What's in store for 2022? Here's what to expect

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2021 brought the promise of a partial return to normal with vaccine rollouts happening across the world. We had to quickly dash our dreams of returning to the workplace and reintegrating into society as the covid crisis intensified. This meant being holed up at home where remote working and child-rearing were shared realities for several difficult weeks for many Australians and other people. Now that we’re reemerging from our homes and the future looks tentatively brighter, what are some work trends, predictions and expectations of 2022 for employees and employers?

2022 is the Year of the Employee

"The big quit" and "the great resignation" are 2022 watchwords that refer to employees leaving their jobs at an alarming rate and a critical skills shortage facing companies as a result.

Take a mental note: workplace power dynamics have shifted in favour of the workers in 2022, a change driven mainly by the pandemic.

We can no longer incentivise people to stay with attractive salaries and increases. Employees want companies to build human relationships with them, act with compassion and invest in their employees' wellness and futures.

Organisations resistant to making such integral changes could experience higher-than-normal turnovers, and here's why.

Remote working has provided employees with a greater understanding and concern for their vitality and wellness. The collective mindset has transformed. An attractive package and office snacks aren't enough to retain people.

Employees want changes in the workplace. They're looking for a diverse range of benefits that extend beyond money to include flexibility, autonomy, a better support system, valuable perks and a general improvement in the quality of work life.

With the rise in remote positions, staffers realise they have more options and won't hesitate to seek another role if their expectations aren't met.

Organisations resistant to making such integral changes could experience higher-than-normal turnovers, and here's why.

Hybrid Working Is Becoming A Default Business Model

2022 could be the year that hybrid working becomes the central business model.

Companies that reject this working approach could miss out on gaining valuable job seekers and stand to lose existing employees who prioritise flexibility over where, how, and when they work.

Of course, this working model isn't perfect or a one-size-fits-all and should be adapted to benefit employees and the company.

For hybrid working to be successful, it must be intentional, organised and well-planned, comprising a balanced mix of at-office and at-home workdays that don't exclude fully remote workers.

For hybrid working to be successful, it must be intentional, organised and well-planned, comprising a balanced mix of at-office and at-home workdays that don't exclude fully remote workers.

An End To Inefficient, Time-Consuming Zoom Calls

As far as work frustration during a pandemic goes, video conferencing is high up there. With hybrid working here for the foreseeable future, companies will need to better manage and execute Zoom calls that are shorter and agenda-driven.

Make it your company’s mission to run focused remote meetings that include only the necessary people and schedule these calls when people are at their best to perform such tasks.

The Role Of Technology in Our Worklives Will Increase

Technology played an instrumental role in our remote working lives and will drive the business forward in 2022.

Predictions by the World Economic Forum claim that the accelerated rate at which AI tech is being adopted in the workplace will lead to mass job creation within the next five years and can change people’s roles.

With bots performing repetitive, time-intensive tasks, workers will be able to focus on exciting areas of work that require human intervention like creativity, innovation and strategy.

Maintaining an Inclusive Work Culture

As important as employee autonomy might be, workplace inclusivity should also be high on the list of priorities for any business in 2022.

But what does this look like realistically?

Unintentionally, 2020 and 2021 were disruptive years that forced us to change how we work and how we think about working.

We’ve endured a lot and undergone major learning curves over this time. Ultimately, however, workplace communities banded together and thrived despite the significant challenges thrown at us.

We’ve explored new ways to collaborate and have worked together as a collective.

With a return-to-the-office becoming a possibility, we need to reinforce this community spirit in the workplace by empowering people and treating them equitably.

With a return-to-the-office becoming a possibility, we need to reinforce this community spirit in the workplace by empowering people and treating them equitably.

We Need To Talk About Gen Z

In 2025, Gen Z will make up a significant proportion of the workforce. Unfortunately, their career trajectories have gotten off to a rocky start thanks to the pandemic, which needs rectifying.

Missed are the networking opportunities, prospects for socialising and crucial in-person learning opportunities that earlier generations had.

On top of the immense professional challenges facing Gen Z are their confronting personal turmoils linked to COVID-19.

Studies from American Psychological Association show that Gen Z is suffering exorbitant amounts of pandemic-related stress exacerbated by feelings of disconnect and isolation in the workplace. They’re also crippled by student debt and uncertain futures.

In 2022, as office days become regularly occurring, companies need to support Gen Z, help them achieve a better work-life balance, and provide them with opportunities that will help them connect and grow in the workplace.

Missed are the networking opportunities, prospects for socialising and crucial in-person learning opportunities that earlier generations had.

Leaning Into The Future

In 2020 and 2021, we had no choice but to reinvent the workplace to protect those working for us. 2022 is different because we’re intentionally redefining the workplace and improving it.

2022 marks the year of the employee. They’ve got the upper hand with more career opportunities available to them and expect more than a paycheck every month. They want greater flexibility and other benefits that make them feel valued.

Inclusivity in the workplace is essential now more than ever - people want to feel empowered and treated equitably.

Technology - it’s increasing at an alarming rate and will influence how we work in the future and create jobs.

As they become the default approach, hybrid working models are fast becoming a default setting. But they’re a work in progress and rely on careful execution and organisation to work for you, your employees and your company, which includes putting a stop to endless, unimportant and tedious Zoom calls.

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