In the early months of 2021, there was a buzz about what the workplace world looks like in the ‘new normal post-pandemic era. However, as we’ve traveled towards the end of 2021, the cold hard data on how people work and how they feel while working has taken center stage. This is why preparing the workplace for 2022 is what we’ll be discussing here.
For 2022, we can surely spare you the speculation on whether hybrid or remote culture is going to stay. Ever since the pandemic surfaced, the work landscape underwent a paradigm shift. Where leaders understood the evolving priorities and a changing role for the office as we know it. Work from a home culture that started as a blanket instruction has now turned into an option, and as the remote era is coming to an end, we can see employees returning back to the offices.
Source: Gulf Business
Prudent companies understand that people bring emotions to work, along with skills, and thus are recalibrating priorities to shift focus to employee wellbeing, resilience, and purpose. But still, there’s a lot that we need to discuss to prepare the workplace for 2022. Here we’ve opened the playbook of 4 tips of thought leaders to implement in the coming year.
• Make a pathway between remote and hybrid work culture:
Research says that remote working is going to stay partially in the form of hybrid working arrangements. How companies can make the best out of it is something they need to ponder over. Research in The State of Modern Work Report surveys 500 US software professionals, and the findings say that 64% of employees and 66.4% managers spend almost a similar percent of time working from home in a week, contributing to an overall average of 65.2% versus 34.8% in an office space. This shows that employees and managers are on the same page. The same survey also says that 20% of the employees believe that remote work is much worse than the office for distractions, collaboration, camaraderie, and fear of missing out.
Even a recent survey by Gartner says that 64% of managers believe that employees working in the office were performing higher than remote workers. Not only this, at the time of performance appraisals, managers would love to give in-office workers a higher raise than remote workers.
Thus, seeing the majority of people wanting to work from home, it’s easy to get distracted on the decision of reopening of offices, but managers need to take into consideration the number of people struggling working remote for 2022. For this, a considerable balance between working from home and office will be a big positive.
• Add Essence of Human Experience into Employee Experience
Employee Experience is such an umbrella term that needs the consideration of human experience, big time. As said before, employees bring emotions at work along with their skills, and thus, it’s okay to be human at work. Thanks to the changing perceptions as a workplace that companies now care about the entire Human Experience and support people to have more fulfilling and content lives, which helps in bringing them a more productive version of themselves
A survey by Gartner on the 2020 Reimagine HR Employee Survey says that employers that support their people’s lives enjoy a 23% increase in the number of employees reporting better mental health, plus a 17% increase in the number of employees reporting better physical health. In addition to this, employers benefit from a 21% increase in the number of high performers (compared to firms that don’t provide the same degree of support to their employees).
• Prioritize employee wellbeing and mental health:
What a difference a decade makes! Years ago, companies were more concerned about how to get most of the work done with employees, whereas, today, every company is focusing on retaining the employees by keeping their mental health in a nice state. Companies celebrate fun Fridays and promote talks over beers as a motive to manage employee wellbeing. This is going to work a lot in the long run.
Managing wellbeing and mental health together is a trend that’s already going in the right direction and should continue to do so in 2022. And the best way to phrase it is that employers are now being proactive as opposed to reactive.
• Stop ‘The Great Resignation’ before it Reaches you.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans put their papers down in July 2021.
A study by Microsoft reveals that more than 30,000 workers across the globe revealed that 41% were considering quitting or changing their professions. People have changed their priorities and their working preferences; maybe this is the reason why resignations on a mass level are expected to take place in 2022 as well. Thus, for preparing the workplace for 2022, you will need to focus more on skills that are needed to dive into the organization’s advantage and the workforce to back that advantage.
Also, emphasizing opportunities for growth is critical to encouraging employees to develop skills and making them stick around. It’s a human tendency to stay loyal where they feel their personal growth.
It’s important for companies to start 2022 on the right foot, and to achieve this, they will need to create robust employee management and wellness programs to leverage technology. They are incorporating multiple feedback channels. Amid the surge of the pandemic, remote work is likely to stay here for most of the employees, but companies must learn to reap the maximum benefits post-pandemic.