The Top 6 Workplace Trends You Need To Know Post-COVID in 2022
The right resolutions help to keep a company's workforce connected and content.
By the Offsyte Team, December 22, 2021
As we approach the end of 2021, it’s only natural we look towards the New Year and start setting goals. Our goals are usually informed by the gap between where we are and where we would like to be. However, it’s also important to assess the social climate in which we find ourselves — especially as it relates to our careers.
Over the past two years, the conventional workplace has undergone a number of changes. Stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, and social distancing mandates all contributed to the “future of work”. We now form a part of a workplace that is increasingly remote, AI-enhanced, and sensitive to the needs of workers.
Taking all this into account, it’s fair to say that next year won’t be typical. Now is the perfect time to set career goals that are aligned with the workplace trends we expect to see in 2022.
- Decentralization of the Workplace
- Monitoring Employee Activity for Efficiency
- AI-Augmented Roles
- Identifying with Skills vs. Roles
- Virtual Company Culture
- Health & Wellness
1) Decentralization of the Workplace
Perhaps the most obvious trend is hybrid working, where employees are able to work not just from the office, but from home as well. Of course, this trend doesn’t apply to everyone. Remote work isn’t much of an option for frontline workers such as nurses, delivery personnel, or security guards. However, for millions of white collar workers, the decentralization of the workplace is completely transforming the way they view “work”.
For the first time in a long time (maybe, ever!) workers have a say in what they choose to call their work environment. Working parents can set up workstations at home and go into the office only or twice a week. Night owls can stay up late finishing reports and schedule them to be sent the next day, instead of presenting them at an 8 a.m, in-person meeting.
Although the level of flexibility differs from one company to another, employers are generally open to employees working their tasks around their personal schedules. It’s a workplace trend in 2022 that’s likely to stay strong in the years to come. Some of your career resolutions for the new year should be centered around how you can enhance your daily work environment and/or schedule, based on your personal needs.
2) Monitoring Employee Activity for Efficiency
With great power comes great responsibility. Solid advice from Spiderman that can easily be applied to today’s workplace. As power shifts from the hands of employers into the hands of employees, companies are trying to make sure this power isn’t being abused.
Employers are turning to technology that tracks employee behavior while they’re “out of sight”, so to speak. This technology is meant to report on how well workers are performing while they’re not in the office. Controversial as it may be, it has proven to be an effective tool in measuring efficiency. Employee-monitoring technology is being particularly well received by managers in charge of remote workforces.
As this trend continues to grow, consider whether or not being monitored while on the job is a 2022 workplace trend you enjoy. For some workers, it’s an added benefit, seeing as it helps them gain insight into their levels of productivity. For others, it may impede their natural workflow or creativity, in which case they may consider not being an employee at all and going the entrepreneurial route instead.
3) AI-Augmented Roles
As matters of efficiency and productivity start to gain more attention in the workplace, artificial intelligence has become increasingly relevant. The World Economic Forum predicts AI will create 97 million new positions by the end of 2025. However, it’s also true that AI will do away with some existing roles, as automation technology will change the way in which these roles are performed.
AI-augmented roles are expected to automate repetitive elements of workers’ jobs, allowing them to focus on areas requiring more high-level strategy, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Take for example a doctor who will be able to quickly assess medical records via computer vision capabilities and determine an accurate diagnosis. As a result, he or she can spend more time in conversation with the patient, helping them acclimate their new lifestyle changes and treatment plan.
Depending on what your role requires of you on a daily basis, you’ll want to assess how you can stay competitive as a worker in the coming year. Set some goals around how you can incorporate strategy, creativity, and emotional intelligence into your role. In this way, you’ll prepare yourself for the AI-related changes that are to come in the near future.
4) Identifying with Skills vs. Roles
Another way to stay competitive in the workforce is to start identifying more with your skill sets than with your title. Companies are realizing that skills, as opposed to roles, are what drives business forward. Roles typically describe how one worker relates to the rest of the company. They also designate where employees fall in the business’ organizational structure or hierarchy.
As offices become less centralized and companies start to get creative with titles given to new employees, roles are becoming less important in the workplace. Titles such as “Knowledge Architect” and “Head of People” are less focused on who you are in the company and more representative of what you actually do.
The hiring process will most likely start to look different, with more employers focused on the skills you possess, as opposed to the roles you’ve held in the past. Consider how you can upskill in the New Year to stay competitive in the workforce.
5) Virtual Company Culture
How can employers help keep their teams better connected and informed? Having a regular schedule that all teams understand and is openly shared and encouraging appropriate feedback from team members, not only can keep teams feeling heard but encourage them to listen.
At Offsyte, we focus on activities and events that build on communication and listening like our popular Team Trivia live-hosted competition, where employees can test themselves sound popular trivia questions or our dazzling interactive Magic Show, that will have the entire company gasping in disbelief.
Ultimately, by supporting employee flexibility and offering better benefits while remote, will foster an environment of openness. Employees who can better manage their personal and work life and feel that the company supports that, will ultimately be more successful.
6) Health & Wellness
Last, but certainly not least is the growing pressure employers feel to make sure their employees are healthy and well. The focus on health and wellness has proven to be a strong workplace trend since the onset of the pandemic.
As companies grappled with the economic downturn faced by most of the world during the health crisis of 2020, several employees felt unappreciated and unheard. The result was a mass exodus of workers across all industries in 2021, where employees left one company for another in search of greater work-life-balance.
To avoid losing valuable talent, companies have decided to incorporate elements such as mental-health days, gyms, and wellness centers into their offices. As 2021 comes to an end, make sure health and wellness forms a part of your career goals as well! Now is the time to care for our emotional, mental, and physical well-being aloud. Employers are incredibly receptive to it.
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