Predictions for the Future of Work in 2022

  • Looking ahead to what this new year will bring, we’ve collected industry expert predictions on the future of work in 2022.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a colossal impact on the working world. From remote working to flexible hours, could these temporary adjustments to the ways we work become permanent?
  • We’ve collected predictions from a range of industry experts, including HEWN’s Will Kinnear, Feefo’s Julia Owen and more. 

The past couple years have had an enormous impact on the way people work, the COVID-19 pandemic forcing teams to work from home where possible for prolonged periods of time. However, while many were sceptical at first, this new normal has come with a number of different benefits, and has shifted the way we work into a more flexible and diverse environment.

From a 4-day working week to using the metaverse in interviews, what could 2022 have in store for the working world?

 

Our Panel of Experts:

  • Molly Johnson-Jones – Co-Founder of Flexa
  • Khyati Sundaram – CEO of Applied
  • Damon Klotz – Work Culture Evangelist at Culture Amp
  • Mike Smith – Global CEO at Randstad Sourceright
  • Mark Miller – Director of Goodfoot Corporate Coaching and Development
  • Nick Adams – Vice President of Sales, EMEA, Globalization Partners
  • Kathryn Barnes – Employment Counsel EMEA at Globalization Partners
  • Ali Knapp – President at Wisetail
  • Evan Melick – Director of Product at Wisetail
  • Estee Woods – Senior Marketing Director at Wisetail
  • Jennifer Palecki – Chief People Officer at Imply
  • Will Hale – Northern European Leader at monday.com
  • Naveed Malik – Regional Director, EMEA at monday.com
  • Chris Mansfield – Co-Founder at GoodCourse
  • Will Kinnear – Founder of HEWN
  • Julia Owen – Chief Product & Technology Officer at Feefo
  • Rohan Maheswaran – Recruitment Expert at Futureheads Recruitment
  • Dave Page – CEO of Actual Experience
  • Dylan Buckley – Co-Founder of DirectlyApply
  • Emily Mei Carter – Organisational Identity and Future of Work Strategist at Ecosphere Consulting
  • Hasnain Malik – Talent Director of Brainchild Communications Pakistan (BCP)
  • Marc Vontobel – CEO and Co-Founder of Starmind
  • Morten Bruun – VP of Global Operations at Worksome
  • Janine Yancey – Founder and CEO of Emtrain
  • Craig Keefner – Manager at Executive Director Kiosk Association
  • Kustaa Kivela – CEO and Co-founder of Workfellow
  • Jeff Evernham – Vice President of Product Strategy at Sinequa
  • Stacey Taylor – Learning Design Director at DeltaNet International
  • Darren HockleyManaging Director at DeltaNet International
  • Sue Arthur – CEO at CareerBuilder
  • Meredith Turney – Conscious Leadership Coach at Meredith Turney Coaching

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Molly Johnson-Jones, Co-Founder of Flexa

 

Molly-Johnson-Jones-Flexa-co-founder

 

The office will transform into a social campus: “2022 will see the rise of the office as a ‘campus’ rather than simply a place to sit and work. With hybrid and home working now the norm for many, this year will see a reimagining of the office space. I predict that workplaces will become creativity and social hubs, used for specific reasons. Companies will need to invest in their offices in order to make them places that people want to spend time in. In turn, this will create a clear difference between the work which can be done at home and the work which benefits from people coming together. Office spaces and working patterns will start to evolve to reflect this.”

2022 will see the rise of ‘pick and mix’ flexible working policies: “Flexibility is becoming more than just working from home, or working flexible hours. I predict that flexible working will move away from the one-size-fits all approach, and start to be more of a “pick and mix” of working environments and benefits. This means supplementary benefits will become more important in 2022, such as: enhanced parental leave policies, dog-friendly offices and work-from-anywhere contracts. Flexibility has been reimagined and employers need to stay ahead of the curve if they want to attract and retain talent.”

 

Khyati Sundaram, CEO of Applied

 

Khyati-Sundaram-Applied-CEO

 

The growing popularity of skills-based hiring will lead to an increase in ‘jigsaw careers’: “In 2021, the rise of flexible working and the ‘Great Resignation’ heated up the jobs market and forced employers to rethink how they attract and retain talent. Skills-based hiring grew in popularity, as employers came to realise how they could widen their talent pool and make better hires by hiring for specific skills, rather than focusing on CVs and previous employers.”

“Skills-based hiring will continue to crack open the jobs market this year – and will lead to a rise in people pursuing ‘jigsaw careers’. A jigsaw career is a career trajectory that might look ‘unconventional’ on paper – you might work at a tech startup, then at a corporate, then in music or the arts – but each of these roles will have equipped you with new skills that a skills-based hiring process values and validates.”

“Rather than penalising candidates for working in a range of different roles or taking a career break (as CV screening tends to do), employers who recognise the value in a jigsaw career will use skills-based hiring to employ people because of what they can do – not where they’ve been. Our research at Applied shows that this not only boosts retention but also the diversity of hire.”

“The jigsaw career is a new way of thinking about where we work and why, giving workers greater freedom to choose jobs based on their skills and interests – rather than a stultifying cultural pressure to follow a ‘logical’ career trajectory.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Damon Klotz, Work Culture Evangelist at Culture Amp

 

Damon-Klotz-Culture-Amp

 

“2022 will be the year of the company reset. Ways of working have changed with the introduction of remote and hybrid arrangements. Organisations need to look at their values, mission and vision and identify where ‘resets’ need to be made to reflect this new world. Job titles will continue to evolve, with new roles from Head of Workplace systems, Head of Organisational Operation Systems to Head of Remote continuing to emerge.”

“There’ll be a power shift between the newer remote workers and the office brigade who joined pre-2020 and remember the ‘old ways’ of working. Yet the company will never revert back to office-life before Covid when workplaces eventually re-open – the company has changed for good. A period of re-onboarding will be needed for both groups to ensure that everyone’s in the same place and create a fresh start for all.”

“We’ll see a broader reach of people in the workplace. This will be the most spread out demographic that we’ve ever seen – with people who have been working for 50 years sitting alongside Generation Z, as flexible working encourages potential retirees with deep market knowledge to stay on in the workplace that little bit longer. Organisations need to make a conscious effort to ensure both ends of the age demographic can learn from each other and not operate in silos.”

“Hybrid or remote working environments mean that people want different things from their employers. Perks such as free lunches or company away days won’t be as attractive as they once were. Instead, people want benefits that are going to make their lives easier. For example, rather than offering childcare vouchers, offer better flexible working conditions instead.”

 

Mike Smith, Global CEO at Randstad Sourceright

 

Mike-Smith-Randstad-Sourceright

 

“Increased investments in workforce planning tools, actionable market intelligence and broad organisational commitments to workforce reskilling will be critical components of the future of work in 2022.”

“The pandemic has been so disruptive to the global workforce that talent demand has far surpassed the available supply in many markets. This is particularly true when it comes to high-demand competencies in emerging technologies. Randstad Sourceright’s 2021 Global Future In-Demand Skill Report found that cloud computing, cybersecurity and IoT are the three job categories seeing the highest levels of market competition across the globe. Although the U.K. is among the top five markets in terms of candidate supply across role categories, demand is on the rise, making it one of the four most competitive markets across the globe.”

“Organisations that lack the market data and updated modeling to effectively respond to these hiring challenges may struggle to find and retain the people they need. Aside from sourcing talent externally, businesses should also consider sourcing from within the organisation. This will require increased agility and foresight, including advanced talent analytics, skills mapping, and learning and development.”

“An effective and comprehensive skilling strategy can help businesses address talent scarcity challenges and redeploy valuable workers. It’s one way employers can quickly shift internal talent to new, adjacent roles with minimal downtime and more on-the-job and innovative training. A robust skilling strategy can also provide organisations with more efficient access to talent and is critical to employee retention and engagement.”

“Flexible working will also be a key. Whether that means continuing to embrace work-from-home policies to get a competitive talent attraction edge, incorporating more contingent workers or cross-border talent, or conducting more frequent scenario planning, an organisation’s ability to understand what their workforce wants and needs – and then pivot from plan – will be table stakes for 2022.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Mark Miller, Director of Goodfoot Corporate Coaching and Development

 

Mark-Miller

 

“My observation is that HR will need to help managers address productivity evidence in support of home working policies. Staff will be claiming more autonomy on the basis of better performance, and performance measures will need to be re-addressed.”

“Businesses are not ready to fully delegate the home working strategy to staff to make up their own minds because of a reluctance to risk productivity, and the traditional ‘in the office, therefore, must be working’ mentality still applies in many organisations. HR will be instrumental in helping managers and staff agree on productivity measures.”

“The additional aspect of this will be the weakening of ‘team’ as home working continues to gain ground. Managers will be rightly concerned about this, and increasingly staff will only want to come into the office if they see a personal benefit, such as training. Hence managers will need to learn to ‘pull’ staff into the office rather than push them, in order to build a strong team sense and keep positive morale in the office. HR will be instrumental in assisting managers, through training to address this challenge.”

 

Nick Adams, Vice President of Sales, EMEA, Globalization Partners

 

Nick-Adams-Globalization-Partners

 

“The evolution of the world of work will dramatically pick up pace in 2022 as more employees realise that the traditional 9-to-5 working week, in a location on average one hour’s commute away, is not the norm anymore. The net result will be a significant number of workers looking to secure a new employer, with those organisations offering a flexible, remote, working arrangement attracting the best talent. If you add the ongoing talent shortage into the mix, employees will have the upper hand in many cases.”

“As people’s expectations of a working life change, we will see unprecedented growth in the digital nomad population in the coming years. The 50 percent increase we saw in this working group between 2019 and 2020, will skyrocket in 2022. Along the same lines, we’ll also see a major increase in the number of autonomous workers – those who choose to work remotely often across time zones – to enjoy a better work life balance.”

“The concept of borderless jobs will become commonplace especially in industries suffering from an acute talent shortage such as IT and cybersecurity. We’re already seeing start-ups recruiting internationally as competition intensifies and remote working technology improves. The challenge these businesses face is finding the global talent to build the best teams. The talent is there, but it’s likely to be in places organisations have not traditionally considered before.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Kathryn Barnes, Employment Counsel EMEA at Globalization Partners

 

Kathryn-Barnes-Globalization-Partners

 

“Over the past eighteen months, the pandemic has propelled people to take stock of their lives. As we embark on a new year, and ‘The Great Resignation’ pushes further into public consciousness, organisations need to review their policies and procedures, asking employees about what they want and how they wish to be rewarded. Positive changes aren’t necessarily financial, employees value incentives that make them feel valued, such as time-off, healthcare insurance or volunteering opportunities. At Globalization Partners, we have offered more vacation time, encouraging people to rest and reflect after a tumultuous eighteen months.”

“It’s important to remember that today’s workplace looks very different to how it was pre-pandemic, with 98% of businesses now enjoying remote work of some variety. You get so much more out of your employees when they work flexibly, and as the workplace continues to evolve through 2022 and beyond, the biggest pitfall a company can make is not embracing change. Companies have already invested in online infrastructure that allows employees to work from anywhere, so I expect they will expand using these models, testing the market in new regions. Whilst staff shortages remain top of mind for employers, the talent pool is larger and more global than it’s ever been – people are no longer confined to looking for talent in just their immediate location. Ultimately, by being flexible and trying new approaches, companies can implement change for the better – in the best interests of their employees and business growth.”

 

Ali Knapp, President at Wisetail

 

Ali-Knapp-Wisetail

 

“To adapt to remote working in 2020, organisations implemented a variety of new tools to do everything from communicating, onboarding, managing tasks and more. However, companies can’t just pile more technologies onto their employees in hopes of solving these issues; they need employees to buy-in to the adoption for the new tools to be successful.”

“In 2022, companies need to think through digital strategies and get back to the basics around core tools that will help the business and their people be successful. As a major part of this, companies need to evaluate any prospective tools to make sure they are adding to the employee experience—not taking away from it.”

“Similarly, the pandemic caused voice and video call times for employees to double and IM traffic to increase by 65%. These daily tasks that require quick responses are hurting organisations’ efforts in becoming more efficient and productive. It pressures employees into having an “always-on” mentality, where they feel constant pressure to be productive between work and home. According to research done by Gloria Mark from the University of California Irvine, people who are more frequently interrupted experience heavier workloads along with higher stress and frustration levels at work. It can take up to 23 minutes to get back on task when interrupted. This excess use of tools and technology paired with the stress of constant collaboration can cause employees to feel burnt out.”

“One tool that is designed to add to the employee experience and every company should consider is a Learning Experience Platform (LXP). LXPs help companies create a people-centric culture that revolves around a community of continuous learning and development. Because we’re currently in an employee’s job market, companies need to focus on creating a culture of community to keep their people engaged, which is a major challenge for the new reality of work. LXPs can help create this and set up companies for future success in 2022 and beyond.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Evan Melick, Director of Product at Wisetail

 

Evan-Melick-Wisetail

 

“Moving forward into 2022, I can see user experience design (UX) continuing to optimise on efficiency. Organisations are focused on providing technology that creates experiences to make employee jobs easier and more efficient. In addition, It’s imperative that organisations find technology that meets their goals, culture and processes.”

“There are many factors to consider when choosing the right technology to implement such as cost, adaptability, scalability, tech support, training, user-friendliness and gamification. While there is value in implementing a full suite technology solution, oftentimes there is a more niche and discrete tool that can better address the organisation’s unique needs and goals. For example, a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) may be more beneficial to an organisation looking to expand its internal communication and training efforts; while a Learning Management System (LMS) provides a centralised location for learning and training resources.”

“No matter what your organisation’s needs are, make sure the technology you choose in 2022 fits into the flow of work and provides added benefits rather than unnecessary disruption.”

 

Estee Woods, Senior Marketing Director at Wisetail

 

Estee-Woods-Wisetail

 

“With all of its challenges and obstacles, 2020 turned sales and marketing departments on their heads, and many of those issues continued throughout this year. Although organisations are seeing cost savings in what is generally the largest discretionary spend in most organisations, you just can’t replace the human connection. Digital fatigue is heavy on the minds of many and isn’t the most effective way to get the attention of your prospects. In 2022, I expect that many organisations will pursue more ways to safely get back to face-to-face connection.”

“While we slowly get back to a place where this is safe, there are plenty of solutions that help teams feel connected and successful despite the challenges. An LXP, for example, allows teams to go beyond learning and gives them a place for feedback, resources and tools to achieve the best results. It can also create new opportunities such as fun competitions that allow team members to learn from and celebrate each other’s success.”

“Much like the Roaring ‘20s after the Spanish Flu pandemic, people are ready to get back to normal life. While technology will still be a critical part of the sales and marketing process, the emphasis on relationship building will be more important than ever—even if we are trading the traditional handshake for an elbow tap.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Jennifer Palecki, Chief People Officer at Imply

 

Jennifer-Palecki-Imply

 

“In 2022, the importance of diverse and inclusive workplaces and the value they bring to innovation will come into even sharper focus. This is especially true for the technology industry, where we recognise the necessity of innovation for success.”

“When you think about innovation as a spectrum, you realise that the more people you have in the room who can look at problems from different angles or offer differing perspectives, the better the result will be for creating new products or systems. A broad diversity of thought, diversity of professional or life experiences, and diversity of leadership styles inform the most impactful collaborations in a workforce.”

“Equally important is creating an environment and room at the table where all voices are heard and feel safe sharing ideas. At Imply, our core values strive to create a culture of openness where all employees feel empowered to share perspectives, opinions and even disagree as we work together to innovate and build this company.”

 

Will Hale, Northern European Leader at monday.com

 

Will-Hale

 

After almost two years of hybrid working, work platforms will become the norm with regards to how we work: “The pandemic has been a real catalyst for changing the way the entire world works. The terms “flexible” and “hybrid” are now mainstream and have evolved to give employees more control and flexibility over their day. However, the flexible and hybrid working we know now is not the same as it was in the early days of 2020.”

“To cope with the overnight shift in ways of working, businesses cobbled together a few tools to get work done; Zoom for meetings; Outlook for email; Google Docs for editing, etc. But now, enterprises are realising they need a centralised platform or operating system within which all work can happen, no matter its nature or scope. As we enter the third year of pandemic-era work, we’ll see even more adoption of these types of systems to accelerate platformed collaboration.”

2022 will be the year of no-code and (very) low-code working: “Low-code and no-code are not new concepts to the tech industry – they have been around for over a decade in some shape or form. Historically, the application of code to products has remained the territory of IT or at least people/teams with some technical experience. However, in recent years, the opportunity to use no-code and low-code tools has opened up to include regular business users. If you look at the likes of WordPress or Canva, they produce high quality content that requires no technical skill.”

“Low-code and no-code builds is set to become even more mainstream in 2022: in the world of work, teams will no longer buy pre-fab tools and platforms, but instead choose those that give them the flexibility to design the workflows and processes they want, customised to the nature and breadth of their work and teams. It is this ability to work your own way that will allow teams to define the next generation of distributed work.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Naveed Malik, Regional Director, EMEA at monday.com

 

Naveed-Malik-monday.com
by City Headshots Dublin

 

The next iteration of work will require digital clarity: “The hybrid working model has meant that businesses rushed to cope with the influx of tools and technologies designed to help employees maintain and increase productivity; remain engaged regardless of their working location or environment; and safeguard themselves from burnout by taking care of their day-to-day. But the enterprise wasn’t always involved in the selection of tools: many employees had to take the plunge into WFH into their own hands, modifying their workflows and acquiring productivity and collaboration tools with a view to becoming more effective – but it also created what is defined as shadow IT (tech that is outside the purview of an enterprise’s IT workforce). These tools drained existing IT resources and created performance degradation across companies, making digital seem like a less viable option for solving issues created as a result of remote work.”

“For the channel, it meant that many partners were often caught in the crossfire of support issues across multiple applications due to incorrect configuration or installation of collaboration tools. These can be time consuming, costly and unnecessary for both customers and partners. To prevent this problem from worsening, partners will now be looking to solutions which will complement their customers’ existing investment choices, allowing them to be more productive without the added stress of having to learn new ways of working or without having to troubleshoot new tech tools as they go. This level of clarity on how a new tool will fit into an enterprise’s digital ecosystem for true transformation is what the channel will be – and should be – looking for in 2022.”

 

 

Chris Mansfield, Co-Founder at GoodCourse

 

Chris-Mansfield-GoodCourse

 

“With remote working becoming the norm and a hyper competitive job market, companies will be trialling new ways to improve employee engagement and experience. The inroads made with user experience in consumer-facing technologies will increasingly be demanded by the very same people in their working lives. As such, slick, intuitive, and engaging digital experiences (such as those demonstrated by workspace collaboration platforms like Notion and video conferencing platforms like Zoom) will be the disruptive force in areas where little progress has been made for a while.”

“Uptake of new-age digital tools will only accelerate in 2022, with companies able to effectively embed new tools benefitting from compounding productivity gains that will see them pull away from the competition.”

“One such area ripe for disruption is learning & development – more specifically, e-learning. The thought of e-learning is often met with eye-rolls and sighs – another boring, eye-glazing experience. For others, e-learning isn’t even accessible, as they don’t work at a computer.”

“Given COVID causing the rapid evolution of the working environment and the economy, the ability to engage employees and develop skills is more important than ever. Companies will be looking to capture employee attention and achieve engagement at levels akin to the likes of social media, to set themselves up for success in 2022.”

 

Will Kinnear, Founder of HEWN

 

Will-Kinnear-HEWN-founder

 

“There are skills shortages across many industries, employees have the power for the first time in a long time. They want to work more flexibly, whether it’s working from a co-working space to working from a beach hut; and for businesses to attract the best of the best or to retain their teams, they need to be more innovative in their operations.”

“Along with being more flexible, we are seeing a move to 9 days in a fortnight or 4 day week working; more radical bosses are even moving to task-based working to give more trust to the employee and promote productivity.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Jule Owen, Chief Product & Technology Officer at Feefo

 

Jule-Owen-Feefo

 

“If used correctly, the metaverse provides an opportunity to reduce bias and create more diverse workforces – almost becoming a VR equivalent of removing names from CVs.”

“In the future, the metaverse could be used to create an environment which levels the playing field for candidates from different backgrounds. In flexible VR environments you can recreate an alternative physical presence, for example by choosing an avatar of a different gender. This could be applied to the interview process, where candidates are randomly assigned a different gender or physical attributes which would flush out bias in the hiring process. Equally, the same technology could be used for remote workers to try to remove the kinds of cultural biases that happen when groups of people are too alike.”

“By gamifying the interview process and utilising the metaverse employers are faced with a unique opportunity to liberate candidates from their physical appearance and simply focus on skills, which should be the central part of any job interview or workplace.”

“Like the launch of the World Wide Web, the metaverse will touch us all in 2022. It’s not a case of if employers will embrace the metaverse this year, it’s when.”

 

Rohan Maheswaran, Recruitment Expert at Futureheads Recruitment

 

Rohan-Maheswaran-Futureheads-Recruitment

 

“The ability for a business to compromise on rigid working structures, adapt to new ways of working and offer a healthy work/life balance is vital, as traditional old school mentalities and working structures are not attractive to people in 2022.”

“People expect flexibility and a lack of this can be detrimental to a company. After the drastic changes we’ve seen in the working world over the last two years, people now have their own ways of working, and these demands have to be recognised. Remember that the applicant/employee should no longer be trying to accommodate the business if they do not show a willingness to compromise. Regular discussions should be had with both candidates and employees to better understand their needs.”

“With hybrid working taking hold, especially structures that do not follow a specific pattern, proximity bias should also be at the forefront of an employer’s mind. Employers often tend to favour those who they are more frequently in contact with and surrounded by in the office, even if quality of work has not been impacted by a person’s decision to work remotely. This needs to be recognised and steps need to be taken to ensure proximity bias doesn’t materialise in the workplace.”

“Perception and practice is everything. People consume so much content around a company’s image, values, and employee happiness that can easily be found online through sites such as Glassdoor. If you don’t provide a healthy work/life balance, candidates will uncover this and ultimately won’t apply, and you could be impacting the wellbeing of your employees. Now more than ever, people want to work in values-driven business with a focus on wellbeing, DEI and sustainability. Candidates and employees need to see evidence of this in the workplace, rather than boastful claims that cannot be seen in practice.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Dave Page, CEO of Actual Experience

 

Dave-Page

 

“Hybrid working is more than just a buzzword, it is a reality and despite the developments of the last 12 months, many businesses are still completely unprepared for this transition.”

“This isn’t just sentiment, this is backed up by evidence found in Reconfigured, a report from hybrid workplace management company, Actual Experience.”

“What our research has uncovered is that most companies do not know enough about performance. Most businesses are just not utilising the right information to manifest positive change. Less than one in five (18%) say they have a ‘very good’ understanding of the digital requirements of employees, which is no surprise given that less than half collect and analyse data about how their teams work.”

“Our findings also show that 67% of C-Suite representatives feel this way.”

“What is needed to adapt to this is for organisations to begin collecting honest feedback and real-time working data. They then need to react swiftly to resolve any issues which arise. This starts from the top.”

“In our survey, 65% of our respondents say there is no single executive who owns the future workplace in their organisation, as the topic is simply too big. There now must a new topology in leadership teams, and they must collaborate and connect in different ways. But how?”

“The wider C-Suite must devolve aspects of responsibility into CIO and CHRO roles, jointly empowering both to lead on digital transformation. A joined up strategic approach, combined with a top-down re-assessment of resource and assets, is required. As well as a complete overhaul of practices and working cultures, with a priority on fast and effective HR problem-solving.”

“That could be anything from an improved home internet connection, new hardware or making office hours more flexible. What is important is that needs are listened to and properly acted upon.”

 

Dylan Buckley, Co-Founder of DirectlyApply

 

Dylan-Buckley-DirectlyApply

 

Hybrid: “If not already, a hybrid working environment will become the norm with any white collar job that can allow for it. It is almost impossible to ignore the push towards a work life balance between the home and the office. We expect hybrid to become a more preferred option to fully remote, as employers and employees alike recognise the benefit of in person collaboration and communication.”

Upskilling & Re-training: “Given the talent shortages, investing in your current employees is going to become increasingly more critical to the success of an organisation than ever before. Instead of looking to bring in new talent, upskilling a current employee who already understands how your organisation works and is keen to learn and adapt their new skills to your business, is in many ways more efficient than trying to bring in someone new.”

Redefining ‘Office’ Culture: “As hybrid and remote working becomes the norm, employers need to quickly address what their company culture looks like. Incumbent employees, who have remained with you throughout the pandemic will still have a sense of the previous company culture and know how to navigate across departments. Whereas, for new employees, trying to know how to work within an organisation when you have never physically set foot in the office, or met any of their new colleagues, can be incredibly daunting. Adopting a new culture to solve this is incredibly important.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Emily Mei Carter, Organisational Identity and Future of Work Strategist at Ecosphere Consulting

 

Emily-Mei-Carter

 

“In 2022 we are going to see some settling into the roles that remote, hybrid, and office-based strategies with a focus on in-person collaboration, relationship building and experiences while individual focus tasks will become more asynchronous.”

“Digital workplaces will continue to evolve to be more skeuomorphic in order to replicate physical spaces and encourage spontaneous encounters, rather than requiring all interactions to be scheduled.”

“Employer branding will be a strong focus as more organisations find the need to differentiate themselves outside of their local geographic area in order to attract talent from a wider/global pool.”

“Likewise, DEI efforts will see a boost as a broader geographic talent pool opens up a greater range of diversity amongst candidates.”

“As people have become more values driven during the pandemic, organisations will need to become better at communicating their values in an authentic way in order to attract talent.”

“The line between how we behave as professionals and how we behave as consumers is blurring. Recruitment marketing is on the rise and becoming more like customer marketing. We are on the way towards integrated strategies for people attraction and experience management- regardless of the target audience”

 

Hasnain Malik, Talent Director of Brainchild Communications Pakistan (BCP)

 

Hasnain-Malik-BCP

 

“The biggest impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been on growing the acceptance of remote work and the experimentation with hybrid working arrangements. Indeed this change has multiple benefits across industries, from meeting new ESG goals to retaining new parents, and recruiting talent with diverse accommodation needs. In the APAC region, the greatest mindset shift for upper management has been to trust their employees who are working remotely. This creates all the difference.”

“In 2022, ESG focused companies will embrace remote-first cultures and implement hybrid working environments, where KPIs will be set carefully for people working remotely. This will help to gauge the performance of everyone. Brainchild Communications Pakistan has been remote-first since COVID-19 was categorised as a pandemic and we have found that it is important to keep open communication with your human capital.”

“In 2022, leaders will make an effort to find out what works best for their individual team members and what doesn’t, while offering them flexible working hours keeping in mind each team member’s situation at home. Not everyone is wealthy enough to have a spare room from which to work in peace and not everyone has the best access to infrastructure – which every company must provide for. Furthermore, some people can perform at their peak early morning and some people later in the evening, so it is important for managers to understand team dynamics and utilise everyone’s strengths accordingly.”

“These nuances matter and in 2022 ESG focused companies will recognise this.”

“In 2022, leaders will make it a point to ask all team members how they are doing before talking about work at the start of every meeting. This just shows to the employees that the management cares about them and values their wellbeing. The leadership teams will do frequent virtual town halls and check in with their people too, give them updates on how the company is doing and share their plans. The company will make an effort to arrange different learning interventions for remote workers like e-learning and courses.”

 

For any questions, comments or features, please contact us directly.

 

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Marc Vontobel, CEO and Co-Founder of Starmind

 

Marc-Vontobel

 

“Our recent productivity drain report revealed some eye-opening statistics with regard to the amount of time organisations’ employees search for information. For example, the report revealed that 81% of the C-Suite report losing over an hour a day and 54% report losing over two-hours each day looking for information. Only 20% of workers believe that company knowledge is thoroughly documented and easy to find. Unfortunately, 49% say the information they do find is frequently out-of-date.”

“In 2022, we must rethink knowledge management and make it easier for employees, whether newly onboarded or moving to a new career opportunity, to access and share mission-critical knowledge. Doing so will enable the entire organisation to be more productive and thrive fiscally.”

“AI will transform our expectations around the way we work. While legacy knowledge management tools log data, that information eventually becomes outdated. AI can identify relevant information or experts in real-time, helping employees access them quickly. Now, employees no longer have to spend the typical two to three hours a day looking for information or its associated source.”

“Organisations need AI knowledge management tools that continuously refine or even ‘recycle’ elements of this knowledge-network based on the latest information. In 2022, having a centralised source mapping the expertise and knowledge of the entire organisation will be vital. It will enable businesses to connect employees, promote human centricity and retain their competitive advantage through an agile and productive market presence.”

 

Morten Bruun, VP of Global Operations at Worksome

 

Morten-Bruun

 

“There’s only one trend that you really should care about in 2022; the Great Resignation. In November, a staggering 4.5M people quit their jobs in the U.S. alone. This shift presents a radical new reality for companies across the world.”

“2022 is going to be the year where we will see traditional companies crumble as they struggle to adapt – and other more flexible companies that will thrive and grow massively. The danger is to believe that companies can make this trend go away. The fact is that the recent years of lockdown have shown people that the flexibility of working on their own schedule from wherever gives them a sense of freedom that is hard to find in a traditional job. Resigning and being your own boss provides maximum flexibility. The companies that are thriving during this time are embracing this shift and creating a workforce model that seamlessly integrates both full-time employees with their flexible workforce. The companies that suffer are using desperate measures to retain their staff in a working model that just doesn’t fit everyone anymore.”

 

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Janine Yancey, Founder and CEO of Emtrain

 

Janine-Yancey

 

Janine’s predictions for what will most strongly affect the world of work in 2022 – things employers will be grappling with and the landscape ahead particularly in regard to culture, DEI and more:

“Navigating the hybrid workplace: how to facilitate a good cadence of in-person meetings to build connections and rapport vs. allowing people to work from home.”

“Making measurable progress on D&I goals: people increasingly accept we have systemic racism and Boards, the SEC, investors, employees, customers and partners are increasingly expecting to see diversity in leadership ranks. The market is looking for a systemic way to make progress.”

“A continuing talent shortage: our economy and our jobs are changing and we don’t have enough people, with the right skills and experience, to fill all the available roles.”

“Increased employee expectations of the employer, which employers will respond to since it’ll be an employee’s market: employees are increasingly connecting the business mission with their personal brand and they have very high expectations in terms of corporate values, D&I and other social justice issues, as well as expecting a personally rewarding experience.”

 

Craig Keefner, Manager at Executive Director Kiosk Association

 

Craig-Keefner

 

“Employees in retail and restaurants historically have been at the counter taking the orders. With the pandemic and natural automation that has already changed and is changing more. Robotic kitchens and robotic delivery, ghost kitchens and other options are redefining the employee base.”

“Contactless is here to stay and that impacts retail, banking, hospitality and transportation. Cash is declining and will continue to decline.”

“Concierge-oriented-role employee set is growing. Counter help order takers declining. Drive-thrus, curbside, delivery, lockers have all transformed retail fulfillment channels.”

 

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Kustaa Kivela, CEO and Co-founder of Workfellow

 

Kustaa-Kivelä

 

“Although the ‘future of work’ is a widely used term, the promise it holds has not yet been delivered. Due to the rush to digitally transform throughout the pandemic, little time was given to identifying and measuring the impact of digital technologies in the workplace, as well as the way teams are working. 2022 will see organisations begin to realise the need to understand the impact of their investments in digital technologies such as AI and automation, which has thus far gone largely unmeasured.”

“It is clear that the top-down, engineered approach to digital transformation hasn’t led to the future of work everyone was hoping for, even if the use of digital technology is exploding. The sheer number of tools employees are faced with, and the lack of understanding of the gap between technology and the reality of work is causing transformation projects to stall and teams to feel disengaged and overwhelmed.”

“Throughout the next year, organisations will require real-time insights into team synchronisation and the integration between workplace tools so they better understand where AI and automation can be harnessed to empower workers to become digitally fluid in the new era of remote work. By doing so, organisations can eliminate tech exhaustion facing their employees and enable teams to spend time on value-add tasks that lead them to do their most meaningful work.”

 

Jeff Evernham, Vice President of Product Strategy at Sinequa

 

 

Jeff-Evernham-Sinequa-headshot

 

“Search technology to date has primarily been focused on counting words and statistical analysis of word forms, enhanced by Natural Language Processing. The advent of large language models (such as Google’s BERT) changed that – bringing Natural Language Understanding to web search. But its complexity and need for computing power have kept these advances out of enterprise search. Until now.  Advances in Neural Search and applying this technology efficiently for corporate environments will come to the forefront and transform the enterprise search experience by bringing an unprecedented level of accuracy and contextual relevance by understanding meaning.”

“Like any “new” technology, expect incremental adoption in early 2022, with Neural Search capabilities accelerating from a nice-to-have to absolutely essential over the course of the year. Expect a tremendous amount of market noise…and confusion…around this topic, as providers struggle to deliver and customers grapple to apply NLU.”

“With the pace of digital change in business showing no sign of slowing in 2022, the future of enterprise search is bright. Two huge forces will transform how we work with knowledge in 2022. The advent of NLU with Neural Search will open up new possibilities, right as the push for better knowledge management in the “new normal” – distributed, hybrid, asynchronous workplaces – demands that we do better.”

 

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Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International

 

Darren-Hockley

 

War on talent and flexibility: “In 2022, we’ll continue to see a battle for talent. Covid-19 and Brexit have created a perfect storm with masses of skilled and non-skilled non-UK nationals leaving the UK. Organisations who still don’t recognise the need for rapid change to support remote and hybrid working will lead to significant skills gaps.”

“Expect a war on talent. The need to value and develop your people has never been more crucial. One of the reasons for the Great Resignation was when employees were forced to return to the office when they were perfectly capable of doing their roles from home. These employees who prefer that flexibility will be the ones who will leave your teams. Not providing flexibility or allowing employees to enjoy more work-life balance is history. Organisations that put people first will win in the war of talent. Treating employees with the respect they deserve and empowering them to thrive in the environment that suits them best will be pivotal to securing and retaining the best talent.” 

Hybrid working: “Despite what the government wants, don’t expect to see a rush back to office spaces, especially with the new variant of Covid. Many organisations will continue to offer home and hybrid working policies moving forwards, and the war on talent will give individuals a greater say on this. Organisations need to play catchup with ensuring compliance for their remote/hybrid workers and that they still offer supportive and safe workplaces for their home workers. This compliance will cut across many areas, including display screen equipment (DSE), ergonomics, information security, data protection, collaboration, health and wellbeing.”

“When the lockdowns first hit in 2020, organisations could be forgiven for taking time to adapt and adjust. But we are well beyond the honeymoon period now, so if these things are not 100% right, then expect to fall foul of legislation.” 

 

Stacey Taylor, Learning Design Director at DeltaNet International

 

stacey-taylor

 

Using AI in learning: “Using AI technologies in training will lead to adaptive learning to truly take off in 2022, with the ability to connect the learner with short, relevant, impactful intervention they need. While we’re early adopters in this trend, I foresee it becoming a linchpin in the way employees expect training to be presented in years to come. There are two reasons for that: the first is that people are becoming increasingly impatient with training that doesn’t feel relevant to them as eLearning carves a larger part of our training landscape.”

“Secondly and more importantly, though, the next generation of young professionals are entering the workplace; and they have spent their entire lives being fed content that is curated to them, their wants and needs. Whether through their education or how they consume social media, each person in that generation expects to be recognised as an individual with unique views, opinions, merits and competencies. It should not be a surprise that they expect this from the training provided by their employer. With adaptive learning, offering the option to demonstrate competence and take only training that you have demonstrably failed is a no-brainer concerning employee engagement and meeting the expectations of new employees in the workforce. From an organisation’s perspective, this makes pure business sense. It reduces the compliance training load by being efficient, saves costs and improves engagement, and at the same time it leads to heightened compliance levels.”  

 

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Sue Arthur, CEO at CareerBuilder

 

Sue-Arthur

 

Workers stay in control: “We are entering 2022 with workers staying in control and taking charge in new roles with companies that have added benefits, flexibility and increased wages.”

Explosive growth in job postings: “A cumulative mix of increased supply chain demand, a rise in resignations and companies continuing to recover from the pandemic will result in thousands of open jobs and an explosive growth in online job postings.”

Diversity takes a front seat: “DE&I will take a front seat in 2022 and be a prime focus for job seekers as they look to join companies that are actively improving these efforts across all levels with active programs that further enhance these initiatives.”

A year of hope for recent grads: “Labor shortages will continue to steer the job market making 2022 a year of hope for recent grads as they enter the job force with benefit packages and competitive wages that are vastly improved from past years.”

 

Meredith Turney, Conscious Leadership Coach at Meredith Turney Coaching

 

Meredith-Turney

 

C-Suite will include more Conscious Leaders: “Employees and the public want leaders who work on their level of consciousness and are focused on creating value for all stakeholders—not just stockholders. The new trend for the C-suite will be leaders working with coaches, and attending retreats and peer groups that focus on developing conscious leadership.”

Work/Life balance is a core value: “For the last two years, workers across industries have had time to evaluate what’s important to them and decided that work/life balance is one of their new core values—even at the expense of a higher paycheck. There will also be a greater focus not on salaried hours, but on projects and value created as the basis for compensation. This may mean that workers can work for several companies on various projects. They can set their own hours that match their definition of work/life balance.”

Remote Work is here to stay and will grow: “Employees have now experienced remote work and want to keep that flexibility. Companies that focus on how to offer more remote options and learn how to build strong remote teams will flourish.”

Employers will expand benefits and perks: “The old benefits of a salary, PTO, and health insurance won’t suffice now. Employees want an employer who serves them holistically as a person and professional. New benefits may include life coaching, professional development, continuing education opportunities, plant medicine retreats, or even perks like pet health insurance.”

 

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