“Desk booking software” and other office trends for 2021

In light of the continued trend of remote working, enterprises are now seeking new ways to make the most of the funds they use for office space, among other new office trends for 2021. One method they are trialling is “desk booking software” to allow workers to hot desk and book in space. This will also increase safety as cleaners will have better visibility over what has been used. We could also see more flexible furniture layouts to foster collaboration, according to the latest Future of Work briefing.   

Will remote working go the distance?

Despite changing trends, some firms are concerned that working from home may not have longevity owing to cybersecurity malpractice. A new report from CyberArk suggests that employees are failing to comply with cybersecurity policies, with some of the biggest offenders using work devices for personal errands and activities. Likewise, they may be installing unauthorised applications onto these devices, or sharing passwords with their loved ones.  The report claimed that workers had not received enough training in this field.

Forbes names its freelancer trends for 2021

The career team at Forbes have named their trends for 2021 and beyond for the freelancer workforce. Among them, remote work will make freelancing easier, while some freelancers may eschew traditionally larger platforms like Upwork in favour of independent sites. Jon Younger also states that there will be more collaboration, taking a ‘pack hunting’ approach to finding work. We should expect more creative freelancers to emerge, and freelancing will no longer be ‘frowned upon’ as it has been in the past.     

Growth expected for gig economy in 2021

The gig economy is expected to grow next year, with a particular focus on creatives. Marketers, public relations specialists, photographers and videographers, copywriters and events managers will all contribute more to the freelance market, with these professionals forming part of the ‘experience economy’. The trend will be particularly prevalent among Millennials and Generations Zs, who are said to value experiences over material things.  

What to do when collaboration fails

Leaders can fix collaboration issues by looking for six common patterns, say the team at MIT Sloan. The patterns were noted as ‘hub and spoke’ networks, whereby information does not get through the echo chamber of ideas. Other issues include team members feeling disenfranchised, overwhelmed teams or friction between others, isolation, and priority overload. Using visual project management software like Rosyboa can help teams to overcome this.

Should work from home staff pay more tax?

Economists at Deutsche Bank have suggested that staff who choose to work from home on a permanent basis should pay a 5% tax for the “privilege”. The research unit claimed this tax could raise an additional £7 billion to boost the UK economy. The teams also said that workers would be no worse off due to lack of commuting costs, buying lunch or sourcing new work clothes.   

Upwork’s first female CEO is making some changes

Hayden Brown, the first female CEO of freelancing site Upwork, has been forced to make myriad changes just three months into her position. The company revealed that 36% of the US workforce freelanced during the pandemic, an increase of 22% since 2019. Brown is now committed to making Upwork “fully remote”. She says: “People have shifted not just their notions about remote work in this moment of crisis, but also their long-term views of how remote work will fit into their organizations.”

Could working from home lead to more prejudice?

A new report from the Woolf Institute for England and Wales has revealed that working from home could lead to “widespread prejudice”. The institute’s founder said that people risk “going back into isolated silos”, whereas previously, people from all sorts of communities would work together. The study said that three quarters of offices were ethnically diverse, and that without offices, people’s opinions on diversity may change.    

Freelancers working “near 100-hour weeks”

A new report from Share My Telly has revealed that some UK freelancers could be working triple figure hours per week. Those working in television work on average 16 hours per week more than other freelancers. Other findings include 38% of workers missing their daily lunch breaks, while 62% of us work more than our allotted hours. This overtime could also lead to a lack in diversity, the researchers warned.  

Adapting management styles for better remote working

Businesses across the UK risk breaking employment law if they do not conform to new remote working management styles, according to Paida Dube. She advises that managers need to stop ‘excessively monitoring’ staff, while they should also not have unrealistic expectations. Likewise, remote health and safety should not be overlooked – it is up to managers to ensure their teams are working safely.