It is no secret that people’s work has changed drastically over the past two years. The pandemic forced a shift in every aspect of the labor market, from how people work best to where they spend their workdays. For many, this shift was a welcome change that allowed for better work-life balance and a resulting emphasis on doing work for the individual.
As 2022 approaches, plenty of people wonder what the next trip around the sun will hold for the workplace. What new challenges will arise, how will employees spend their daily grinds, and what technological advances will be made to ease everyone? Here are a few answers to enquiring minds’ questions about work in 2022 and beyond.
Hybrid will become the default
Although the idea of hybrid work is a controversial one, it will become the new norm in 2022.
Many employees enjoy the perks of remote work and find that they work better in their environment on their own time, despite the lack of in-person connection and networking availability. Leadership teams have begun to allow their workers to choose a hybrid schedule of remote work and in-office time to appease everyone’s individual needs.
But what exactly is needed to make hybrid work successful? As the in-person workforce decreases and hybrid work expands, businesses in 2022 may shift to using virtual office services to help their employees manage phone calls, faxes, and incoming mail no matter where they land for the day. These services enable remote web or app-based management of all correspondence, so you’ll never be out of the loop even if you’re not in the office.
Hybrid work models will affect the job market, as well. Employees will need to work on developing soft skills to stand out behind their computer screens and pay increased attention to their mental health. Employers can assist with this component by offering mental health days and building work/life balance structures into their corporate policies.
Businesses will also need to understand that workers in 2022 are unlikely to weather patches of dissatisfaction for long. Employers will need to be transparent, flexible, communicative, an open to change to keep their employees happy.
Virtual meetings will become more efficient
In response to Zoom fatigue, a phenomenon made familiar during the first waves of the pandemic, virtual meetings and video calls will become shorter and more focused. Employees will learn to embrace the technologies and software features available to limit interruptions and keep everyone on task.
Employee wellbeing will be a priority
More than ever, employees value their time and life outside of the workplace. To attract and retain talent, companies will need to continue shifting their focus to employee well-being. That includes mental health days, better benefits, more attractive salary options, and the choice to work a hybrid schedule.
Office space will serve a new purpose
As the shift to hybrid takes place, office spaces will become places where employees can collaborate and solve problems creatively. Workspaces in 2022 will be redesigned to specifically address the needs of employees on their in-office days, and assist with fostering team morale and spirit.
2022 is sure to bring plenty of challenges regarding how people work. An increase in hybrid schedules, an emphasis on employee wellbeing, and more flexible office spaces will help businesses face those challenges head-on.