By: John Fernandez | CRP, GMS, SSB

October 12, 2021

What lies ahead for the average workplace in 2022?

It is hard to believe that the fourth quarter of 2021 is already upon us. So much has happened in the US (and around the world) the past two years, but it still feels like it’s moved ahead at a blurred pace. The modern workplace is constantly evolving as it is, but the past few years have forced numerous industries to change their workplaces due to Covid restrictions with little to no warning. Keeping up on trends to ensure that your company’s workplace or work plan is positive, collaborative, and flexible is important to making sure you can employ the best talent for each position.  

A healthy workplace not only attracts the best talent but also can help improve employee performance and productivity. Employee turnover is an expensive problem for a workplace that is struggling with morale or productivity on everyday tasks. In order to set up your workplace for employee success in 2022 and beyond, check out these trends that you should consider implementing throughout the new year:

Gen Z Is Coming

Demographic shifts are something that cannot be halted. In the past four-plus decades we’ve seen the workforce transition from Baby Boomers to Gen X to Millennials. Now, the next generation is ready to start entering the business world. Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2010) is the newest working generation and stats are predicting that they will make up about 40% of the global workforce entering 2022. 

The main difference between Gen Z and the previous age demographics is Gen Z was born and raised with technology in hand. With mobile phones, tablets, laptops, endless apps, and more, Gen Z has been steeped in technology. This familiarity has allowed Gen Z to embrace technology and the improvements it can provide in the workplace. They are quicker to catch on to updates to systems and policies and adapt to using new software when asked. Small and midsize businesses will need to explore the habits, skillset, and mindsets of this new working generation to ensure that their business can stay up to date against the competition. Using old technology and software or outdated workplace policies can hurt a company’s chances of hiring the best candidate for a job if most of the applicants are from this new generation. 

To keep up with this new generation, and to keep pace with the workplace trends of 2022, it could be time for your organization to review office practices, routines, training, and career progression plans.

Working Remotely and Flexible Work Schedules

Mainly due to Covid-19 office restrictions, many companies learned that employees can be just as productive working remotely as they can sitting in a central office complex. 2020 and 2021 have shown companies that there are many benefits to allowing employees to work remotely. There are two main advantages for employees. The first is the improved work-life balance that can be achieved when the employee no longer needs to commute back and forth to an office five days per week. The other is not dealing with the stress of rush hour traffic each way during these daily office commutes. Both of these points can also benefit the employer because if employees are less stressed, then they are more likely to be productive during the workday. 

Allowing employees to work remotely full-time, even after all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, is something that is going to be the new normal. In a survey sent to company leaders, it was reported that 47% of companies said they will let employees work remotely full-time, while 80% from that same survey said they will allow at least part-time work away from the office. 

Also, the mandatory 8am to 4pm or 9am to 5pm work schedules are being left in the dust by innovative managers. Companies (whether they allow remote work or require office work) should consider flexible work schedules. Again, it helps employees be able to retain a work-life balance that will keep them happy, positive, productive, and less distracted.

Set Realistic and Motivating Promotion Paths

Many larger companies tend to get bad reputations when it comes to employee growth and promotions. Often, employees of bigger branches feel like just a number in the system and seem stuck once in the same position for a few years. This creates a culture that lacks creativity and passion, ultimately hurting company performance. In addition, current trends have shown a huge increase in open jobs that need to be filled. Companies who do not have set promotion paths for a majority of their employees will probably have a hard time keeping talent, because they can advance their careers by filling one of the numerous open positions that need to be filled. 

When ownership groups and managers can come together to set realistic goals that can give the employee a clear path to development, promotions, raises, new training, and new opportunities it can set a great work culture that employees will want to work at and thrive at for years to come. It should be noted that it is not advisable to simply set career paths for new employees and leave it at that. Regular reviews should be set for all new and current employees to  meet with a company leader to discuss their place in the organization and how to further develop their professional skills and advance within the department or company.

Keep Communications Open and Sociable

Today, simple conversational and writing skills can be difficult for some employees. Many younger employees who are new to the workforce have grown accustomed to communicating primarily through text messaging or social media. Encouraging your employees to be more personal when communicating, especially when working remotely, can go a long way towards their overall personal and professional development. Providing software that can include instant messaging and easy-to-use video calls can promote your employees to speak face to face when possible. This will go a long way in developing a work culture where employees not only feel like a person, but feel that they are interacting with other “real” people.

Stay On Top of Workforce and Workplace Trends

Global Mobility Solutions offers readers updates on relocation industry trends on a regular basis. Our command of emerging trends have allowed our team to help countless companies to develop robust and competitive relocation programs, enhance their retention of talent, and acquire the fresh talent needed to grow their business. GMS performs regular benchmarking studies to track and evaluate policy trends and identify shifts in the mobility landscape. GMS is committed to staying in-the-know regarding the challenges facing a wide range of industries that have a need for global mobility and relocation services

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Executive Vice President John oversees global operations, marketing, business development as well as reporting and analytics. John’s 23 years of mobility experience include excellence in varied positions such as Relocation Counselor, International Assignment Manager, Manager of Latin American Operations, Director of International Operations, Global Account Executive, Vice President of Sales and Vice President of Global Services. The depth of John’s mobility experience also includes multiple assignments and domestic relocations of his own. He has lived and conducted business around the globe and speaks multiple languages.

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