5 Trends for the future of work and what HR managers can do about them
If you are a human resources executive and are passionate about the latest trends in your field, you cannot possibly have missed some of the terms that were born in the past two years: great resignation or great reshuffle, hybrid working, flex office…
Organizations should move from treating employees as a cost-center to revenue-center, from managing people to engaging them in the company’s identity, from a transactional relationship to emotional engagement. Our focus in this article is focused on how HR managers can engage employees and bring a sense of belongingness in them.
The world of work is evolving rapidly, employee experience is high on the agenda, and a company’s brand is more important than ever. How would these much talked-about trends translate into actionable ideas for HR managers? We are bringing you our five HR trends to help you shape your own employee experience.
1. The physical office is making a comeback
According to a survey by OnePoll, 87% of workers are ready to work from the office in 2022. 60% say they want to meet new co-workers and catch up with their old ones, and 48% are looking forward to a return of in-person meetings.
The physical office is making a comeback, and HR departments need to plan for the change in working patterns.
The office is still important because it fosters the culture of transparency and collaboration that comes with face-to-face interaction. Of course, it is important to be flexible when it comes to working hours, but many people like the stability of knowing they have a place to go each day where they belong.
As our workplaces become more distributed and we rethink remote work, businesses must remain flexible without losing their sense of identity.
Remote days will not disappear, and physical offices will need to be more attractive and user-friendly to encourage employees to come to work.
2. Value propositions vs. obsolete benefits
HR must also redefine the value proposition to attract and retain high-quality talent. Salaries remain important, but they are no longer enough to keep employees happy and loyal. It is time to think about how we can invest in our employees’ well-being, and how we can offer them an environment that allows them to grow and feel fulfilled professionally. The importance of a healthy workplace has never been more prevalent, with 63 percent of employees saying that they are more concerned about it today than they were before the pandemic.
We need to consider what really matters to employees today by asking them directly and then acting based on their responses. Companies that focus on improving well-being and fostering collaboration within their teams will be the ones who will be able to attract the best talent. The Great Resignation may not stop until businesses respond to these demands.
Businesses in 2022 will be pressed to offer a healthier work/life balance, strong office-based culture, and tangible commitments to employees’ satisfaction, or will be left behind.
3. Bridging the communication gap between staff thanks to data management
Elevating the employee experience can be significantly eased by good data management. The use of technology has become second nature after two years of remote work. This familiarity will make teams less resistant to new software, inviting more efficient ways for teams to collaborate as they move around the hybrid workplace.
The biggest challenge for HR managers and business leaders is understanding their employees’ needs and engagement levels in a context where people may be working remotely or on-site at the same time. Most pressing is the need to bridge the communication gap with staff. The HR function needs to be backed up by tech in collecting, analyzing, and turning insights into actionable initiatives that improve the experience across the board, from recruitment to retirement.
Adapting to complex working patterns will require the sharing of real-time data volunteered by staff and translated rapidly to justify workplace policy changes. Expect to see more spaces for employee feedback.
4. The five-day work week is here to stay
The idea has a certain appeal, but we do not need less time at work. Staff needs more time – not less – spent with their colleagues and line managers to fix relationships and have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them. This will only happen if companies get back to the basics of good people management.
The four-day working week has some revolutionary glitz to it, but it is hollow. Leaders should not lose confidence in the importance of quality time with staff; they should not concede that work is bad per se and that the answer to dissatisfaction is less time spent working. A more flexible approach to the five-day working week seems the best outcome for all.
5. Hybrid working is happiness
The pandemic has pushed companies around the world to work in a remote, digital, asynchronous, and often improvised way. The hybrid workplace or flex office is becoming a reality for most employees. But how can companies and managers cope with this new paradigm?
A few simple questions could help outline a strategy that is effective for both employers and employees:
What is the role of the physical office in the future? How will it be designed and equipped? What tools do we need to make remote work as productive as possible? These are just some of the questions that businesses must answer quickly if they want to guarantee employee productivity and engagement.
Hybrid work, mental health safeguarding, concerns about returning to the office, desk sharing, and the need for resilience and business continuity strategies will profoundly change the approach to occupational health and safety. A “healthy hybrid” approach should soon become the norm.
This is the year to embrace change, innovate, and/or adapt to new models of working. The faster the HR managers get on board, the easier the transition will be.
With Witco, HR managers can check in real-time the occupancy rate of the premises, the satisfaction of the teams, the status of the employees (at the office or working from home), and much more – all via one app. This is an effective way of identifying the improvements that need to be made to ensure that the office is always at the service of the employees.
To find out more, schedule a demo with our team today!