The current business environment has been rocked heavily by the Coronavirus, global warming, political and social constructs. To stay relevant and provide goods and services while turning a profit, businesses have to adapt or die. Many avenues can be explored to this end, and finding the right fit for you or tailor-making the right processes for you and your business is imperative at this stage.
We all saw how fast grocery stores, drugstore chains and restaurants adapted to online shopping, deliveries and curbside pick-ups during lockdowns. Stores like Aldi took to their online media and used the Aldi flyer to let their customers know of their new ways of service, and it worked. Likewise, your business will have to make changes to make sure it continues to survive and remain relevant in this new era.
Now, let’s explore a couple of these trends that will shape the workplace in 2022.
Hybrid and remote work
While these are already at play, hybrid and remote work will continue to increase for knowledge workers. This means that the combination of working from home and the office, say once a week, will see an increase. Currently, a lot of businesses are only adapting this now, with some already full-on in the office barring restrictions while others are still full-on at home. However, given how the Coronavirus is mutating and vaccines are being implemented worldwide, there’s a general acceptance that we have to live with the virus, and a hybrid workplace is now more possible than ever. This will be a smart move for businesses that have seen a decline in productivity or motivation due to remote work.
This is a very delicate subject that needs to be approached cautiously. Some employers, rather than forcing their employees to get vaccinated, have opted instead to have testing stations in their workplaces. This allows the employee to have autonomy over the decision while also protecting them and their workmates. How businesses handle their vaccination/testing mandates will determine their survival in the industry; whether vaccines will be mandatory, optional or they will do just the testing stations. Certainly, a very important trend to follow and tailor to individual organisational needs.
Human workers VS automation
Automation, without a doubt, is affecting every industry, and therefore, every business. The key here is in managing those changes and preparing employees and your workplace for them. Increasingly, due to artificial intelligence and other business tools that are being put in place due to remote working, a lot of functions that humans did are being done by machines. Even performance measurement tools will become automated for remote employees. Your business will need to find the right human to robot ratio; a human touch/presence is needed for a personal touch.
Even though there has been a concerted drive in this way over the years, employee wellness is a pertinent issue mostly because employees are working from home. It extends beyond mental wellness to physical, emotional, and financial wellness. While employees cannot be forced to attend these programs, their availability will go a long way in keeping them afloat and, in turn, making them efficient in the workplace. It will also help them manage their work-life balance given the prevailing circumstances and also employee-to-employer relations.