The coronavirus pandemic led to some massive shifts in the workplace in 2020–with 2021 looking to be a continuation of that for at least the first half of the year. Work from home is the new normal for many people. However, an interesting new report out from Airtable examined how various workplace changes impacted one sector specifically in 2020: retail.
The most interesting finding in the report is when it looked at whether employees had taken on any new responsibilities in the workplace as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It found that, overall, an astonishing 93% of respondents said they took on new responsibilities. Notably, these new responsibilities came even if their companies hired more employees in 2020.
As for the range of responsibilities the respondents took on:
- 46% said they took on additional projects or programs.
- 44% said they took on a broader range of functions.
- 39% said they took on responsibilities related to e-commerce.
- 36% said their new responsibilities were duties from other departments than the one they were in.
- 31% said they were supervising more employees.
Looking ahead, the same report asked retailers what they think 2021 will bring. Post-pandemic, 23% of retailers expect their company to only be an in-office work environment. More than half (56%) said they would take the hybrid approach (in-office and remote), and 16% said they would be an all-remote workplace.
And in some good news: 63% said they expected hiring to increase in 2021, while another 30% said they expect hiring to stay about the same. Only 6% said they expected hiring to decrease “somewhat” and just 1% said they expected hiring to decrease “substantially.”
The research for Airtable’s “2021 Retail Outlook Report” was carried out online between December 8 and December 15, 2020. It involved 641 respondents, including full-time employees in the retail, e-commerce, and fashion sectors.