Business is an ever-evolving field, but the past couple of years have caused irreversible changes. From shifting revenue streams to a shake-up of the global workforce, the world of business will continue to iterate from 2022 and beyond. In most cases, this will contribute to less overhead cost for employers, more freedom for employees, and more ways to purchase consumer goods. In most cases, these trends should continue to improve quality of life for both businesses and employees.
1.E-Commerce Continues to be a Major Focus
Over the past five years, e-commerce has become a force to reckon with in the world of consumer and retail goods. The novel coronavirus pandemic accelerated the shift from brick-and-mortar sellers to digital shop platforms. With fewer people visiting in-person shops, most existing retailers formed some sort of e-commerce arm to keep business alive during the peak months of quarantine. Now that many coronavirus restrictions have been lifted around the world, those businesses that began online stores are likely to continue maintaining their digital shops. This is good news for both business owners and consumers; business are able to expand their potential consumer base, and shoppers can have specialty good delivered right to their doorsteps.
2.New and Start-Up Companies Rely on Contract Labor
Many companies and businesses shrank considerably from 2019 to 2021. At the peak of the pandemic and related layoffs, workers began turning toward independent contractor work. This means they became 1099 contractors rather than W-2 employees. According to an MBO Partners poll, 48 percent of U.S. adults have worked as independent contractors during their careers, and that figure will only continue to rise.
For businesses, this means two things: Excess capital and a system shift. Businesses who come to rely primarily on independent contractor labor are often freed from the financial burdens that come with hiring employees, like providing health insurance and paid time off. On the other side, however, businesses will need to pursue human resources and payroll tools that can accommodate both 1099 and W-2 workers. For businesses who are already established, a shift like this could mean learning to be flexible and comfortable with change.
3.Remote Positions Are Now Standard
Alongside the growth of e-commerce and contract labor, remote positions are in greater demand now than in any other period in history. According to a Gallup Poll, remote work will remain a persisting and near-permanent trend. Around 45 percent of full-time employees were working either partly or fully remotely in September 2021, and nine in 10 of those remote workers want to continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future.
Remote work can benefit both businesses and employees. On the business side, having an entirely remote workforce allows for some reduction in overhead spend. Without the cost of office space and other real estate, revenue is free to grow. Auxiliary costs associated with real estate, like janitorial services and employee perks like food, will also shrink to near zero. On the employee side, remote work can contribute to a higher quality of life through increased freedom and flexibility.