Key Business Trends for 2021
Thought leadership research firm TrendCandy announced a forecast of top business trends for 2021 based on research conducted in 2020. TrendCandy surveyed tens of thousands of people on various topics including chatbots, open offices, COVID, political division, small businesses, career mobility, Black Friday, remote work, corporate travel and co-working.
TrendCandy’s top business trend predictions for 2021 cover the future of chatbots, open offices, COVID, small businesses, career mobility, Black Friday, remote work, corporate travel and co-working. In 2020, more customers expected to interact with a chatbot for customer service than with a human. In 2021, chatbots and humans will become progressively indistinguishable for customer service experiences.
In 2020, 62% of creative leaders said creative professionals at their company need to move out of a creative field in order to advance to an executive-level position. But in 2021, as brand power becomes a greater strategic asset to defend against imitations, IP theft, and parity products, creative professionals who understand design, messaging, story and image will see more access to the C-suite and boardroom.
Nearly 7 out of 10 commercial landlords in 2020 said co-working will be a more important part of their leasing strategy. In 2021, as they look to lease office space amid the continued uncertainty of COVID-19, companies will seek flexible options that enable them to move in quickly and avoid making long-term lease commitments.
Employees in 2020 wanted three main things from office space, open or not: natural light, quiet places to focus, and free snacks and drinks. While not a fad, open offices are evolving in 2021 into something new. Modern office design is borrowing elements from home: private nooks, stocked kitchens, lounge furniture, and comforting decor.
In 2020, 74% of small businesses were still optimistic about their future despite the COVID lockdown. And in 2021, as long as small businesses get a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lifeline for the final stretch of the COVID crisis, the future is bright for small businesses as they’re well positioned for the return of customers and the economy.
In 2020, shoppers stayed home because of COVID, and 8 in 10 said that even if retailers offered fantastic in-store experiences, they still wouldn’t go shopping during the pandemic. But in 2021, retailers will adapt, a vaccination is available, states are opening, and shoppers are gaining their confidence back.
In 2020, more businesses had lost a sale because they didn’t accept the customer’s preferred payment type than had lost a sale due to bad reviews. Businesses are expanding the types of payments they accept in 2021. Bitcoin? Venmo? Text payment?
In 2020, 31% of employees admitted they had worked drunk from home compared to 9% who admitted to working drunk at the office. Productivity is slipping the longer employees work remotely. In 2021, employers will adopt hybrid policies that allow employees to alternate working at home and in the office.
TrendCandy conducts survey research to create original ideas that spread. Thought leadership research generated by TrendCandy has been covered by hundreds of media outlets, including Bloomberg, Business insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fortune Harvard Business Review, Inc Magazine, TechCrunch and Time. Brands like SAP, Disney Resorts, Audible, 3M, Meredith Media, Ancestry and Pinterest use insights from TrendCandy to create conversations, advance relationships, and win a greater share of the future.