Workforce Trends to Know as We Approach 2021

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Experts predict that the workforce trends are set to change dramatically over the next few years - but what does this mean for you?

Experts predict that the workforce trends are set to change dramatically over the next few years – but what does this mean for you?

Did you know that 37% of the population are worried about automation leading to widespread job losses? While automation and the increase of AI is one major factor that could shape the workforce in the coming years – it’s not the only thing.

While working trends always change, the next few years perhaps look to see much faster changes than those that have come before. So how does the workforce look set to change over the next few years?

As baby boomers move towards retirement, the demographics of the workplace are changing. That means more millennials are going to take up a bigger percentage of the working population. But what does that actually mean for a shift in trends?

A Decrease In Staff Turnover

While you might think a younger workforce is one that’s more mobile, some experts predict that might not actually be the case. You see, with job security a bit lower since the economic crisis, more and more young people are seen to be willing to “hold on” to a good job rather than look to move on quickly. Gone are the days when a large portion of the workforce saw a good job as an opportunity and moved on every year or two.

Nowadays – if you’ve got a good job, you might want to stay in it for much longer.

A Rise In Self Employment

Self employment in the UK has increased to 4.8 million in 2017, from 3.3 million in 2001 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This could be entrepreneurs, freelancers, gig economy workers or contractors who still work for a single company but do it on a contractual basis. Due to the rise in self employment there has been a sharp rise in the need for qualified Accountants and bookkeepers.

A Rise In The Importance Of Employee Experience

While the customer experience has long been a buzzword for many businesses – one thing that’s seen a big recent rise is the employee experience. Simply paying your staff and leaving them to look after themselves is now seen as an outdated HR policy.

Huge firms are spending more and more on keeping their employees happy, providing a wide range of entertainment options and finally starting to listen to what they have to say.

Innovative campuses, flexible working hours and more fun days out for employees have all starting popping up in more and more places. This new-age approach to staff satisfaction clearly hopes to improve productivity by treating staff as humans rather than robots. Which, ironically, is one of the other biggest threats to the established workplace.

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You can’t avoid talking about automation in a discussion of the changing workforce over the next few years. It’s probably the one thing any person on the street would think of when asked about their predictions about the changing pattern of employment.

Not everyone agrees, but some predictions say that many jobs will still be kept – but roles may be adapted. The influx of a robot workforce might not come as early as 2020, or it might not come in shape people think it’s going to at all.

One idea that’s growing in prominence is that of the hybrid workforce – where humans are augmented with machines to improve productivity. This is instead of being replaced by them, and could only be seen as a benefit to those worried about losing their jobs.

We could also see a range of new roles being created to sit alongside an automated manual labor-force. Just like new service industry jobs were created in place of lost manufacturing roles in the 70s and 80s. Automation doesn’t necessarily need to mean the end of human employment.


While the workforce looks set to change quite a lot over the next few years – dramatic shifts might not be as fast as you think.

Are you ready for the changing shape of your job? Are you doing anything to ensure job security in the future?

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About the author

Mark Harris
Mark Harris
Mark Harris is known as the 'finance guy' around these parts. He also likes to branch out and talk about a variety of other topics from the side gig economy to investing, and more.
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