The Top 6 Workplace Trends for 2022: Part 1
03 Aug 2022 2 mins read By Andrea Amato

In a series of blog posts, we're re-visiting our publication The Top 6 Workplace Trends for 2022 to share our findings and make our work more accessible on our platform.

 

The Top 6 Workplace Trends for 2022: Part 1

 

The work environment in review and what the pandemic has taught us so far. 

 

Trends can be difficult to keep up with over time. The Covid-19 pandemic altered our perspectives of the working world, leading to a workforce with a preference for remote jobs. We’re looking back at those workplace trends that have stabilised and remained over 2021, becoming the new normal for 2022. In so doing, we can understand how such trends have shaped our knowledge of the workplace and what we can expect for the future. 

 

The Hybrid or Remote-first Model 

 

To minimise spread of infections, organisations across the globe had to quickly re-imagine their business models to support a workforce largely situated at home. As the Covid-19 pandemic weans onto its third year, the working society is growing more accustomed to a remote way of life. Albeit it is premature to decide the fate of businesses after the pandemic remits, many companies are already stating their plans in amending their business models to a more hybrid one long-term. 

For example, Microsoft is just one organisation permanently shifting their offices to a hybrid climate. “At Microsoft, we’re giving employees a clear flexible work policy—any employee can work remotely up to 50 percent of the time,” Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, stated in a recent article detailing their flexible policies. These organisations pave the way for other businesses in understanding what approach suits the current workforce most effectively.  

 

Applying this model in practice: 

  • Ensure the office environment has updated safety guidelines to prevent the spread of further Covid-19 infection, 
  • Support employees who need to continue working from home for various reasons, 
  • Communicate a plan which explains to employees the details and workings of a hybrid business model, 
  • Ensure managers are prepared to answer any employee queries or concerns, 
  • Plan for organisational amendments that arise with remote work such as technology resources for all employees, and 
  • Support teams by creating novel social opportunities to combat social isolation as a result of the pandemic. 

 

Upskilling & Digital Equality 

 

In a previous article, I’d written about the relationship between remote work and upskilling, as well as what this means in a technological context. To summarise, upskilling is vital for employees to keep up with technological demands. One survey found that 81% of employees who received upskilling training improved their levels of productivity, contributing to the wider success of businesses. Because a hybrid model of work can create a divide between those employees in the office and those who have work from home jobs, thoughtful upskilling initiatives can help sport an even playing field. 

It comes to no surprise that a radical shift in the workforce to support a remote office environment has led to further dependency on technological hardware and software to manage our daily roles. This is what drives a want in employees to upskill in technological domains. A popular study conducted by PwC attests to this drive, but perhaps more significantly showcased a disparity among employees and their accessibility to receive such training.  

Their report found that 46% of postgraduate degree holders reported available training opportunities, compared with 28% of employees who only possessed school-leaver qualifications. Organisations will need to grow more wary of why they should upskill their present workforce and attend to the digital divide that exist among employees. Overall, inclusive strategies will help any organisation flourish in terms of retaining a supported workforce. 

 

How to implement upskilling initiatives: 

  • Leaders are to keep up-to-date with market trends and novel tools that can support organisations, 
  • Align strategic visions set by the company with a holistic mindset on employee needs, 
  • Explore what upskilling requirements organisations need as per their goals, 
  • Amend training developments to support future business requirements, 
  • Determine a means to hold training virtually for a remote workforce such as using e-learning platforms, and 
  • Be mindful of a skills’ disparity and use this to support employees for a beneficial workplace culture. 

 

AI and Technological Support 

 

The ICT industry is one that dominates our understanding of the workplace today. Many jobs in Malta or elsewhere and their respective tasks cannot be achieved without some sort of technological software or hardware. Come the pandemic, every computer installed several video conferencing software to handle any meetings over a digital medium. We can continue to expect, as technology grows more sophisticated, so too will our reliance on it, shaping the way we conduct our daily tasks.  

One such example of a popular technology is automation. For many, automation software can be helpful in handling high volumes of data in a matter of seconds—such as the case with big data. For some businesses, automation can replace certain jobs altogether, including automated chatbots in replacement of customer service representatives. AI technologies can substantially help organisations succeed and allow employees to focus their hands on more creative and challenging tasks. 

 

The role of trending technologies in 2022: 

  • The use of robots for cleaning and manufacturing purposes, 
  • The continued use and growth of digital transformation and IT automation, 
  • Cloud-based systems across organisations (as far as over 80%, according to one source), 
  • Improved connectivity between devices over common and secure networks, 
  • The rise of digital products and applications to support remote workplace services, and 
  • Updated software that makes the overall remote employee experience more seamless. 

 

To read the entire publication, register on our website and access it directly online.

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