The year 2020 has been the most unprecedented in this era. Since the pandemic struck, the business sector has been evolving to cope with the changing times. The huge reliance on technology for people to keep in touch has changed the future of work forever.

According to Entrepreneur, Southeast Asia keeps embracing the phenomenon of remote work, and there is constant growth there. It is expected that more and more people will join the remote workforce in this part of the world. Such a change is just the tip of the iceberg! Here is what the future looks like for work in 2021:   

Increased attention to staff wellness

Remote work has been there for decades but with the advent of the pandemic, more people have been forced to work from home. While it saves both you and employees some money, remote working also presents a set of challenges. Working in isolation can have adverse effects on people’s mental health.

Also, when people are not in the right frame of mind, there is a high chance that their productivity will be reduced immensely. Therefore in 2021, organizations in Southeast Asia will be more committed to assisting professionals who work from home connect with other on-site staff seamlessly. The objective of fostering such connection is to reduce any mental stress that your staff may have developed while working from home.

Developing a psychologically safe working space is not going to be easy, given that change is hard. However, it is going to be a necessity for your company to thrive in the already competitive Asian market.

Work flexibility will stay

One thing that has been evident in 2020 is that you do not need fixed work schedules to get things done. This is because the telework experience has proved that employees can work efficiently, maintain their responsiveness, and productivity on their terms. All your employees can now fit in a Zoom conference call where you can delegate assignments and hear from them about project progress. There are also numerous applications that you can use to manage their work and trace their progress.

Additionally, in the processing of streamlining communication, you may want to encourage your staff to compress large files when they need to share them. Lastly, given you have minimal control over people working away from the office. Therefore, people are going to embrace work flexibility because it is beneficial to both you and your employees.

However, to keep them engaged in their work, you will have to sensitize the need for them to work harder to meet their targets. You can achieve this through virtual training and workshops.

Reduced business travel

Even with the discovery of COVID-19 vaccines, international business travel will not bounce back in 2021. The sole reason for this is because people have embraced virtual conferences and meetings. Virtual meetings have become more efficient as new applications to facilitate them continue to be developed. They also save you a lot of money and time that you would spend traveling and finding suitable accommodation at your destination.

Furthermore, tech tools, such as VPNs, can be used to make remote employees log into the office network from anywhere in the world. You can check good reviews of different VPNs to get informed about the benefits of various services. Additionally, due to the pandemic, most people find it safer to have virtual meetings than to travel.

Thanks to the advancements in technology, accompanied by the cost-effective nature of virtual meetings and growing travel anxiety ensures all trips are reduced to a minimum. No business travel might mean reduced profits for airlines. However, this might change along the way!

A rise in demand for contractual employees

The rates of outsourcing services in Southeast Asia will be on the rise. More companies are employing temporary workers on a need basis. Given how many businesses reduced the number of their employees this year, there is a likelihood that there is going to be mass rehiring of people via contract. The times when people used to hire staff permanently with full benefits are going to come to an end given that most people also wish to be hired on a contractual basis and work remotely.


The coronavirus pandemic has redefined work in such a way that Asian employers will be more committed to the welfare of their employees; they will embrace work flexibility, reduce their business travel, and outsource more services. While these changes are inevitable, some of them are bound to change the future of work forever!

Posted by Outside Contributor

From time to time, we are glad to feature outside authors who contribute to BizzMarkBlog with their insights and experience. This is one of those features.