New year, new trends: a workplace forecast for 2022

2022 is here! What can we expect from our workplaces this year? In this post, we’ll be looking at three major projected trends for this year. Let’s dig in.  

  1. Increased employee power 

Firstly, let’s consider the power inversion of employers/employees which has come into play. The Great Resignation has placed pressure on businesses to retain workers, and this “tight labour market is a reflection of the individual introspection triggered by the pandemic”, according to Gillian Ogawa of Workday.  

People are revaluating their careers, resigning from unfulfilling jobs where they’re undervalued, and pursuing more meaningful employment. This has led to a shift in power, with employees on top. This shift is visible in the dynamics of the forecasted workplace trends for 2022. In Dan Schawbel’s (Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence) Top 10 Trends for 2022, seven out of the ten trends relate to meeting employee needs, and five out of Korn Ferry’s seven areas dominating future of work trends in 2022 also prioritise the employee. Jane Their of Fortune describes the “skyrocketing employee power,” indicating that business who wish to survive and thrive in 2022 must shift their gaze from profit back to their people. 

As businesses fight to retain talent, Schawbel predicts “in 2022, people will no longer tolerate companies that treat them poorly, and they’ll hold employers to a higher standard than ever before.” With more power in the hands of the employee, workers are in a position to negotiate for what they want. Businesses will need to be competitive with their benefit packages, including improved medical coverage, paid leave, better mental health support and flexible working arrangements. Additionally, business leaders are experiencing a push to value the employee voice and make changes based on their feedback. Korn Ferry declares that “2022 is the year of the employee”, with a shift to “treat employees as human beings, not parts of a machine.” 

  1. Infusion of technology and automation 

Another continuing trend is the infusion of technology into the workplace. This includes tools to assist remote workers, employee management, and a rise in “hyper-automation” according to Schawbel. He describes a “digital mindset” which will rely heavily on software to support and simplify business procedures. On that note, is an automated, cloud-based HR solution which can simplify your pre-employment background screening process. We offer a streamlined workflow which allows employers to request background checks in a few quick clicks, and enjoy full visibility of the check’s progress. You can learn more about us here.  

  1. COVID-19 – continued 

One forecasted trend we can be sure of is the continued impact of COVID_19 on businesses. As leaders address vaccination mandates and remain committed to the health of their employees, they’ll also need to negotiate the dynamic of a hybrid work model. This relates to flexible work arrangements, balanced with those returning to offices. Schawbel raises concerns of a “two-tiered workforce”, with “a strong bias against remote workers.” Business will need to avoid favouring in-office employees over remote workers in order to combat this. 

Let’s see how the year unfolds. After all, who could have predicted the surprises of the last two years? As Protocol says, “the only thing that seems certain is that nothing is certain.” 

Written by Mary Snowden.

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