In my business, I’m always looking ahead at new trends and potential setbacks. I understood that companies were working toward a future of more remote work and dependence on technology, but I never expected it to happen as fast as it has. If you’d asked me about the future of work last year, I would have said that we’ll see more companies going digital in the next three-five years. Then COVID hit, and companies were forced to transition in a matter of months.

This acceleration has forced people to adopt technology super fast. Some companies are sinking, and some are thriving.

To make sure we all have the most excellent chance of success, I still believe it’s vital to continue looking ahead.

I expect to see the adoption of more technological capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, to accelerate. In the next few years, I believe we’ll see more collaboration with AI to generate ideas and perform repetitive pieces of companies’ processes.

I also expect that locations will change for workers and events. As we’ve seen from the shift to remote work, it doesn’t matter where people are located as long as they have an internet connection. So, it won’t be easy to convince people to travel across the country for meetings that can efficiently be conducted from home.

In a similar vein, companies planning in-person events will have to consider what technology to utilize for a more inclusive environment. Who knows how long COVID will go on? We have to make sure everybody is safely included. I imagine a future with various hybrid events where people who can attend in-person do so safely, and those who can’t can still participate from a distance.

Whatever happens, it’s essential to keep your team and your customers engaged.

I know how easy it is to forget about personal interactions and celebrations when you’re not all in one location. We all have to make an effort to engage our customers in new, unique ways. We also have to make sure our employees know they’re appreciated. An easy way to do this is to celebrate people – hold virtual birthdays, employee award ceremonies, or happy hours. You don’t have to invest a lot of time or money to make people feel special. A little time and thought will go a long way in helping your team and business stay afloat.