The Top 5 Workforce Trends for 2022?
“We live in interesting times”.
Old sayings aside, the COVID 19 pandemic has fundamentally changed the world of work. Accordingly industry observers and futurists have been forced to take off their glasses and re-focus on what’s ahead.
But through the COVID fog, some definite pathways are starting to emerge; and savvy observers are already beginning to crystal-ball the top 5 workforce trends for 2022.
Here’s what they see….
#1. The ‘technologization’ of work will continue at an explosive rate
Digitisation. Automation. Transformation. As a result of the pandemic every aspect of work technology will be revolutionised throughout 2022 and beyond to meet the challenges of our new post-COVID world.
Remote work is here to stay, at least in part, and organisations around the world are looking at ways to make sure their teams stay connected. A collaborative, virtual workforce will require companies to invest in new technology and platforms that will help employees to remain productive. These technologies will also enable businesses to offer remote working to sought-after talent, no matter where they are.
Potentially however, the most transformational workforce trend we’ll see next year is the effect of automation on the workforce as businesses grapple with millions of unfilled jobs. Robots will be widely deployed to clean buildings and handle manufacturing tasks, and AI solutions like chatbots will continue their march to replace call centre workers and other roles.
#2. Health and wellness will become a new workplace focus
The pandemic has been a hyper-catalyst for a long overdue focus on employee health and wellbeing.
According to Wellable’s 2021 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, mental health will be at the top of everyone’s mind next year. In fact, nine out of ten employers plan to invest more in this area in the coming years; especially since the pandemic has had a big impact on people’s working conditions, stress and anxiety levels.
In 2022 though, companies will focus mainly on prevention; with initiatives that include rethinking workplace design to ensure the safety of their employees. According to a recent 20212 study (1), 68% of employees globally do not feel completely safe working in their employer’s buildings. This number is even higher for those working remotely, namely 75%.
In addition, nearly one in four of those remote workers (23%) said they would rather start looking for a new job than return to a workplace that didn’t implement the necessary safety measures.
In 2022 worksite health promotion will increasingly come to be viewed viewed as an investment in a business’ most important asset – its employees – with ROI/benefits that include:
- Attracting the most talented workers
- Reducing absenteeism and lost time
- Improving on-the-job time utilization, decision making and productivity
- Improving employee morale
- Reduction in turnover
- A healthier workforce in general
#3. The rise of the hybrid workplace
Working the traditional 40 hour week is no longer standard in many professional businesses. Additionally, organisations are now increasingly engaging with workers in many ways – permanent part-time, fixed-term contracts, casual employees, via recruitment agencies and as independent contractors – and access to flexible work options is considered essential to attract the best talent.
Many companies had hoped to transition to a hybrid model in 2021, but the emergence of the COVID-19 Delta variant caused most of them to put their office re-opening plans on hold. With 2022 fast approaching, numerous surveys show that bosses are ready, willing and able to let their employees split their time between offices and remote working if their job allows for it.
#4. The battle for talent will become fiercer than ever
In today’s competitive climate, securing top talent is a priority for any organisation. And the search field for the right employees is now global. It has been forecasted that by early 2022, remote workers will represent 32% of the global workforce, close to double the figure from 2019 (2). The rise of remote working, of course, has opened a world of possibilities with regards to acquiring top talent, making it much easier for companies to engage people internationally.
The presence of Contractor Management Organisations like CXC Global who also offer Employer of Record (EOR) services to handle talent sourcing, immigration compliance, payrolling and other related services has made engaging talent internationally even easier, for companies both large and small.
Indications are too that in post-pandemic 2022, for most people, perks, and pay won’t be enough. Recent research (3) finds that 88% of workers feel the meaning of “success” has changed, and they’re now prioritizing work-life balance, mental health, and having a meaningful job over a regular salary. Employers are certain to respond to this new way of work if they want to attract and retain talent amidst an employee-driven market.
#5. The Gig economy will become mainstream
Perhaps the most obvious trend to continue in 2022 is the ongoing growth of the gig economy.
Recent World Bank estimates put the number of gig workers in the South East Asian region at 150 million and growing (4). It’s a massive number that has fundamentally changed how many traditional businesses approach their workforce strategy.
As businesses chart their road to recovery post COVID-19, many are working hard to equip themselves with the tools and knowledge needed to successfully emerge from the pandemic. Digital face-to-face meetings, through Zoom or Skype, have become the norm in this post-pandemic world; further facilitating the rise of the gig economy.
The ongoing evolution and integration of technology and the gig economy looks set to be one of the biggest workforce trends in 2022 and beyond. Furthermore, as non-traditional recruitment (for example, sourcing through app-based or online talent marketplaces) becomes mainstream in response to workers choosing a non-permanent work status, the market will irreversibly change. The result will be immediate access to quality workers, the ability to act on business demands quickly and fast deployment of specialist workers. A whole new world of work!
Like to know more about what the new world of work will be like in 2022, and how workforce management companies like CXC Global can help you create a successful future? Then don’t hesitate to contact us at CXC Global.
(4) net/news/se-asias-gig-economy-is-keeping-the-lights-on-who-is-helping-them. July 16 2021)