We all have realized that our workplaces will never be the same again. At the beginning of 2021, we all thought that normalcy would ensue.
Vaccines were rolling out, and executives were enthusiastic about the whole return to the office stint. Yet, a new virus variant just disrupted everything. Lack of flexibility in the workplace further pushed employees to quit in huge numbers. There was a war for hiring the right talent.
And the world became volatile once again.
However, 2022 has been looking good so far. The volatility still exists, but companies finally figuring out the ways of the hybrid work model has stabilized the situation.
Accenture’s “Future of Work” study had 83% of the employees wanting a hybrid workplace over a full-remote or full-onsite work.
Furthermore, Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trends Index, which had 31,000 people participating from across 31 countries, revealed that leaders are more susceptible to risks. They might be at a precipice, but they are open to experimenting with hybrid workplaces.
But what exactly are the managers looking for? What hybrid workplace trends are going to shape the workplace in 2022? Keep reading to find out more.
Also Read: What is a Hybrid Workplace?
#1 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Fair & Impartial Workplaces will be the Focus
Fairness in the workplace has been a core debate for a long time. And ever since the pandemic, the topic has been thrust to the forefront. A survey revealed that the frequency of CEOs discussing fairness in the workplace has increased by 658% since 2018.
Often, remote workers have complained about bias in the workplace. Despite collaborative measures, they have felt isolated.
On the contrary, on-site employees have complained that remote workers have better work-life balance. Even though their living cost has reduced, their compensation remains the same.
Also, in specific organizations, where one manager has allowed flexible work, the other has denied his team members the same. This has led to animosity between teams.
Such feelings of inequality in the workplace can be harmful. A hybrid work model is identified by its balance. Therefore, in 2022, managers will need to identify such kinks in the workplace. They have to strive to create a fair and impartial workplace.
In fact, creating a fair and impartial hybrid workplace will be the topmost priority for HR managers.
Bonus Read: How to Create a Fair Hybrid Workplace?
#2 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Workplace Safety will Still be a Priority
Only 2% of the companies across the US were planning to implement a vaccine mandate. The number kept growing throughout last year until it plateaued at the end of the year at about 50%.
Research shows that employees are willing to return to the office only if it is safe. So, workplace safety is still a priority in 2022.
However, there is a catch here. Instead of mandating vaccines, enterprises and start-ups will make self-testing necessary anytime an employee shows symptoms.
There is a reason why the vaccine mandate may not work. A Gartner survey showed that HRs are expecting a 7% turnover in case they implement the vaccine mandate. In some departments, the number may be as high as 15%.
This is a massive loss for the companies. But, workplace health and safety are still going to be a priority. We might be moving towards an endemic, yet the virus’s threat is far from over.
Therefore, 2022 will see employers balancing it out. Workplace safety will be a priority but in a more phased way. Employees will be able to share their vaccine status with the organizations. In case they do not want to share such information, they will have to undertake periodic tests to show negative results.
#3 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Company Culture will be the New Norm
Although we do not talk about company culture much, it will be a massive trend this year. Company culture is one of the founding stones in a hybrid work model.
While remote work has many benefits, it has also led to people feeling isolated and cut off from social interactions. 54% of employees in a study said that their managers have no idea about their expectations. This has led to an imbalance in the company culture as we speak.
Recommended Reading: Hybrid Workplace Policy Guide for HR Managers
Therefore, the key trend for 2022 will be to see how the hybrid approach can manage company culture. More focus will be put on developing interpersonal relationships. And reports have already shown that employees with thriving workplace relationships are more productive. They tend to stay with their employers for a more extended period of time.
Several tools will be deployed this year to change the company culture from within. Monthly team catchup or a quarterly team outing will become more popular in the hybrid workplace in 2022. All of this to ensure that culture thrives and employees with it.
#4 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Office Spaces will be Redesigned to Accommodate Hybrid Working
Real-estate optimization has been the topic of discussion ever since the pandemic started. Even in a hybrid setting, not all employees are in the office simultaneously. Many work from home. On the busiest days, companies see only 60% of their employees coming to the office.
This means that there is room for improvement when it comes to space management. 82% of US companies are already working towards redesigning their office space.
Desks that sit empty most of the time will be converted to huddle spaces. These will be enabled with video conferencing features that allow better collaboration between full-time and remote employees.
Open cubicles will be changed into closed personal workstations. On the contrary, closed meeting rooms will be more open. Collaboration is a central talking point of a hybrid workplace. To enable it, offices will focus on creating more such areas.
2022 will also see a rise in the concept of office-on-demand. For instance, a particular floor may be closed on certain days. They will host employees only when there is a surge in-office visits.
So, this year, offices will become more susceptible to the hybrid working approach.
#5 Hybrid Workplace Trends: Technology will have a Larger Role to Play
When your team is geographically dispersed, having a clear idea of who is doing what can be challenging. Remote employees may feel that managers are more biased towards the on-site employees, leading to frustration.
Performance bias is a common issue that most face in a hybrid workplace. A 2020 Gartner survey of 3000 managers revealed that 64% of the participants feel that on-site employees are more productive than their remote counterparts.
However, there is a fix to it. Experts believe that technology is what will come to play here. The same tools that are being used to manage all employees will be used to measure performance.
The measure of productivity will not be limited to the number of hours logged in by an employee. The output that they produce is what will define their contribution.
Technology will also be leveraged to ensure collaboration between the employees. For instance, WorkInSync has developed a collaboration index to measure individual and organizational collaboration. The higher the collaboration score, the better their performance.
Furthermore, if a particular employee is missing out on meetings, managers can use the scores to analyze their performance and give them the nudge to collaborate more.
So, 2022 will witness an increase in the use of technology. However, to not just manage the hybrid workplace. It will play a clandestine role in analyzing performance and productivity.
These Paradigm Shifts Will Stay in 2022 & Beyond
From changing office designs to focusing on workplace health, these paradigm shifts are here to stay. Other trends in 2022 include more focus on mental health and overall employee well-being.
Hybrid workplaces offer incredible opportunities to both employees and employers. These trends will drive our workplaces to become better and ready for the future.
WorkInSync is a leading hybrid workplace solution provider. It has an array of features that include desk booking, meeting room management, employee scheduling, etc. You can schedule a demo to learn more about the product.
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