After the last few years, workplaces have been turned on their heads. The way offices and workspaces used to be utilised is no longer the norm, and the way we work in them has also changed. Businesses are placing higher importance on employees’ mental health, well-being, and productivity – making sure the workplace feels like it’s somewhere comfortable to be.
We’ve put together a list of some of the workplace trends that we think will define this year.
1. INCREASED FOCUS ON EMPLOYEE HEALTH & WELL-BEING
Companies have been focusing on work-life balance and the mental health of employees more and more over the last two years, and it’s something that is sure to continue all the way through 2022.
Prioritising employee well-being could take many forms in the workplace. Many companies are starting to introduce the idea of soft seating and breakout spaces into the workplace. Breakout spaces can be used for meetings, socialisation, or collaboration. Working in a comfortable and relaxed environment not only boosts productivity but also creates a positive atmosphere around the whole workspace.
Some businesses are adopting the idea of biophilic design into their workspaces. Biophilic design is all about bringing nature into the office. Incorporating nature into the workplace can take many different forms. Whether it be using brighter and more natural colours for walls, indoor plants - both real and imitation, or even furniture with wooden accents, nature can positively impact mood and well-being within the workplace.
Companies may also look into providing additional employee benefits, including work flexibility, bonuses, and work ‘fun’ days to boost morale and retention.
2. ALLOWING SPACE FOR FLEXIBLE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS
Over the last two years, businesses have become accustomed to flexible working. Most companies got a taste of home working in those two years, and now are looking at making flexibility a normalised way of working.
When it comes to where we work, there will continue to be three main arrangements.
For some people, being in the office and working closely with other people is a big part of their role, so being in a social and collaborative environment could still be the best option.
For others, working from a home office is a more productive and efficient solution. They can work in the comfort of their home where they feel it’s easier to concentrate without the distractions an office environment can bring.
Some people prefer the best of both worlds, working with a mix of both the home and the office. This is perhaps the most popular working arrangement right now, as people are looking to be able to get back into in-person meetings and workplace collaboration, while still having the opportunity to work on individual tasks without office distractions.
In 2022, it’s more likely that workers will have the choice between which arrangement works best for them depending on job type and productivity outcomes. Whatever an employee chooses, it has to work for both themselves and the business.
3. ENCOURAGING DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
As a business, we know that diversity and inclusion of people leads to stronger teams and better business outcomes. It's about practicing what real inclusivity feels like; feeling like you are heard and that your ideas count is paramount to creating an inclusive company dynamic.
Finding ways to attract and retain diverse talent is becoming more and more important in the business world. There are a lot of ways to attract new talent and retain existing employees within companies.
Retaining Existing Talent:
- Empower employees to do their job to the best of their ability
- Show appreciation and respect to all employee
- Offer the ability to grow within the company
Attracting New Talent:
- Develop an employer brand that reflects your business
- Treat your current employees with respect
- Offer competitive benefits/perks
When people feel supported in bringing their whole selves to work, they tend to contribute more.
4. RELYING ON TECHNOLOGY
In the last
few years, technology has become paramount to many businesses, making them work
smarter, harder and adapt to new situations, such as employees working from
home and meetings with customers being handled over video calls.
No matter if you're working for a large or small business, the importance of technology is abundantly clear. Whether your company is going back to the office full-time, shifting to remote working, or going hybrid, the likelihood is that technology will become your biggest friend in 2022.
Video conferencing and collaboration tools will become a staple of work in 2022 and beyond. Different companies will be adopting different ways of working and with not all employees working in the same space, teams will continue to use these tools to work together and create the best outcomes for their business.
We believe that these trends will define the workplace in 2022.