We all know that 2020 was a year unlike any other. Our work and daily lives transformed almost overnight. But what are the long-term effects of the pandemic? Does it make sense to hope for a return to normal? Several HR experts and publications attempted to answer these questions at the start of the new year. 

Below you’ll find a quick recap of the news and thought leadership we’ve been reading this month.

Preview training industry news Jan. 2021

Digging into the data: Uncovering labor market trends

The impact of COVID-19 on the labor market was massive. There are 10 million jobs that have not yet recovered. Women were disproportionately affected by job loss. And the loss of low-wage jobs was about eight times that of high-wage ones. Explore each of these trends — and how companies are responding — in more detail on HR Dive.

2021 vision: Trends in store for the year ahead

While we may be wishing for stability and getting back to normal, it’s more likely that 2021 will be full of transitions. Gartner’s chief of research for HR predicts companies will take a holistic view of their employees’ lives, become more vocal about societal and political debates, and rely more on contract workers to fill the skills gap. Head to Harvard Business Review to read all the predictions.

The future is bright — or at least more humane

Rather than doing a deep dive into 2020’s data, SHRM took a different tack. They asked HR leaders (including Udemy’s Senior Vice President of People, Cara Brennan Allamano) to share what they’re looking forward to in 2021. Find out why Cara thinks the future will be more empathetic and what’s giving other leaders the warm fuzzies this year.

No degree? No problem

Many IT decision-makers are moving away from requiring a college degree for roles in their departments. This broadens the scope of applicants, creates a more inclusive hiring process, and emphasizes the skills needed to be successful in the role. CIO Dive reports on this shift.  

Making sure everyone’s a winner in the future of work

Women are suffering from substantial setbacks in this new world of work. They’re more likely to be affected by layoffs or voluntarily leave to take on childcare responsibilities. They’re less likely to have a dedicated home office — and more susceptible to distractions as a result. Companies can help their employees with these challenges by offering resources and better paid leave policies, according to CNBC

Translate trends into action at your organization

These stories demonstrate just how much the world of work is still transforming — and organizations are trying to keep up with the pace of change. At the same time, individual employees are facing new stresses. 

There are several ways you can help your teams. Encourage employees to develop well-being skills like stress management and focus mastery. Promote communication and collaboration skills as well as overall learning agility to help employees succeed in this new environment.