Productivity Trend Forecast for 2021

COVID-19 has changed the way we work — every single one of us all around the world. No one could have predicted the pandemic’s effect on how we work. 

Just as 2020 was unlike anything we’ve seen, so will be 2021 when it comes to work and productivity. 

Here are my five productivity trend predictions for 2021! 

1. Better home offices

Reuters estimates that the amount of people working from home will double in 2021. As more people adjust to permanently working from home, investing in a home office that actually works for you just makes sense.

I have a LinkedIn Learning course on designing your remote office for productivity, and based on the feedback I’ve gotten, this is something lots of people are thinking about going into the new year. 

I’m seriously envious of this Ori Living gorgeous new design for the “Pocket Office” – it puts my “Smoffice” (small office) in New York City to shame! 

2. More (and better) collaboration

Zoom and other virtual meeting tools make collaboration so easy, whether it’s with colleagues you don’t routinely work with or people at other organizations.  As people get more confident with video meetings, collaboration will become the expectation — and it’ll be easier, thanks to all the features Zoom has for productivity.

I realize you might be getting “Zoom Fatigue” and getting sick of video calls but stick with me here – video is your window to connection in 2021. Those who embrace it will soar to the top. Mark my words! 

3. AI for the productivity win

Artificial intelligence can make your life a lot easier — and I think more people will start taking advantage of that in 2021. AI tools are finally getting advanced enough that they’re user-friendly and helpful. Otter.ai is great for meeting notes, and Skype Translator can translate meetings in almost real-time!

4. The rise of on-demand videos

These are messages that you can pre-record for your colleagues or clients for them to watch whenever it’s most convenient. (Plus you can record them whenever it’s most convenient for you!)

Doing a “pre-record” is nothing new in the world of television that I come from. The idea is that you set up like it’s the real thing and record the video whenever you’re ready. I predict this way of messaging will become much more common in 2021!

5. Starting a side hustle

Unfortunately, many people were laid off in 2020 because of the pandemic. Even after finding new roles, I predict lots of people will begin or continue side hustles that they’re passionate about. 

6. New ways to recharge

The rise of remote work means no more commuting or water cooler chats. But people will still find ways to recharge during the morning and midday — and that’s a good thing. Taking a little TV break in the middle of the day is something people are already doing. I predict that mini breaks, such as reading a chapter of a book, listening to a podcast, or taking a short walk, will all rise in popularity.

People will get even better at planning refreshing breaks during the day. These little boosts can make you even more productive by allowing you to return to your work with a renewed sense of purpose. 

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