Four Business Trends for Leaders to Continue 2021


As businesses get ready for the new year, leaders are looking forward to helping prepare their companies and employees for what lies ahead. While I think everyone is ready to say goodbye to 2020, there are some business trends from 2020 that will remain for 2021. Let’s review four 2020 business trends that are going to continue into 2021.

Workplace wellness and happiness

During the pandemic, there was an increased focus on worker wellbeing and happiness. In 2021 that business trend will continue, primarily as happiness has been found to help companies retain employees and give companies a competitive advantage. Put simply, companies who prioritize workplace well-being and happiness see better business results.

A report conducted by Indeed reflects that, of the 1,073 business leaders surveyed, the majority agreed that prioritizing employee happiness provides a competitive advantage (87%) and makes it easier to retain top talent (96%). Three-quarters of executives surveyed report employee expectations around happiness in the workplace have risen in the last five years. However, only 19% of companies have made it a strategic priority. These companies making happiness a strategic imperative have realized the effect that employee happiness has on business. Unhappiness takes a negative toll on businesses, with 79% reporting unhappy employees hurts productivity and 75% report it leads to unwanted high turnover. The report also outlines the immediate steps companies can take to bring more well-being and happiness into every organization.

Remote work is the new normal

Even with the development of a vaccine, most offices aren’t returning to an entirely in-person office environment anytime soon. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 25%–30% of the workforce will be working from home several days a week by the end of 2021, and employees prefer remote work and say that they’re more productive at home. When working alone, which accounts for 57% of an average worker’s day, employees say they are productive 75% of the time at home, compared to only 63% of the time at the office. A lot of large companies are moving towards adopting more permanent flexible working arrangements.

Personalization and individual approaches to employees

Companies realize that a personalized experience for consumers is not only their preference but it is their expectation, and employees are people too, so they also benefit from a tailored experience. Employees should be getting personalized experiences, especially when it comes to their onboarding. All employees aren’t wired the same way, so personalizing how you onboard them to the organization will allow them to get acclimated more quickly. Personalization tailors the experience to how they best learn, offering a greater chance of a positive experience.

Diversity and inclusion

Diversity and inclusion should always be a part of your company’s goals and culture. This business trend isn’t changing for 2021. This article from Forbes highlights some companies who have renewed their investment and commitment to diversity and inclusion.