The Future of Work is Now: Planning your 2021 Workforce

With the changes in consumer demand and the ripple effect across many industries, workforces have changed dramatically in 2020. Many of the unforeseen changes are now considered permanent. There are many important factors to consider when planning your 2021 workforce. Even before the influence of Covid-19, many said we are in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution. Bernard Marr’s powerful description gives a look into the scale of the transformation, “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is disrupting almost every industry in every country and creating massive change in a non-linear way at unprecedented speed.” Additionally, HBR states, “Much as we might like to think of 2020 as an anomaly, it may not be. Conditions for accelerating change have been building for years.” To find success during this new revolution requires a change in mindset, a high level of flexibility, and a bit of optimistic courage. How will your organization and your workforce thrive in 2021?

Develop a Deeper Understanding of your Business.

In planning your 2021 workforce, there is a higher need for in depth industry analysis. What is happening with your industry, suppliers, and your customer’s customer? If your company is thrown another curve ball like 2020, do you have the agility to pivot quickly and with minimal disruption? Innovate with people - your people. Open the lines of communication and engage those in your business with boots on the ground. What do they see happening? Is there potential for a creative solution or partnership? Or are there red flags to avoid? During a revolution, no idea is too crazy. Listen to your customers to find out what exactly they are asking from you.In recent months, companies and organizations have actively embraced changes that they fought for decades. Yes, those changes might have been a big hurdle, but the organizations are now stronger and more agile.

Invest in your Digital Core (Transformation)

The software and systems that power businesses need a thorough review. Systems like accounting tools, CRMs, ERPs, customer portals, and websites should all be agile and intuitive to improve your team’s work. Has your organization faced a cyber security breach? Does your organization struggle with communicating the right message to consumers? Does your financial team use antiquated systems taking twice as long to complete their work? The importance of tech in any organization has taken on new meaning during this pandemic. If you haven’t yet made significant technological changes in your organization, you should be for 2021.

Develop a Deeper Understanding of your Workforce Skills

Now that you understand what technology is needed to meet your customer’s needs, you can better understand the skill sets required. Dig deep into the critical details of the work to get done. Do a strategic analysis of the skill sets needed in your business in each area. Then get real about what skills sets are missing. Where is your talent gap? If you do not have the skills needed, there are a few strategies to consider.

  1. Traditional employment.
  2. Staff Augmentation.
  3. Strategic partnership with another organization, such as, a vendor.

The right answer will be different for each organization given their unique set of needs and capacity for an agile workforce. An outside perspective is often helpful to see the forest for the trees. If you choose to hire traditionally, Forbes has an insightful list of 15 hiring tips to help! If you choose to enhance your team’s capabilities through staff augmentation, your organization will benefit from the speed and flexibility to scale up during times of growth and scale down in times of contraction. Additionally, this may sound counterintuitive. But now is the time to, both, “play to your strengths” and experiment!

Play to your strengths

Are there areas of your business distracting from what you do best? Spinning your wheels in an area that is not your expertise can hold you back from maximizing your strengths. This is a common waste of resources. Moreover, this is a huge opportunity cost. Imagine what your team can do when they are focused on the skills where they excel! Hiring an expert team through staff augmentation can be the answer to refocus your team on what they do best.


Of course, some risk avoidance is necessary. On the flip side, companies that do not adapt, do not last. How can you gain a competitive advantage right now? How can you become lean AND strong? Technology experts are the answer! Technology plays a substantial role in everything we do. Partner with tech experts to quickly get up to speed and find the most innovative and effective solutions. When planning your 2021 workforce, do not just look to silicon valley anymore. There is exceptional tech talent located across the United States from small towns and rural communities to the suburbs. They are all sitting at their computers in their living rooms ready to take on a new challenge. We have said this time and again, but it bears repeating. Your workforce talent is your strongest competitive advantage. Find the value in optimism and the hope of what your company can become. Rethink your business structure, putting flexibility as a primary focus. Add flexibility not only in your business strategy, but also in your talent performance and management.

Assess and Implement Your 2021 Workforce

Planning your 2021 workforce should be aligned with tech projects like upgrading, replacing, integrating, and building new systems. You are going to need developers, designers, and IT pros to do this. Take into account these types of projects as improving and enhancing your digital core or accelerating your digital transformation. This must be top priority and you should be considering how to get the people to do it. Hint hint... Let us help.At TECKpert, we are optimistic for the coming years. If we learn anything from history, it is that we are resilient and resourceful. We have seen technological advances change our world time and time again. We look forward to being a part of that innovation with our clients. Reach out today to discuss your organization’s needs and fill your skills gaps with our tech experts.