Workforce trends coming in 2022

It’s mind-boggling to consider the many ways the world will be different after COVID-19. True, the world is different now than it was before the pandemic, but we know these conditions won’t last forever. Work-from-home mandates will fade, governmental restrictions will lift, and someday, in the not-so-distant future, we’ll be able to stand within six feet of each other.

But still, the world will never be the same. For years to come, we’ll be on high alert for infections and viruses; employees around the world have threatened to quit their jobs if required to return to the office full time; companies have learned that employees work best with flexibility in their workdays.

Over the next few years, trends will be rising as companies toil to figure out what works best for their workforce. Here are some up-and-coming trends that are set to take off in 2022.

Hybrid working

Although some companies have moved away from offices toward fully-remote working conditions, for some occupations this shift simply isn’t an option or optimal. For most companies, there will always be value in onsite workdays.

Let’s break down the hybrid concept. First, you have a centralized workspace model where every employee is expected to work onsite. Netflix, for example, intends to maintain a centralized workforce after the pandemic.

On the other hand, you have a decentralized model where all employees are off-site. Quora is an example of a company that has switched to a fully-remote model.

Throughout the middle exists hybrid work. If you look at the spectrum of companies “going remote,” you’ll find nearly every one of them plans to maintain some office space to facilitate in-person collaboration. Nearly all of the top, most prestigious companies are adopting hybrid models, including Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and so many more.

 

hybrid

 

While the above model is pretty black and white — you’re either in the office, out of the office, or somewhere in between — the hybrid spectrum is less so. To go hybrid is similar to what it’s like to be a frog: some frogs prefer to stay in the water and some prefer land. How often they stay on land or in water is up to the frog, yet doesn’t make them any less of a frog.

Hybrid models can lean toward a centralized hybrid model or a decentralized one. Which one your company chooses depends on your company: what products or services you offer, what level of collaboration is required…

The diagram below shows where some of the top companies land on the hybrid spectrum.

 

hybrid

 

Hybrid is the new must-have trend if you want to compete with the top companies. Thanks to these top trendsetters, employees have been demanding hybrid work conditions. Studies have shown that remote and hybrid employees not only are productive, but happier too. Companies who fail to go hybrid risk losing their top talent to companies who do, making hybrid work the hottest trend of 2022.

AI-augmented workforce

Remember when the general population feared automation would take away jobs? The smarter computers get, the less we’ll need humans, right?

Wrong. The smarter computers get, the more freedom we have to advance and create new jobs. According to Forbes, artificial intelligence will create 58 million new jobs by 2022. That’s a hella’ lot of jobs.

However, with the introduction of AI, roles will indeed change. For example, while many receptionists are currently struggling with visitor and employee health screening forms, some tech companies are rolling out automated solutions.

Consider Joan’s visitor management system. Joan already has office management tools in our repertoire, so throwing a free, customizable health screening questionnaire for our clients wasn’t a stretch. The visitor management system collects essential information, including the date of the visit, check-in and check-out time, visitor’s name and contact information, plus a customizable questionnaire. Automating the check-in process leaves receptionists to focus on what matters: the visitor experience.

Another example of effective AI is automating more managerial tasks. With many employees working remotely at least some of the time, managers are hard to put to make connections with their team members. Automating some of their day-to-day processes can leave managers free to engage with their employees and build relationships.

Automation not only eliminates human error but frees employees to excel at their jobs and take on new roles.

Employee analytics

When considering employee analytics, it’s important to remember that these statistics aren’t intended to patrol individuals. If an employee is underperforming, it’s likely they’re lacking tools or opportunities to be effective on the job.

Therefore, it’s important for managers to be able to collect data of both in-office and remote employee experiences.

For example, Joan offers an all-around office management system. The system collects room and space statistics including room utilization rates, weekly meeting patterns, who books rooms, how many bookings result in no-shows…

Ultimately, the statistics aren’t designed to target individual employees, but to identify which teams value meeting rooms the most, which rooms are underperforming, and other essential information to help office managers improve the in-office experience.

With office models changing around the world, it’s now more important than ever to track employee and workspace analytics. Today, most companies are on even footing, finessing hybrid conditions through trial and error. Keep up with your competition by capitalizing on what data and analytics you can collect.

HR transformation

House prices aren’t the only thing that’s inflated during the pandemic — it seems the competition for talent has skyrocketed too. This year, companies are rushing to cater to the top talent in their fields, indulging job seekers for a change.

How the tables have turned where it’s not just the interviewee bending over backward. According to a survey conducted by Korn Ferry, three-quarters of interviewees would turn down a job if they were treated poorly in the interview process. Typically, it’s the top talent candidates who feel confident enough to turn down a job offer based on how unfriendly the company was.

These days, it’s up to Human Resources (HR) to find new ways to attract and keep talent. In a world of remote or hybrid work, it’s challenging to retain new hires and immerse them in the company culture. Therefore, HR teams are finding new ways to interact with and onboard employees.

Employee analytics are indispensable to HR teams. With analytics, they can discover why employees are leaving the organization and then make changes in the company model to retain them. For example, in September 2021, a record-breaking 4.4 million workers quit their jobs in the USA. 43 percent of individuals have been quitting in favor of remote work conditions.

Luckily for HR, statistics offer an idea of why employees leave and how to stem the turnover. By implementing hybrid work conditions, many of the companies affected can retain their talent.

Much-needed soft skills

Soft skills, also known as power skills or core skills, are the fundamental skills employees use day to day no matter what their role is. These skills include leadership, teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills, plus employee adaptability and work ethic.

Now-a-days, these skills rely on more than ever. For example, remote employees need to have strong communication skills to contribute well to their team. To move from in-office to remote working requires adaptability, especially for ongoing hybrid conditions. Also, for an employee to work well unsupervised, they need a strong work ethic.

Do you see how soft skills are key to a hybrid future? These days, companies are all about maintaining their current talent and filling open roles from within the organization. Cultivating soft skills in your employees can set them up to fill major roles in the future. The trend is all about growing and fostering employees’ growth within the company, rather than hiring fresh each time a role needs to be filled or an employee underperforms.

Takeaway

The thing about office trends is that they’re not as frivolous as the latest hot clothing fad — they actually work and give your company the boost it needs to stay current.

Most 2022 workforce trends are centered around one key concept: hybrid work. Through trial and error, companies are figuring out how to bridge the gap between on-site and remote working. Moving forward, organizations need new ways to engage employees. New technologies, statistics, and trends are in high demand as we muddle our way into a new era.

The race is on. For once, companies are starting on a similar footing. How well or poorly a company handles this shift may determine how well they hold up against the competition.

For more information on how Joan can help your transition, contact us here