- Remote work is here to stay. Fueling collaboration within hybrid and fully remote teams will be the engine that drives the workforce forward.
- DEI is a leading priority. Establishing a DEI program, promoting education and offering HR training will continue to be a central goal for organizations as they navigate the unprecedented change the global workforce is undergoing and move the needle toward corporate and social success.
- Office space is a declining priority. As the concept of hybrid work continues to evolve, many companies will choose to move to a completely remote setup.
Corporate disruption has been on an ongoing, progressive cycle since the beginning of the digital era but when the pandemic began in 2020, innovations that ultimately transformed the way we work began to progress at a record pace. In today's world, we must be ready to change, adapt, and innovate as the rules of the corporate game continue to change.
As we move further into 2022 — and we say hello to the post-pandemic realities that stuck — organizations will need to adopt new processes to withstand the increased pressures of the changing rules of the workforce. From implementing new technologies, rethinking office space structures to becoming more socially conscious, there's a lot for organizations to consider.
Investing in a Remote Reality
2020 was the year of settling into a whole new world of problem-solving to maintain existing operations. 2021 was about getting comfortable with those new methods; we all kind of knew what we were doing, and new work shifts became part of our daily lives.
Now, 2022 will be the year of conquering the new workforce rhythm. Leaders will invest more comfortably in remote work technology while focusing heavily on equipping employees to master their new and existing tech tools.
As the digitally driven world continues to evolve, making technology work for us and fueling collaboration within hybrid and fully remote teams will be the engine that drives the workforce forward.
Startups and Small Companies Will Skip Getting an Office
One of the key benefits of remote work is that it’s allowing employees to make long-term decisions for their lives and well-being that no longer have to be tied to their occupation. You can now work in tech and buy a house by a lake in Utah, if that’s your calling and your internet permits it. Employees are effectively committing to remote work for the long term with these big life changes. This is a great indicator that hybrid work is not a fad that will pass with the pandemic.
As the concept of hybrid work continues to evolve, many companies will choose to move to a completely remote setup. In 2022 and beyond, we’ll see startups and smaller companies skip the traditional brick-and-mortar office approach altogether. Removing the cost of a physical office space, combined with the added attraction of remote work will save companies money and expand their talent pool, both of which will be a huge boost to those companies trying to make the most of their capital to get off the ground.
DEI Will Lead in Priorities
In 2022, powering the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) ecosystem will also be top of mind for business leaders. For instance, DEI can no longer be just a talking point, or a PR move — it must be deeply ingrained in every company decision and should be baked into the foundation of culture, hiring and leadership.
McKinsey & Company reported diversity and inclusion in the workplace bring higher degrees of engagement, productivity and innovation. Not only that, but Gartner reported 76% of employees and job seekers say a diverse workforce is important when evaluating companies and job offers, and 37% would not apply to a company that had negative satisfaction ratings among people of color.
Establishing a DEI program, promoting education and offering HR training will continue to be a central goal for organizations as they navigate the unprecedented change the global workforce is undergoing and move the needle toward corporate and social success.
Preferred Vendors Will Emerge for Each Vertical
While the market for engagement software has flourished during this unexpectedly long period of remote work, there has been little specialization between the various products. As this vast landscape emerged, companies attempted to horizontally integrate their products across all industries in need of engagement tech. As companies jumped into remote and hybrid work models, these products have been eagerly adopted.
However, in the coming year, we will see leaders in the industry begin to focus on specific segments or verticals, resulting in preferred vendors for each. For example, there will be a dominant vendor for the education industry and a different lead vendor for the healthcare industry.
Companies currently using products that are suited for horizontal integration will turn to vendors that are specializing specifically for their industries. Like any other vertically targeted product, focused engagement software will allow greater outcomes than broadly targeted employee engagement software.
Getting Ready for the Year Ahead
All in all, navigating this much change can be wildly overwhelming. But if you think about it, there's much to look forward to as we innovate and collaborate like never before.
We're truly living in revolutionary times, and as we set the pace and the standard for the future, 2022 will be the year we master our new reality. Let us continue to ride the digital transformation wave together and get excited for the many innovations to come.