Future of Work: 5 Biggest Workplace Trends in 2022

Many have written extensively about the dramatic changes that took place in our work lives over the past two years. This was largely due to safety concerns and necessity. The pandemic will still be a part of our daily lives in 2022. It’s safe to say, however, that we have learned to adapt to changing behavior patterns and expectations while doing our jobs. We can hopefully strike a better balance between our home life and work lives if we are one of the millions of “knowledge workers”.

Although there’s much to be written about the shift away from centralized offices and central workplaces, there are still many professions that this is not an option. Hybrid workplaces are unlikely to have much impact on the day-to-day lives of frontline workers in healthcare and transport. They will likely be affected by the other trends listed. Technology opens up new ways to work and continues to change our relationship with our workplaces.

Hybrid working

There will be three main models for where we work: centralized workplaces or decentralized remote organizations. The hybrid approach is the best of both. In 2022, it is more likely that workers will be able to choose their own model, rather than being forced into one.

The idea of a central workplace is clearly changing the way organizations think about it. According to research from KPMG, 69% of large corporations expected a decrease in office space at the height of the 2020 pandemic.

Companies can have permanent, central offices that are equipped with hot-desking. Or they could rely on co-working spaces or serviced meeting rooms to meet the needs of remote workers.

A recent report by Loom video messaging platform found that 90% of workers surveyed, including managers, are happier working from home. This suggests that this trend is likely to continue as we move into 2022.


AI-augmented workforce

According to the World Economic Forum , AI and automation will result in the creation of 97,000,000 new jobs by 2025. People in existing jobs will see their roles change as AI technology is expected to enhance their abilities. This AI technology will initially be used to automate repetitive tasks in workers’ day-to-day jobs and let them focus on areas that require more human touch, such as creativity, imagination, strategy or emotional intelligence. Lawyers who use AI to reduce the time required to review case histories to find precedents. Doctors who have computer vision capabilities will be able to analyze medical records and scans to diagnose illnesses in patients. Augmented analytics is a tool that helps retail managers plan inventory and logistics. It also helps sales assistants predict what shoppers will be searching for as they enter the store. Marketers have a growing number of tools to help them target audiences and create campaigns. In engineering and manufacturing, workers will have more access to technology to help them understand the machinery and predict when breakdowns might occur.


Resilience Staffing

Prior to the pandemic, it was important to find staff to create efficient organizations. The emphasis has moved strongly to resilience in the middle and after the pandemic. Built-in redundancy and overlaps in skills may have been considered inefficient in the past, but they are now seen as a prudent precaution.

Another sub-trend is that employers are beginning to recognize the importance of incorporating employee health and wellness strategies (including mental health) into their business plans. Many employers are taking on more responsibility for their employees’ financial, physical, and mental well-being. Companies will face this challenge in 2022. They must find ways to achieve their goals without being intrusive or intrusive on employees’ personal and private lives.

It is essential to ensure that a workforce is healthy enough for a business to continue to run. However, it also includes the implementation of flexible processes with built-in redundancies. This will help to reduce operational efficiency. As we move into 2022, these processes will play an increasing role in the daily lives of workers.


Less emphasis on roles and more on skills

Gartner states that “To build the workforce after a pandemic, you need to focus less on roles, which are unrelated skills, and more on the skills required to drive the organization’s competitive advantage, and the workflows that fuel it.”

Because they address core business issues, skills are essential. They also provide the competencies required to build a workforce that can overcome those challenges. Roles are the relationship between individuals and an organizational structure. This trend has been evident for some time. We have seen a shift towards “flatter” organizational structures, as opposed to hierarchical teams that are based on a chain-of-command, direct reporting approach to problem-solving and communication. Businesses can focus on their skills to address the fact that solving core business questions and finding solutions is key to innovation and success in information-age companies.

The worker’s perspective is that focusing on their skills rather than their ability to perform their job effectively puts them in a better position to take advantage of new career opportunities. In 2022, this shift from roles to skills will be a major trend for both workers and organizations.


Analytics and monitoring employees

Despite being controversial, employers are investing more in technology to track and monitor employees’ behavior in order to improve efficiency. Managers who manage remote workers are finding it useful to use platforms such as Aware, which allows them to track employee behavior via email and other tools like Slack. This platform builds upon functionality from earlier Hitachi products like Business Microscope, which tracked staff movements around office blocks. It can be used to monitor how many workers are using Slack and email to track their productivity.

It would be very easy for companies use these tools in an overbearing way or intrusive manner that their workers would find objectionable. This would, in my opinion, be a recipe to disaster. The idea behind these tools is, at the very least, to provide broad oversights of employee behavior and not just to focus on individual activity, but to be used as tools to enforce discipline. This technology is a delicate investment. It remains to be seen if the net effect on productivity will be positive or negative. It’s likely that the result will be the worst for the companies involved. This technology is likely to play an increasing role in the workplace through 2022, whether it’s for good or bad.

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