February 19 2021
Labor market trends 2021
The COVID-19 epidemic put a great burden on all of us, not only by forcing a new lifestyle. It also led to many changes in the labor market. Although making predictions for the future and planning may turn out to be useless – which we could see for ourselves in 2020 – there are a few trends that are going to be predominant in the labor market in 2021.
– The pandemic had a huge impact on the labor market. Unfortunately, reducing salaries, unpaid leaves and dismissals were unavoidable in some industries. It all negatively affected the employees’ moods, which may have an impact on their performance. The perception of workplaces and the employee’s market, which was predominant in many industries, has changed – says Marta Kamińska from Solutions.Rent.
What trends has the pandemic introduced into the labor market?
Flexible working system
An obvious result of the pandemic is the formalization of remote work. It’s no longer a benefit – it’s become a crucial element of professional activity. Employers are focusing on better working time monitoring, improved data security and benefits related to the settlement of costs, e.g. for electricity or the Internet.
Many people who could switch to home office during the lockdown do not feel like coming back to the offices. The employers themselves are growing more and more fond of this solution – even though it might lead to decreased efficiency, it also allows to optimize the office costs. Once the pandemic is gone, remote work or a hybrid model of work will be a part of the working reality.
Focus on well-being
The ADP report “A Post-Pandemic Workforce: Tracking Perspectives Amid COVID-19” shows that 40% of employees were exposed to increased stress during the pandemic. In most cases, it was related to the fear of getting infected, problems with child care and technical issues resulting from remote work.
See also: Coworking and COVID-19
Due to working from home, employees often struggle with separating their working time from personal time. The prolonged lockdown may lead to increased stress, working overtime or feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities. The benefits offered by employers will more often include consultations with a psychologist or therapist in order to support the employees’ health.
In 2021, work-life balance and staying in good physical and mental health will be even more important.
Emphasis on upskilling
Due to downsizing, many employers decide to upskill their employees. Because of employment gap, the remaining personnel has to take over responsibilities of their dismissed peers or those who are on sick leave. Reorganization of departments, investing in trainings for the team and upskilling the staff are sure to constitute a prominent trend in 2021.
According to the World Economic Forum report, the division of work between people and machines will be almost equal by 2025. It might reduce the number of full-time jobs by as many as 85 million. The positions most at risk are those that involve repetitive activities and don’t require any expertise. It will make many employees want to improve their qualifications or to change the industry they work in so as to remain a valuable employee in the labor market.
Employers will look for persons with high competencies and good work organization skills. The employee should have no problems in dealing with distractions and remote work. High competences are supposed to guarantee success in crisis situations.
Another trait that will be valuable in candidates is loyalty. An ideal employee will need to be independent, enterprising, flexible and resourceful, preferably stress-resistant and easily adapting to changing conditions as well.
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