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LinkedIn’s top 10 ‘Future of Work’ predictions for 2021

Source | | Shweta Modgil

As 2020 comes to a close, LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, shared 10 key predictions that will define the future of work in 2021. India will reimagine the future of work across 5 key segments: the workplace, careers, recruiting, business, and leadership. 

Here are the Top 10 ‘future of work’ predictions: 

Old work paradigms will die

Only 1 in 4 Indian professionals were offered flexible work hours and well-being support during the early stages of the lockdown this year. This will change in 2021, as companies recognize new employee needs – many of which would depend on sectors and geographies – in an increasingly remote reality where commutes may soon become a thing of the past. Be it location, work hours or ways of working, flexible work policies will play a dominant role in defining a positive work culture in the future. Those going back to work can expect their offices to transform into spaces where professionals will gather for leadership and personal development, or simply to collaborate and congregate.

Technology will scale collaboration and communities will be built through software

In an increasingly remote reality, employees want to collaborate and work more efficiently and facilitating this will require technology that offers transparency, and is easy to use. This shift reflects strongly across the Indian workforce as Virtual Events on LinkedIn in India have grown 4x since March, and India has become one of the top 5 countries creating Virtual Events on the platform. Given this swift emergence of virtual collaboration, professionals will welcome the new world of work by expanding their tech skills and remote work acumen.

People will reimagine their careers and entire lives

Job seekers will continue pivoting their careers to work in different industries or geographies, as 3 in 5 (62%) unemployed job seekers in India report being open to the idea of exploring new career paths to navigate these challenging times. Further, remote jobs are an emerging trend in APAC, and India is found leading the region in terms of remote job application growth, which grew by 4.65x between March and May 2020. The new normal will also see the rise of ‘solo entrepreneurs’ as people are expected to use the internet to maximize their skills and talent, in a bid to reimagine their lives and careers. 

Online learning will see continued massive growth and learning will be part of everyone’s job 

Online learning will continue to be a critical tool in helping Indian professionals future-proof their careers. LinkedIn data states that the average number of monthly learning hours on LinkedIn Learning increased 3X from April to December 2020, compared to pre-Covid months of January and February. As per LinkedIn’s year-end findings, 3 in 5 (57%) professionals say they will increase their time spent in online learning going forward. With this renewed focus on skilling, people are turning to online learning to build the right mix of digital and soft skills, to upskill and to land new opportunities within the same company.

Learning content curation and personalization will be a critical focus

As demand for online learning picks up, curating high-quality content and personalized recommendations for individual learners will be a key focus going into 2021. This will help learners efficiently sift through the myriad options to find the right content, given the vast amounts and high frequency of content creation triggered by the increasing demand for online learning. 

Virtual recruiting is here to stay

As per LinkedIn’s ‘Future of Recruiting’ report July 2020, 4 in 5 talent professionals in India agree that virtual recruiting will continue post-COVID (81%), and that virtual interviews will become the new standard (79%). Companies have dabbled with video interviewing and remote assessments in the past, but the lockdown realities of COVID-19 have sparked them to create an end-to-end virtual recruiting process for the first time. Therefore, just as hybrid workforce models are set to become the standard, a hybrid hiring process that combines virtual and in-person elements will become the norm.

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