Six predictions that will define the nature of workplaces in 2022
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Six predictions that will define the nature of workplaces in 2022

Six predictions that will define the nature of workplaces in 2022

The pandemic has opened our eyes to what can be accomplished remotely with technology and has challenged many of our perceptions around productivity

We are living in truly unprecedented times – the great resignation of workers is being felt in the US and around the world, as millions of professionals are choosing to take a step back and a break from the working world to re-evaluate their career, assess their personal situation and generally recharge after a mentally exhausting 18 months.

This event has left employers short-staffed at the worst possible moment, with job openings at an all-time high as businesses spring back to life and look to recover lost revenues caused by the pandemic. The knock-on effect of this is quite serious, with many companies being forced to rethink the requisite skills and qualifications of new starters, as well as manage the fierce war on talent and subsequent ballooning wages in the marketplace.

Here is the reality; if you’re a skilled and experienced professional, there’s never been a better time to be looking for work. With so many suitors competing for your services, you can be selective and expect a far greater degree of flexibility when it comes to when and how you work, as well as where you choose to do your job.

Clearly, we are at a major inflexion point in what we all view as our ‘working world’. One that I would argue will see as much, if not even, more change in how employers and employees interact and companies operate across the globe than we saw back in the industrial revolution. You see, the pandemic has opened our eyes to what can be accomplished remotely with technology, it has challenged many of our perceptions around productivity and, in turn, our energy levels, and it has made us appreciate, more than ever, face-to-face social contact.

With all this said, I would like to focus my predictions for the year ahead on the future of work and what I believe will ‘move the needle’ for businesses and professionals alike in the near future:

In-house recruiting teams will be more important than ever
While the pendulum may have shifted over the last decade to job sites and away from human recruiters, I would predict that professional recruiters become more important than ever as a primary voice to not only attract key talent but to personalise the value proposition with the candidate. Recruiters will have a critical vantage point to find key talent and sell the virtues of their organisation. This will be essential as, more than ever; top talent will want to dig deep on not just the job and benefits but the culture and hybrid work flexibility.

The office will be used as a collaboration space, not a workspace
Next year businesses will need to use physical workspaces more strategically in order to ignite collaboration and inspire energy. Today’s workers expect a greater degree of flexibility in where and when they work. Over the last year, we witnessed productivity increase while working from home when it comes to solo/creative work such as coding or copywriting. However, we also witnessed that distillation, collaboration and group consensus suffered, dragging down overall energy levels and productivity. In the future, employees do not want to be shackled to a traditional 9-5 structure, but they do want spaces to share and collaborate. Companies and leaders who adopt a flexible and empathetic approach to workload management and physical meetings will win in 2022, allowing employees the empowerment to complete work when and where it is most convenient for them, so long as they hit their targets.

Technology and innovation will once again empower remote work, but this time the focus will be on coaching-from-afar and maximising productivity
The coming year will see the continued growth of technology, but this time, instead of video-conferencing and remote collaboration, I expect to see the focus around helping managers to better coach their teams remotely as well as managing their productivity and results. The old management adage of ‘management by walking around” will need to find its way into this new world of hybrid work by providing visibility across all remote workspaces. Managers will instead need to consider a ‘trust and verify’ approach in order to drive a positive culture!

Talent acquisition from remote areas will be a huge advantage for those who can support it
Turning attrition into the attraction is going to be absolutely key for businesses as the great resignation meets the war on talent head-on. The good news is that there are a significant number of people who are incredibly talented but have chosen to live their lives outside of traditional metropolis business hubs. Organisations whose culture and processes can support the flexibility required by remote workers will have a tremendous advantage in the marketplace.

Conferences and seminars will return to live and in-person events but with a rich experience for those who choose to attend remotely
The innovation that we have seen emerge over the last 24 months with respect to remote event production will continue into 2022. While I expect many folks to take advantage of the return of live events, I believe that we will also see the remote experience continue to improve, attracting a larger audience of attendees and increased the opportunity for ongoing engagement post-event. Communities, both virtual and physical, have proven to be a major driver of interactions. With more technology available than ever before, companies who can harness their events to build and nurture their communities are set to thrive!

Companies will increasingly employ professional consultants to help them to better understand and define the future of ‘hybrid work’
As companies come to terms with the future of work, they will turn to professional firms specialising in human capital management to help them analyse how and what changes should be implemented to recruit, retain and motivate their employees to do their best work from wherever they are. I expect the “Big 6” consulting and strategy firms to aim their growth strategies here next year. I would also suggest that Hybrid Work architect/strategy roles will become the norm across HR functional departments.

Here’s to 2022, full of opportunity! I sincerely hope that I have inspired you that we are collectively sculpting the future of work for generations to come. We have a responsibility to make it an appealing and satisfying experience for all!

Shawn Rosemarin is the global vice president – Emerging Technology Solution Sales at Pure Storage

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