• Insights

The Word 2021:
Forces for Change

Authors
Deborah Ishihara
Content Manager
James Davies
Partner - United Kingdom
Lewis Silkin
Chris Engels
Chris Engels
Partner - Belgium
Claeys & Engels
Emanuela Nespoli
Partner - Italy
Toffoletto De Luca Tamajo
Anne-Laure Périès
Partner - France
Capstan Avocats
Kathryn Weaver
Partner - Hong Kong
Lewis Silkin (Hong Kong)
Tiffany Downs
Partner - United States
FordHarrison LLP
Marcela Salazar
Partner - Chile
Munita & Olavarría
Chile
25.02.21
6
In 2020, our lawyers around the world worked tirelessly to give their clients COVID-related advice. In 2021, we asked them to look beyond the more immediate issues and offer insights into the future of work.

For the 2021 edition of The Word 2021: Forces for Change, we conducted research involving over 500 clients based in more than 25 countries around the world. Amongst the results, we found that our client respondents are not wholly daunted by COVID-19, despite the immense pressures it puts on them: 38% think the changes accelerated by COVID-19 will be positive in the long run, with only 8% thinking the reverse. In this edition of The Word, we take a look at this longer perspective and offer employers insights and guidance for the road ahead.

The Word 2021 covers a whole range of topics on the world of work and we hope you will find it useful and engaging. Download the full publication just below or read it online at the end of this page. 

The Word 2021: Forces for Change

COVID-19 has put employment issues centre stage in a way that has never been seen before. From remote working, to cybersecurity, through diversity and inclusion, mental health, corporate purpose and, finally, a gaze at the future of the city, this 2021 edition of The Word draws on our legal expertise and truly reflects the global reach of our alliance of 59 countries.

What's inside

1. STATE SUPPORT: THE NEW NORMAL?

How will the long-term impact of COVID-19 reshape state support for employees and employers? Read the full article by James Davies here.

2. NEGOTIATING A NEW FUTURE

As the working world rapidly evolves, how can organisations safeguard employee rights and wellbeing? Read the full article by Chris Engels here.

3. WORK PERKS OF TOMORROW

In a world of remote and flexible work, what room is there for the kind of workplace perks that used to be so critical for employee attraction and retention? Read the full article here.

4. STRUGGLING TO WORK OUT REMOTE WORK?

Global lockdowns led to greater remote working – but what does this mean for the future of work? Read the full article here.

5. CYBERSECURITY: EDUCATE TO MITIGATE

How can global business leaders make sure digital productivity while ensuring security measures aren’t overlooked?

6. INNOVATION LAUNCHPAD

What impact has COVID-19 had on D&I? We ask a start-up, an SME, and a larger enterprise? Read the full article here.

7. IS MENTAL HEALTH STRESSING OUT SMEs?

With new regulations on the horizon, are small businesses ready and willing to better safeguard employee mental health? Read the full article here.

8. REIMAGINING PURPOSE

To drive success in the New Normal, organisations will need to establish a strong sense of purpose.

9. A CENTRIFUGAL TOMORROW

COVID-19 is fundamentally changing the world we live in, but what impact will the societal changes of the past year have on the future of work?

Our research for The Word 2021

We conducted some research for The Word 2021, asking our clients in around 25 countries for their views on a variety of work-related issues and how they expect them to pan out over the coming years. The results have directly informed the articles we have written for The Word. Here are some of our findings:

Despite the severe disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and the staggered rollout of government support, most organisations say they have been fairly well supported by the state:

Flexible and remote working trends look set to persist in the short-to-mid term:

The top organisational challenges of continued remote working are these:

Employees will work more flexibly and remotely, untethered from the office – especially in larger organisations:

As a result of using more technology, organisations have opened themselves up to a greater risk of a cybersecurity incident:

COVID-19 looks likely to impact D&I efforts in the next 1-3 years:

The impact of increased remote working on employee mental health:

Organisational relationships with the office in the next 24 months:

 

You can download ‘The Word: Forces for Change’ report below. Also, make sure to check our Global HR Law Guide, covering the employment law journey from recruitment to pensions – with everything in between – in 50 countries.

The Word 2021: Forces for Change

COVID-19 has put employment issues centre stage in a way that has never been seen before. From remote working, to cybersecurity, through diversity and inclusion, mental health, corporate purpose and, finally, a gaze at the future of the city, this 2021 edition of The Word draws on our legal expertise and truly reflects the global reach of our alliance of 59 countries.