Go back a decade and you would never have considered anything other than a typical 9-5 office job. With many workers being sent home or even left unemployed during the pandemic, employers have had to consider the way in which their businesses are run.
This, combined with the power of sharing ideologies on social media platforms, has meant that the 2020s are set to see some of the biggest changes in the working landscape. Here are five ways that work will change in 2022.
The working week will shorten
The simple premise for this is that a typical 40-hour, five-day week gets shortened. Most commonly, a four-day working week is implemented, with staff only required to work for 32 hours. For this to work, the same salary and benefits should apply regardless of the hours worked, otherwise cutting the pay provides no benefit to workers.
4 Day Week Global, leader of a UK pilot program into a four-day working week, says that almost two thirds of businesses found it easier to both attract and retain a workforce. A company open to such a radical change will also be open to other changes, too, so if you’re looking to settle down with one firm it’s worth checking out who is ready to adapt and who is more likely to stay fresh in the future.
For a company, implementing such a scheme needn’t mean a 20% drop in productivity, though. Workers are usually more productive at the beginning of the week, with motivation running low as a well-deserved weekend approaches. People will usually be more willing to work that extra bit harder in order to add an extra day to their weekend, and in fact the same company claims that almost eight in 10 people are happier and less stressed with a four-day working week. Surely that’s a good thing?
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Hybrid working will become more commonplace
Hybrid working will no longer be a temporary fix to the pandemic. Employers and employees alike are already reaping the benefits of this 21st-century working model, and any company that refuses to consider this as an option may be susceptible to some raised eyebrows.
Workers have always been attracted to flexibility, but being able to adjust your working hours to suit your home life would never have been imagined before. Freeing up time to pick your child up from school - or even just to let your dog outside - can save families thousands in childcare and other expenses, giving the effect of a pay rise.
Sick employees who are otherwise able to work can continue to do so from home without infecting colleagues in the office, and more crucially without losing a day of work.
A good hybrid working model will still include some office working, allowing colleagues to build and maintain relationships that aren’t always possible through a screen. Office culture can be one of the many things accountable for how happy a worker is, which is why the combination of both styles in a hybrid working setup can be so great.
Wellness will become a higher priority
A good company has always looked after its staff with attractive benefits and a comfortable salary package, but wellness is soon set to be part of the equation on a much larger scale.
Companies are already catering to people’s physical needs with perks like health insurance, dental care and even discounted gym memberships. While these have proven invaluable to some users, others have been left feeling short with their mental health not getting the attention it deserves.
Look for companies that are offering a wide variety of wellbeing care packages. Confidential programs that allow workers to talk about their concerns are particularly useful - you may often see these referred to as Employee Assistance Programs or EAPs. Other more usable perks may include access to apps that offer guided meditations and yoga routines, discounts on healthy food and even DNA tests to help people understand themselves better.
A healthier workforce ultimately leads to fewer sick days allowing a company to run optimally.
Work will be project-based and hierarchy will be challenged
In 2022 it’s likely that we will see a shift in the way that companies are managed. Old-school hierarchical structures comprising a series of line managers and teams are to be challenged as work begins to revolve around projects and individual tasks rather than limited and restrictive job roles.
What this means is that everyone may have the chance to be a team, or sub-team, leader. Companies will be able to pull on individuals’ strengths to ensure maximum productivity and the best outcome. This sense of equality should increase job satisfaction, meaning fewer people are likely to leave the company in search of new opportunities.
Removing many managerial roles won’t come without its downfalls, though. While many standard workers may have the opportunity to raise their salary somewhat, supervisors and leaders may experience a drop in their salary as a result of their diminished role.
The Great Resignation will continue
A term coined in America, the Great Resignation refers to the 33 million US citizens that left their jobs in 2021. The endless reasons for this include older workers deciding to retire early, people avoiding jobs that put them at risk (and that’s not just of Covid-19), and even a select demographic who are turning their backs on consumerism.
Whatever the reason, the trend continues into 2022 and spreads globally. Companies will need to work harder to attract new workers, and put more effort than ever before into maintaining staff satisfaction by offering higher salaries, more benefits and increased flexibility.
While this initially sounds shocking, the primary outcome will likely be that all working environments will improve as employers seek better retention. The majority of people leaving their jobs will find employment elsewhere, and their gaps will be plugged by new workers moving from other industries, so don’t expect a sudden drop in workforce anytime soon.
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With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!