In 2021, the term ‘survival of the fittest’ refers to not just financial well-being, but also health and social well-being.

Gan Ta Loong, Managing Director, Barco South East Asia

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, while governments and policy-makers work closely with industry leaders to be more resilient to future global risks, organizations must continue to accelerate technology adoption and innovation. Digital is here to stay and will eventually integrate into every system and workplace to boost productivity.

Here are four key aspects that local businesses need to keep tabs on in this new year, according to Gan Ta Loong, Managing Director, Barco South East Asia

  1. Build an effective and secure hybrid workforce
    This year, executive leaders need to change established business models to ensure business continuity and growth in the short and long terms.

    As hybrid working models become mainstream, workplaces are expected to be more flexible. These ‘workplaces without boundaries’ will also increase vulnerabilities and security concerns. To be effective, solutions adopted must address the security, connectivity and productivity needs of the organization.
  2. Stay productive by balancing work and leisure
    Employees should still be working from home for at least half their working time, at least according to the government of Singapore. Given that we are expecting hybrid working to continue, businesses need to encourage the less-tech-savvy workforce to stay motivated and focused as well as prioritize employee safety and well-being.

    According to our recent survey, 63% of respondents said they enjoyed working from home less now than they did at the start of the pandemic, citing challenges in collaborating with colleagues, struggling to contribute to meetings and missing the social side of office life, as the main reasons for wanting to return to the office. Organizations need to relook their company policies and think of solutions to overcome these challenges to emotional well-being and workplace culture and practices.
  3. Ideate and innovate
    The development of frontier technologies such as AI, IoT, robotics, blockchain, photonics, biotech, and quantum computing is expected to help businesses upscale opportunities as they become more accessible. Businesses can capitalize on this trend to invest in research and development as well as technology bets to gain a competitive advantage over their peers.
  4. Remember: now is the time to reskill
    At the 2019 World Economic Forum, a key concern raised was the global skills gap. Leadership, culture, and technology have to work hand in hand to deliver quantifiable results for organizations.

    Through upskilling or reskilling programs organizations can develop a workforce that is equipped to meet business goals. Global businesses are seeing a need for attention and investment towards employees’ skill development. As we move towards economic recovery in 2021 and beyond, businesses need to pivot ahead, given that the only thing that will be constant is change. According to Gan, it is never too late to learn: “It gives us superpowers. As Charles Darwin said, the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”