores, opening and closing tills as they are needed, and monitoring CCTV for unusual events which can then be brought to the attention of human operators. Jobs working with AI are sure to boom along with the technology, so if it is an interest, be sure to mention it to your recruiter.
Mental Health Matters
Reducing toxic masculinity (which can affect women just as much as men, despite the name), dealing with emotional issues, and understanding that happy employees are productive employees are all key aims in the workforce this year. Expect mental health training to be done in the same way that first aid courses are offered, taking mental health days will be permitted under sick day schemes and bosses should be looking into understanding mental health in the workplace and showing understanding and compassion to those who suffer mental ill-health.
New Skills/ Multi-skilled Work
And finally, the pandemic, along with making people reprioritise money in their lives, also spurred many people to retrain, especially while on paid furlough. Taking the many free courses that were on offer allowed people to brush up old skills, learn new ones, and even combine existing skills with new technology. Look out for people with specific niche skills looking to fill specific industry needs in the immediate future!