When the tale of 2020 is told, the headline will certainly be the impact of COVID-19. But that wasn’t the only thing above the fold. Social justice demonstrations, natural disasters, layoffs and furloughs, working parents’ stress, increasing remote work, and mental health struggles all took their turn in the spotlight and a toll on employee well-being, productivity and engagement. After a year that’s been anything but typical, looking back at the trends and insights of the past 12 months is much more challenging. It’s easy to write the year off as an outlier or anomaly; however, as change becomes the norm and agility the buzzword of the moment, a review of 2020 can hopefully provide the beginnings of the blueprint of how employers, benefits advisors and HR professionals can handle the continuing ripple effect of these issues in the months and years to come.

Related: A fresh start for benefits in 2021

It’s no wonder that, with so much on our plates, benefits technology and communication played second fiddle to other technology and communication priorities this year. Communication and technology focused on issues such as supporting safety for frontline workers; facilitating an overnight shift to working remotely for others; handling layoffs, furloughs and other job actions; and having overdue conversations around diversity and inclusion, to name a few. Yet, amidst a global health crisis and with so much other upheaval, it’s also true that benefits technology and communication was even more critical than usual to appropriately support employees and meet their evolving needs. So, how did we do?

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