As we enter the first quarter of 2022, workplace trends are starting to materialize, allowing us a little insight into what we can expect throughout the year (and hopefully into 2023).
The next great disruption is hybrid work, a combination of work-from-home, co-working, and office work settings.
Yet, that WFH lifestyle isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
Remote work statistics show that employees who work from home are often working longer hours than their in-office counterparts. On the other end of the spectrum, we’re also seeing a lot more digital nomad jobs and careers that allow for extremely flexible work hours.
If you’re looking to make a change in 2022, find out which perks you should ask your recruiter about, what changes you can expect to see in technology and workplace culture, and how to leverage your skills to snag the best offer.
Workplace Culture in 2022
As to be expected, workplace culture will change exponentially in 2022 (yes, more than it already has!). We expect to see more hybrid workplaces, better work-life balance perks, and a shift in company cultures.
According to Deloitte (and to be honest, pretty much any other talent and hiring expert you ask), hybrid offices are truly the future of the workplace — in 2022 and beyond.
Not only are employees hesitant to head back to the cubicle, but many corporations are starting to see the benefits of the work-from-home lifestyle.
And of course, work-life balance plays a major role in this shift. Employees want more time to live their lives outside the office, which means the corporations that once wooed workers with full-service taco bars and nap rooms now need to shift focus on how they can recruit talent without requiring them to remain in the office day in and day out.
The hybrid work-from-home model can help alleviate some of this burnout, but employers need to be conscientious not to expect more of their workers just because to-do lists are getting checked off while wearing PJs.
With all this shift in focus to work-life balance, there’s a concern over the loss of company culture.
In 2021, Mckinsey & Company interviewed talent experts Bryan Hancock, Bill Schaninger, and Brooke Weddle on the future of the hybrid workplace and company culture in a post-pandemic world.
Less time in the office over the past two years has led to a loss of company culture — something corporations need to take into account in 2022. And something prospective recruits need to know before signing on the dotted line.
How important is company culture to this employer? If it’s important, will this “job” satisfy my need to fulfill my life’s purpose?
Most Desired Skills
One of the most important workplace trends emerging in 2022 is the need to highlight your personal brand. Not only hard skills, but also soft skills.
Not surprisingly, soft skills are expected to be extremely important to both corporations and talent in 2022. By soft skills, we’re talking critical thinking, empathy, innovation, and authenticity. Companies don’t just want you to dominate at your craft anymore; you’ve gotta show ‘em you’re able to play well with others and push boundaries without upper management scheduling a team-building event.
Workplace Trends in 2022 – Emerging Industries
With pretty much every industry under the sun getting a major overhaul since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that most experts believe the future of work in 2022 will look totally different than it has in previous years.
Yet, there will be a few industries that grow even more rapidly in the upcoming year.
Life Science Technologies
Is it any surprise that biotech, pharmaceuticals, and environmental sciences are going to be at the top of technology and business trends in 2022?
If we weren’t all secret science geeks before 2020, we’re definitely now soon to be indoctrinated into the importance of health and biometric data. Smarttech and wearables (Oura, smartwatches, glucose monitors, HRV monitors, etc.) all saw an uptick in sales from 2020 through 2021.
Consumers are going to continue to go gaga for health gadgets, and the life science technologies field will only be so happy to provide us with all the health must-haves.
Combine that with an increase in AI and data-driven startups (a.k.a. all those IG ads you see for the latest and greatest health apps), and anyone with experience in this field is going to be in high demand in 2022.
Everything is moving online in 2022 (OK, maybe not everything — but we’ll definitely see more hybrid business structures in addition to hybrid workplaces).
In 2020, we watched businesses shutter as the restaurant, entertainment, and travel industries took a dive. 2021 saw the world enter a “new normal” phase with the businesses (at least the ones that were able to wait out shutdowns, pandemic surges, and social unrest) slowly starting to reopen.
With the omicron variant hitting hard at the end of 2021/beginning of 2022 and many businesses asking whether it was worth it to return to normal (whatever that was), many industries are opting for hybrid models themselves.
Many restaurants, retailers (and even hair salons) are all moving into this hybrid model, protecting themselves from another IRL societal shutdown. By raising prices and turning open signs a few days a week, owners can promise their employees higher wages and better work/life balance.
And with thousands of businesses moving at least part of their operations online, the world will have more jobs for software engineers and iOS engineers now more than ever. We expect both companies that cater to the DIY web services crowd (the Wixes and Squarespaces of the world) as well as full-service web design and app development services to see a major uptick in recruitment this year.
AI and Big Data are buzzwords that have been making their way into our vocabulary for nearly a decade now. And we can only assume that there’s no way they’ll lose steam now.
New Technology – Workplace Trends in 2022
Everyone should be ready to adapt to this Brave New World of technology (for better or for worse). If we want to see the hybrid workweek as the new norm, we also need to be ready for changes in how we do that work.
With hybrid teams taking over industries, we’re going to see communication software on the rise, allowing both hybrid, remote, and in-office teams to communicate with each other more effectively than they have on Zoom or Slack alone.
AI and Machine Learning
Yes, with the imminent expansion of the tech world, we’re poised to see some jobs (in industries such as IT and HR especially) be handed over to AI and machine learning software.
While these shifts were happening way before the start of the pandemic, we expect to see companies starting to implement them with more immediacy in the coming year.
And with all this newfound freedom and work-life balance, corporations are expected to measure productivity differently, too.
Employee monitoring (coupled with Big Data and analytics) is expected to shift in 2022 also.
While not every employer will expect workers to keep their cameras on for eight-plus hours a day to monitor productivity, most will probably implement some type of employee tracking and analytics.
It’s just something to consider or ask your recruiter before signing on at a new company in 2022.
What workforce trends in 2022 are you most excited (or concerned) about? Has the hybrid work model offered you more freedom?