The end of one year and the beginning of a new one is often a time for reflection. What did we learn and accomplish in the past year? What will the new one have in store for us? 

While 2020 taught us not to feel too confident in our predictions, it didn’t stop many HR and L&D publications from trying to anticipate the trends and topics of 2021. Below, a quick run-down of the future-focused articles that we finished the year reading.

The future of work is (still) remote 

Remote work defined 2020, but what about 2021 and beyond? A new report from Upwork predicts that the number of remote workers will nearly double to 36.2 million people by 2025. While there were some hiccups at the outset of the pandemic, 68% of the hiring managers surveyed by Upwork said there’s been a big improvement in how well remote work is functioning now. Read more at TechRepublic.

HR’s 2021 transformation

Looking to the future of HR, Lars Schmidt, author of Redefining HR, distilled his learnings from researching, interviewing, and evaluating progressive HR and people teams. Some of the key takeaways? HR is increasingly becoming a critical business function and taking on more nuanced approaches to hybrid distributed/co-located teams. Mental health support is also now a non-negotiable. Head to Fast Company for more insights from Lars.

Human skills are key to handling “double disruption”

It’s no longer enough to talk about digital disruption — 2020 brought a “double disruption” of COVID-19 and automation. How can organizations prepare their employees to tackle this new phase of work? The answer lies in developing soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and self-management. Learn more in Forbes.

Learning beyond the classroom

There’s a newish paradigm for learning: “a continuous, life-long act of improvement for the betterment of people and organizations.” Why newish? We were already headed in this direction, but the pandemic shifted it into hyperdrive. Learn more about the role of online learning and microcredentials the future of L&D on HR Dive.

Open your ears to the future of work

Shelley Osborne, VP of Learning at Udemy and author of The Upskilling Imperative, recently participated in the Learn to Grow podcast from SureSkills to share why learning is the future of work. Give your eyes a rest and listen to Shelley discuss learning agility and growth mindset, how to build a learning culture, why feedback is fuel, and much more. Host Simon Behan also asks Shelley for some of her workplace predictions for the next few years. Catch the podcast here.

Your dream employee may already be working for you

Looking for your next great hire? Maybe it’s time to stop looking outside your organization and start looking internally. Or at least create a path for existing employees to explore new career options without leaving. Cara Brennan Allamano, Senior Vice President of People at Udemy, shares three ways to create a culture of internal mobility. Head to Forbes to read her tips.

Take the next steps to upgrade learning at your organization

While we can’t predict everything that will happen in 2021, one thing is clear: Learning will continue to be indispensable. This might involve helping your employees adapt to the new era of remote work, promoting soft skills development to take on digital disruption, or simply creating more opportunities for employees to learn in the flow of work

No matter what learning looks like at your workplace, Udemy for Business can help. Discuss best practices for training your workforce by speaking with our learning experts today