For everyone connected to the world of work, a recent paper by the global consultancy firm Korn Ferry, is essential reading.

The paper predicts how the disruption of the last 24 months will impact upon the way we view work and implications for the next 12 months and beyond.

Employees, they argue, are now starting to ask very real questions about the work they perform and the value their work delivers. We are moving towards ‘a new era of humanity’. An era where employees want to feel connected to the company purpose and to each other. In the future, we will see a new set of challenges and opportunities. Digital acceleration. Climate change. Global shortages and supply chain issues. The continued uncertainty around new Covid variants. If 2020/1 were years of unplanned reinvention, 2022 is where it will need to become intentional.

This is theme that is taken up by the American author Dan Schawbel, who predicts 5 key trends in the workplace in 2022.

Remote working

At the time of writing this blog, the news channels are full of headlines concerning the Omicron Covid variant and the uncertainty this could bring over the coming months. One thing we can be certain about however, is that next year more and more companies will allow employee time to be split between corporate offices and remote working if their job allows it. In addition to where they work, businesses will allow people to have greater control over when they work. As Schwabel notes:

’Flexibility, schedule control and work-life balance (will be) the top benefits of this new hybrid model’’.

A two-tiered workforce?

Whilst all of this sounds positive, there could be a danger that those choosing home working could find themselves disadvantaged compared to their office -based colleagues. A cultural shift will be required to ensure that all workers are treated equally and feel included.

Talent retention

We are all becoming increasingly aware how the pandemic has prompted employees, young as well as old, to reappraise their work priorities. Studies both in the UK and the US suggest that up to 50% of workplace professionals expect employee turnover to increase in 2022. This will have a major impact on talent retention, leading to possible shortages in key sectors. Whilst companies can offer attractive incentives to retain staff, many employees are starting to look beyond this, asking themselves what ‘success’ – or more importantly – ‘job fulfilment’ actually looks like.

Employee input /feedback

As the last year has proved, certain employee groups such as care workers, hospital staff, essential workers, and others, have felt their voices have not been heard. Not only will companies need to start to engage with all employees more equally, but they also need to translate learnings into action with a focus on improving business outcomes and employee experience.

In the US, for example, companies like IBM have launched their Innovation Jam, helping “businesses and organizations unleash the brainpower of their enterprise to generate and evolve ideas around business-critical issues”.

A strong digital mindset

Finally, technology will continue to play its part in helping businesses retain and attract new talent as well responding to a more informed customer. Forward looking businesses will need to embrace AI solutions like chatbots and other automated technologies, solutions that can help businesses improve productivity gains, deliver better service, and create better outcomes around individual choices.  

How Working Eye fits into the big picture

Working Eye’s Career Discovery platform has been created with these objectives at its heart. A platform that not only enlightens young people to the dynamic changes that are rapidly taking place in the world of work, but one that responds to them based on the answers they give.

So, in 2022, as we enter this ‘new era of humanity’, people will start to base their career preferences around a developing set of new criteria. The companies that recognise this and respond to it will be better placed than those that don’t.