November 25, 2021

November Trends to Watch

4 min read
By Maryam Mohamedali
Looking for inspiration, trends, and rumblings that could impact our industry?


Each month, we scan for signals of change and select three people-focused themes to reflect on. This month, we explore why the need for personal satisfaction is driving non-linear “micro-careers“, how remote working and inclusivity are normalising asynchronous working, and how internal mobility opportunities are helping organisations curb the mass exodus crisis.



From Climb to Continuum; from Linear to Non-Linear.

An individual’s career path is more likely to be defined by curiosity, the search for purpose and exploration, rather than the simple desire to climb to the top. The outcome? Career paths are increasingly being described as non-linear and unorthodox as people zigzag between roles and companies.

 This trend is being driven by the rise of…
  • Psychological Richness: A recent study published in Psychological Review suggests that personal satisfaction requires we be exposed to a variety of interesting and perspective-changing experiences. This has spurred a growing debate on the purpose of our work.
  • Radical Reinvention: The World Economic Forum’s “The Future of Jobs” report estimates that by 2025, 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines, while 97 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labour between humans, machines, and algorithms. The emergence of these new roles will continue to push us towards a reskilling revolution as we learn to work with each other in new and unfamiliar ways.
One thing you can do to be ready for this?

Develop a perspective on what the high-value transferrable skills are in your organisation. Then incorporate this into your learning and development offering, and your recruitment and retention strategies.



When I want, Where I want.

The return to work after 18 months of working from home has bred conversation and reflection around how we work best, and in many cases, stirred the desire to freely choose how and where we work. This has led us to ‘asynchronous working’ – that is, people on the same team working at different times.

 This trend is being driven by the rise of…
  • Remote working: A recent study found that 1 in 4 workers said they would take a 10% to 20% pay cut to work flexibly post-pandemic. The accelerated shift to remote working brought on by the pandemic has made many conclude that in addition to the physical office being optional, so should real-time communication and shared work schedules.
  • Inclusivity: Inclusivity is on the brain. D&I roles have grown by 67% over the last five years in EMEA. In addition to this, the pandemic showed us that e-learning and virtual training had a unique potential to reach audiences in all corners of the globe, making L&D offerings more accessible and inclusive. It also showed us that work-life could be more inclusive, as we moved fluidly between Zoom calls and personal, home-life demands. Given that we have become accustomed to this flexibility, there is a growing acknowledgement that allowing individual autonomy and being inclusiveness of individual work-life needs are the way forward.
One thing you can do to be ready for this?

Take a pulse check of your employees. Map out their collective needs when it comes to work-life balance, and co-create feasible solutions with them.



Companies are creating mobility within their businesses by providing opportunities for their employees to diversify internally. In some cases, we’re seeing micro roles – roles that take up 12% or 13% of someone’s time – being posted internally, providing anyone within the organisation an opportunity to apply for them. Beyond mobility, it’s a way for businesses to leverage the collective intelligence of their employee-base, while also providing them with some much-needed variety.

 This trend is being driven by the rise of…
  • Portfolio Careers: In the US, the number of freelance workers is steadily on the rise and is expected to reach 90.1 million by 2028, which is roughly half of the whole American workforce. Many are choosing a work-life characterized by variety and choice – opting to work in multiple roles rather than a single role at a single organization.
  • The Great Realignment: Earlier this year, 41% of workers globally were considering leaving their employer. Masses of people are re-evaluating what it is they truly want to do. Is their current role fulfilling? Should they be doing something else? Are they having the impact they want to have?
One thing you can do to be ready for this?

Open up opportunities for people to grow and develop across your organisation, rather than within one specific role only.

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