The state of work has never looked as different as it does now. COVID-19 has profoundly changed how people look at a job and their careers in general, and will continue do so for the foreseeable future. With continuous ups and downs in sight, it’s highly probable that hybrid work environments based on remote workers and onsite teams will continue to emerge in 2022 and further develop.
Five trends for the future of work
Whether pure remote work is here to stay or it will come in a hybrid format, it’s undoubtedly going to be a factor in future employment. Here are some key trends to watch for in the coming year.
For some businesses, in-person work is an inevitability. Companies have been resistant to remote work in the past for many reasons, from data security to management styles. However, in the wake of COVID-19 and the Great Resignation, the labor market has shifted in a historic first.
Many companies will begin offering hybrid scheduling in a move to appease workers and retain talent. Employees will work from home for a set number of days per week. The rest of the time, they’ll work in the office.
This practice is already in place at many companies around the world. Moving forward, we will see more businesses adopting this strategy so they can hold onto good employees.
More respect for work-life balance
When companies first went remote, they took many initiatives to reduce the degree of burnout employees experienced. There were mental health check-ins, conference-call therapy sessions, and plenty of other projects aimed at keeping everyone from feeling isolated.
While this was helpful, ultimately, what worked best was creating a clear division between work and home life when employees were already in their homes. The pandemic caused people to evaluate their lives, and most people realized they were spending far too much time at work and not enough time on hobbies and passions.
This is why you can expect to see more of a focus on helping employees find true work-life balance.
New skills training
Upskilling is more important now than ever before. In fact, experts predict that without upskilling workers, vital industries such as architecture and tech will have hiring deficits in the millions.
Tangible, tech-savvy skills aren’t the only ones that will be in demand moving forward. Soft skills, including emotional intelligence and communication, will be in demand as they are highly valuable in a hybrid workspace.
To ensure long-term viability, companies will need to put more effort into professional development for employees to cultivate these skills. Luckily, there are many ways to accomplish this, even while working remote. Organizations can offer employees a budget to attend annual events or host in-house learning sessions, among other options.
Fewer conference calls
Many companies tried to keep up traditional office culture during the beginning of the pandemic by hosting multiple video conferences each day and week. Despite their intentions, the constant conference calls had the opposite effect on the workforce: as the number of meetings went up, Zoom fatigue skyrocketed.
While meetings are inevitable, the shorter and more to-the-point they are, the better. The ability to moderate a brief, informative meeting will become a highly valuable skill in 2022. If employees are exhausted from too many meetings, they won’t be productive, which further hurts the organization as a whole.
What’s more, as many studies proved and data collected in the past two years supports, voice calls might just be the missing key to workplace productivity struggles. Try giving a call instead of scheduling a meeting 🙂
Improved collaboration and tech integration
In Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work, employees reported difficulties with collaboration and communication as their second biggest challenge when working remotely. Organizations had to move quickly to integrate communication and collaboration tools when the pandemic first began. In 2022, they’ll need to take a closer look.
This year, companies will need to consider what has to be added to their tech stack to allow employees to do their jobs successfully regardless of their work location. To make hybrid environments truly work for all parties involved, companies need a robust communication and collaboration set-up. With a platform like Hubgets, employees have instant access to their communication in one place. And what’s even more important, they can turn company experience into searchable knowledge and put it to good use.
The state of work in 2022
In 2022, workforce expectations are going to dramatically change in historic ways. Before the pandemic, employees had to fight for the privilege of working from home. Moving forward, companies are going to offer hybrid work environments in order to remain competitive. And such combo of onsite people and remote workers poses challenges of its own.
Moreover, the focus will be on how to help employees learn new skills, stay productive while working from home, and manage their mental health during a challenging time in our world’s history. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it’s that change is constant—and there will likely be much more change in 2022.
Stay healthy and keep on rocking… I meant working 🙂