Future of Work

by Jill Christensen

According to Dan Schawbel, New York Times Bestselling Author and Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence, there are several workplace trends that will impact how we work and live for the upcoming year.  Here are Schawbel’s top five:

#1: Most companies will adopt a hybrid or remote-first approach
Many companies hoped to transition to a hybrid model in 2021, but the Delta variant caused most of them to put their office re-opening plans on hold. However, things look more promising for 2022.  Research found that 79 percent of the C-Suite will let their employees split their time between corporate offices and remote working if their job allows for it.

#2: The hybrid model will create a two-tiered workforce
Remote workers may not be treated fairly compared to their office counterparts.  New research confirms a strong bias against remote workers, as 60 percent of HR leaders say that office employees are more likely to get promoted and receive regular raises, and they’re seen as harder workers and more valuable.

#3: A strong digital mindset will continue
Many companies that were unable to find workers during the pandemic turned to automation technologies, and this area will continue to grow as businesses grapple with millions of unfilled jobs. Robots will be widely deployed to clean buildings and handle manufacturing tasks, and AI solutions like chatbots will replace call center workers and other roles.

#4: Organizations will fight to attract and retain talent
Hundreds of millions of people are quitting their jobs worldwide.  All signs point to the quit rate continuing in 2022.  For most people, perks and pay won’t be enough.  New research finds that 88% of workers feel the meaning of ‘success’ has changed, and they’re now prioritizing work-life balance, mental health, and having a meaningful job over a steady paycheck. 

#5: Leaders will rely on employee input and feedback more than ever before
One issue that the pandemic uncovered is that the voice of employees has long been ignored. A global study finds that 86 percent of employees feel people at their organization are not heard fairly or equally.  Companies that don’t seek out or listen to their employees’ feedback may struggle to retain talent.

Jill, What Can I Do?  Share these trends with leadership and have a candid conversation about each of them.  How can you limit bias toward remote workers?  Will you deploy robots?  How can you effectively gather the voice employees?  To the extent that you ‘get ahead’ of these workplace trends and proactively manage them, your employees will benefit, meaning your organization will benefit.  Priceless.

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