The last decade, particularly the last two years, has signalled an avalanche of change in the workplace. The shifts brought about by the global pandemic have altered and redefined where and how we work.
Over the past two years, businesses have prioritised shifting to full-time remote working or hybrid workplaces. This colossal shift will have a flow-on effect on other workplace trends in 2022, including managing hybrid workforces, supporting employee wellbeing, and other concerns. These changes will influence new workplace trends that will shape how organisations hire talent, make technology decisions, and collaborate within and outside of the workplace.
After all these changes and upcoming work trends for 2022, what is in store for the future of work? This article guides you through emerging workplace trends and which ones will continue into the new year.
What are Workplace Trends?
Workplace trends are business changes expected to emerge or grow within the coming years. Workplace trends emerge and evolve due to changes within the wider environment, such as customer needs, new technology or societal issues. Examples of work trends include remote working, employee wellness, and ongoing skills development. The purpose of bringing attention to trends is to alert employers to industry shifts and help companies develop more progressive workplaces.
Why is it Important to Understand Workplace Trends?
The modern workplace is constantly evolving. Businesses must keep up with trends or risk falling behind rates of modernisation. Workplace trends are important as they help companies guide innovation and improve employee wellbeing. Businesses that adapt to global trends in the workplace improve company culture, boost employee retention and engagement and defeat workplace complacency.
What are the Top Eight Workplace Trends for 2022?
We've seen many emerging workplace trends throughout 2021 and expect them to significantly impact the modern workplace in 2022. The top workplace trends for 2022 are:
- Hybrid Working and Flexible Working
- Managing Employee Wellbeing and Mental Health
- Focus on Developing Employee Skills
- Improving Employee Experience
- Employee Monitoring and Analytics
- The Boom of the DISC Personality Assessment
- Building a Culture of People
- Significant Investment in Recruitment and Retention Strategies
Hybrid and Flexible Working
It should come as no surprise that hybrid and flexible working is at the top of our list! This global workplace trend was slowly on the rise pre-pandemic. However, many businesses were thrust into a remote working environment as Covid-19 hit. Many companies are set to transition into a hybrid workforce in 2022 as companies strive to provide better flexible work models and remain competitive in the marketplace. A survey conducted by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald of 50 of Australia's largest companies reveals an overwhelming majority expect to continue to allow employees to work part of the week from home once the pandemic ends. Hybrid work models are becoming more common post-pandemic, and they aren't going anywhere soon!
Managing Employee Wellbeing and Mental Health
Over the last few years, the pace of life has increased significantly, contributing to a rise in work-related stress, anxiety and depression. The global pandemic magnified issues such as resilience, stress and the need for employee wellness initiatives. Workplace wellness trends are essential to managing employee wellbeing and mental health. Employers will be investing in strategies to support employee health and wellness in the next few years. These strategies include hybrid working models, coaching sessions and access to other support services. Fortunately, this workforce trend is already going in the right direction and will continue into 2022.
Focus on Developing Employee Skills
Job perks will shift as we transition further into flexible working models. Businesses are already starting to replace traditional office perks with personal and professional development opportunities in response to changing employee expectations. Former perks are challenging to offer in a remote or hybrid environment, and employees' needs are shifting. Employees are now interested in investing in their growth and developing their skills. Workplaces need to reflect employees' expectations of career pathways and opportunities to advance their skills further. Development is an attractive benefit to employees in 2022. Businesses that leverage this trend can expect higher productivity, engagement, and retention levels.
Improving Employee Experience
We wrote about Employee Experience (EX) workplace trend in our HR Trends for 2022 and Recruitment Trends for 2022 articles. However, improving the employee experience involves the entire business. Leaders need to listen to their people and their needs. Companies should then assess how to provide a better employee experience from recruitment to workplace culture and career progression and development. No one should be a stranger to the Employee Experience in 2022!
Employee Monitoring and Analytics
One of the latest workplace trends is utilising technology to monitor employee behaviour. A drastic shift to remote and hybrid working models presents leaders with a considerable challenge in tracking the productivity of their teams. It should be no surprise that employee monitoring and analytics is an emerging workplace trend post-pandemic. Businesses, especially those with remote workers, are heavily investing in technology designed to track and monitor the behaviour and progress of their employees against tasks.
The Boom of the DISC Personality Assessment
The workplace assessment industry is booming, and for good reason. Businesses are flocking to workplace assessment providers to help them better understand, manage and develop their employees. Not only can managers use these, but the employee also develops self-awareness and knowledge of how to interact with others in their team, leading to decreased conflict, an increase in efficiency and better wellbeing. If you are not using a DISC personality assessment with your employees, you are missing out on a huge opportunity and quickly and easily develop your workforce!
Building a Culture of People
Building a culture of people will be a significant investment for workplaces in 2022. Corporate culture is less about branding (remember the days of free company mugs and pens?) and more about diversity and inclusion. Employees want to be recognised for their contributions and connected to their co-workers. Employees want to feel like they belong. As such, employers should be communicating with their people, listening and supporting their needs. Every business should be investing in this workforce trend for 2022.
Significant Investment in Recruitment and Retention Strategies
Talent shortages and the great resignation are top concerns of businesses in 2022. 84% of our clients listed recruiting the right people in the right roles as their ultimate challenge this year. Cue revamped recruitment and retention strategies! Businesses are getting creative, expanding their talent pool, and relaxing the hiring requirements. In 2022 we strongly encourage you to assess your recruitment and retention strategies to make yourself more attractive to current employees and potential candidates.
These top eight workplace trends for 2022 offer businesses considerable practical applications to improve recruitment, human resources and overall performance. As companies adjust to a post-pandemic world, knowing effective workplace strategies gives them a substantial edge over competitors.