The future of work is constantly evolving from the 1900s, when workers were seen as the ultimate winners, to the early 2000s, when the world wide web was barely a decade old, and the offline industries were thriving. Fast-forward to today, where businesses have been forced to shift online if they want to survive this disruptive market with the emergence of artificial intelligence and automation.
The advancements in the IT sector will make this shift as significant as the mechanization in prior generations of manufacturing and agriculture. While some menial jobs will be lost, many others will be created, but almost all jobs will require upskilling. The COVID-19 crisis accelerated existing trends and caused organizations to reevaluate many aspects of work. These are some changes in the workforce trends foreseen for 2022.
Permanent Changes In The Workplace: While companies have started calling their employees back to the office, there has been a significant rise in working remotely and shifting to hybrid workplaces. Remote work statistics have reported around 18% of people to work remotely full-time worldwide. While in contrast, in the USA, more than 4.3 million people work remotely; this number is only expected to grow as the years advance. Many companies, including some of the tech sector’s most prominent players, have accommodated this new preference. 50% of Meta’s 48,000 employees are expected to work remotely within the next ten years, while Twitter and Square made their ‘work from home forever’ options official.
Moe Vela, Chief Transparency Officer of TransparentBusiness, predicted that the need for extensive physical office spaces would gradually become a thing of the past. “Completely remote companies with no headquarters will continue to form as other organizations decide to reduce their office space for hybrid teams or forgo one altogether to save on costs,” added Vela.
Part-Time Employees And Freelancers: With the rise of the great resignation in 2021, the workforce is moving to a more temporary outlook. While in the past, freelancers may have been viewed as not adequately skilled and couldn’t find full-time work. They are now often qualified employees who have reached the peak in their career and want flexibility in the way they work and the option to choose their clients. With the increased availability of skilled workers at their fingertips, in 2021, many hiring managers took the opportunity to turn to freelance talent in on-demand marketplaces — a trend that is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.
This has also led to the emergence of platforms like Stoke Talent that help navigate freelance hiring for organizations- including features that help companies remain compliant, elements that support onboarding and offboarding, and payment capabilities. George Santos, Director of Talent Delivery noted that, “This dynamic also introduces numerous benefits for businesses. These include only paying people for the work you actually need them to do, having flexibility when it comes to who you’re working with, and being able to benefit from temporarily seeking the talents of freelancers with a niche skill set.”
Leading Firms With Diversity, Inclusion And Equity: Companies have now shifted their focus to diversity, inclusion and equity centered around various issues that only affect their employees but all the stakeholders of their organization. According to a CNBC workforce survey, nearly 80% of workers want to work for a company that values diversity, equity and inclusion. With the majority in favor of this move, companies have started to notice and focus on issues their employees feel connected to in order to improve their workplace productivity and happiness quotients.
Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2021 also showed a prevalence of egalitarian practices at all 100 companies. General Motors is a great example of this; they recognize that the world and their company must evolve toward a more equitable future. Over the past year, they have publicly condemned police brutality, racism, bigotry, discrimination, intolerance, and intimidation. General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra also joined nine other corporate and community leaders at Detroit City Hall to declare uncompromising support for equal justice for every American.
COVID-19 has been the most significant workplace disruptor recently that will only accelerate with time. In 2022, organizations will need to learn how to thrive in a period of turmoil and disruption that plays out unevenly across their organizations to emerge as innovators and changemakers.