April 18, 2021

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The Water Cooler: The Future of Work, Post-Vaccine

There are now more than 740 million LinkedIn members who use our platform to engage with one another and discuss content that’s important to them — inside and outside the office. In this quarterly edition of the Water Cooler, we’re taking a deeper dive into the articles that are receiving the most engagement — comments, shares, and likes — from marketing leaders on LinkedIn. 

In the past year, companies were forced to transition to a remote or hybrid workforce, causing a fundamental shift in the traditional workday. And though the COVID vaccine is now a reality, the business community will continue experiencing the ripple effects from the pandemic as they are faced with managing the return back to the office. As a result, it’s not surprising that in the past three months, marketing professionals on our platform homed in on content that revolves around what work looks like post-COVID.

The Nos. 2 and 3 articles on our list maintain that business leaders shouldn’t expect the pace of change to slow down anytime soon. While there is an appetite to return to in-person work environments, the pandemic has fast-forwarded the cultural shift to remote work. In the No. 2 post on our list, McKinsey & Co. estimates that more than 20% of the global workforce (most in high-skilled jobs in sectors such as finance, insurance, and IT) can work the majority of time away from the office — and be just as effective.

In fact, as most companies continue to grapple with how to move back to the office, tech companies like Salesforce and Spotify are rolling out more flexible work options for their employees. In the No. 10 article on our list, Salesforce declares the 9-to-5 workday dead, while the No 8. article examines Spotify’s “Work from Anywhere” model that lets employees choose to work in the office or at home.

The Covid-19 pandemic also brought the importance of wellbeing into focus, as employers realized the impact of mental health on employees and, consequently, the workplace. According to Gartner research, by late March, 68% of organizations had introduced at least one new wellness benefit to aid employees during the pandemic. As LinkedIn members continue to explore the future of work, mental health is another topic marketing professionals on our platform zeroed-in on. The No. 9 article examines the power of a simple walk for boosting wellbeing immediately, while No. 5 provides actionable advice to help fight chronic workplace stress exacerbated by the pandemic: “Combating burnout may feel like an overwhelming and herculean task, especially after months of emotional fatigue, but if you’re armed with the right tools, it can be easier than you might think,” writes Harvard Business Review’s Jennifer Moss.

Here are the top 10 articles marketing professionals were engaged with on LinkedIn in the past three months.

Top 10 Most Engaging Articles on LinkedIn in Q1

  1. Tim Cook May Have Just Ended Facebook By Justin Bariso | Inc.
  2. The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021—and beyond  By Kevin Sneader and Shubham Singhal | McKinsey & Co.
  3. 9 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2021 and Beyond By Brian Kropp | Harvard Business Review
  4. Good Leadership Is About Asking Good Questions By John Hagel III | Harvard Business Review
  5. Beyond Burned Out By Jennifer Moss | Harvard Business Review
  6. Email from Jeff Bezos to employees By Jeff Bezos | Amazon
  7. Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome By Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey | Harvard Business Review
  8. Spotify will let employees work from anywhere even after Covid-19 pandemic | Business Standard
  9. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Walk By Deborah Grayson Riegel | Harvard Business Review
  10. Salesforce declares the 9-to-5 workday dead, will let some employees work remotely from now on By Nick Statt | The Verge

The list of top topics discussed on LinkedIn in the past three months range from Technology to Finance and Economy to Medical Sciences. In this quarter’s list, you’ll find topics – including Health, Medicine, Society and Culture, and Careers and Employment – that embody the post-vaccine, back-to-work conversation happening on our platform. 

Top 10 Topics Discussed on LinkedIn in Q1

  1. Technology
  2. Politics and Law
  3. Business and Management
  4. Finance and Economy
  5. Health
  6. Science and Environment
  7. Medicine
  8. Society and Culture
  9. Medical Sciences
  10. Careers and Employment

The list of top hashtags reflects some of the fastest-growing conversations on LinkedIn. Hashtags like #choosetochallenge, #iwd2021, and #conversationsforchange shows that discussions centered on racial and gender equity are also growing on LinkedIn.

Top 10 Hashtags on LinkedIn in Q1

  1. #choosetochallenge
  2. #iwd2021
  3. #clubhouse
  4. #davosagenda
  5. #recruitment2021
  6. #amazonmilitary
  7. #ces2021
  8. #conversationsforchange
  9. #internship2021
  10. #behindthemissionwbg

Lessons for Marketers

For most marketers, the better part of your past year was spun into chaos as plans were thrown out the window and most of your energy was spent reacting and adapting to immediate challenges.

However, after a full year of lockdown and with vaccine distribution ramping up, we are – slowly, but surely – inching toward normalcy. Marketers are now in a position to take a look ahead and plan for success in this reshaped business environment. 

Though we see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, the business community will continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. To help you kickstart your marketing in this new era, check out our collection of our best practical and tactical resources that focus on helping brands and marketers return to growth in 2021 and beyond.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the posts that are attracting the readership of professionals on LinkedIn, previous Water Cooler articles can be found here. And to keep pace with the latest thinking in marketing, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog today.