The world of business has faced some significant challenges in recent years. Most notably, 2020 witnessed the onset of the first truly global pandemic since the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in millions of employees needing to work remotely whilst lockdowns and restrictions on public gatherings were put in place to slow the spread of the virus. Thankfully, in 2023, most countries have lifted their restrictions on the movement of citizens; however, many businesses never fully recovered from the practical implications of the pandemic and closed permanently. Currently, inflation levels are high in many countries around the world, and this makes it far harder for businesses to remain competitive and profitable. This article focuses on three key trends in business that have become commonplace in the last few years and apply across a wide range of industries.
The Rise of Freelance Working
The freelance model of working has become popular for both employers and employees in the last five years. Employers can gain greater control over staff budgets by only hiring workers when orders and tasks need to be fulfilled. For the freelance worker, the flexibility of this model of work can help to balance work commitments with personal activities whilst still earning a meaningful level of income. One key form of freelance work that has enjoyed an increase in popularity is that of freelance drivers who work for shipping companies. Drivers bid for shipping work and access shipping jobs via online jobs boards. If their bid is accepted, they win the contract and are then tasked with delivering the goods to the destination at a pre-agreed time. This form of freelance work is extremely popular for workers who enjoy driving and the work is often paid at competitive rates, making it a good career choice for workers who seek flexibility in their working schedules.
Remote and Hybrid Models are Here to Stay
Whilst the worst effects of the covid-19 pandemic seem to be reducing, the hybrid and remote models of work that were a necessity during the height of the outbreak look set to stay in business. Recent statistics suggest that around a third of Americans would change jobs to benefit from remote working methods and just over 20% of respondents would be prepared to give up vacation allowances to benefit from home working. Employers need to pay note to this change in preferred working methods and must offer jobs that benefit from hybrid or fully remote working to ensure that they retain their best and brightest employees.
Virtual Meeting Spaces
Another outcome of the pandemic was an increasing reliance on video conferencing applications that allowed virtual meetings to take place regardless of staff location. Today, leading companies are using the next generation of this technology to create fully realized VR spaces where meetings, presentations and exhibitions can take place. There is a range of VR applications that allow collaboration and meetings to take place in virtual spaces. The best of these can be seen here. Key benefits of this technology include minimizing travel costs for larger meetings (and therefore reducing the carbon footprint of an organization) and saving time so that productivity levels can be improved across the working week.