Future Workplace | Digital Workplace Trends 2022
Every workplace has an ecosystem of its own. Therefore, constant evolution applies to all its elements. Understandably, employers today are looking to create a safe digital haven for employees who are returning post the pandemic. This means more than just sanitized desks. Let’s delve deep into the idea of future workplaces and what contributes to the top digital workplace trends in 2022.
As a fallout of the pandemic, the way employees work and the nature of their work has drastically changed. The digital workplace has endless opportunities, thanks to increasing technology adaptations, that contributes to a highly coordinated and functioning facility only focused on creating a safe ecosystem and in delivering unique experiences. Disruptive science, high-tech machinery and Machine learning with AI are steering workplaces towards a powerful digitalisation that has the power to transform the way organisations have been functioning.
As we step into the next era (post-pandemic) with heavy hopes for a complete return to normalcy, one thing is certain: We are not returning to old ways of running a clock-in clock-out workplace. Here are the top Digital Workplace trends of 2022 to look out for.
Collaboration Tools will Rule
When it comes to growing a workplace from the core, collaboration is an important element that impacts a company on a deep level. With more and more collaborative tools and technologies being introduced, it is evident that companies and executives are willing to invest in them at any cost, to introduce seamless collaboration at their firm.
It is recorded that collaboration in workplaces has increased by almost 50% in the past 20 years. This number is not going down soon. Even in the coming decades, businesses that are collaborative are bound to succeed and excel in their respective industries, especially with the introduction of a hybrid work environment. With employees switching between the office or remote mode, offices would have to invest and look up more platforms to bring the teams together for projects and complex problem-solving. Features like smooth video conferencing, phone calls, file sharing, creating lists, crafting workflows will be inevitably common in every office space. Collaboration is the future of the workplace and the faster organisations embrace it, the better the chances of thriving in cut-throat competitive markets.
Automation will be a Priority
Companies no longer are barred by traditional painstaking protocols. In the past 20 years, companies have made the transition of jumping from spreadsheets and logbooks to more advanced technologies that are just simplifying things for the office staff. Taking the example of an agile visitor management system shows that brands and businesses are looking for and valuing faster results, and adopting newer tech to get there. Most companies have digitized their front office with a digital receptionist (Smart AI-powered software to seamlessly embrace workplace transformation and deliver a red carpet experience to guests). Earlier, the work of managing visitors was left to front desk personnel and the crucial task of storing their information was left to disparate logbooks. Technological solutions have automated visitor management, capturing visitor contact details, track and scan visitors for COVID symptoms, recordkeeping and even notifying the hosts about visitors’ arrivals.
The effects of automation have already been seen. A study published on fortunly.com points that the total task hours completed by humans will drop by 13% as they will be done by machines, or in simple terms, automated. Automation is, therefore, going to stay and rule the industries in the coming decade.
Workplace Space Planning with a New Perspective
Digital workplace trends in 2022, transform your workplace into a hybrid workforce. Goodbye suffocating cubicles! With the necessity for social distancing and hygienic environments, space planning and optimisation is the way forward to develop a healthy ecosystem. CEOs of major companies have realised that creating a stunning workplace with enough light, proper ventilation, well-planned seating layouts with floor plans and accessible-to-all technological hotspots can make a huge impact on the productivity of the employees.
In the era of innovation, why should workspaces be mundane and repetitive? Ensuring hygiene, safety and top-level security to employees along with creating a workplace that exudes liberal culture and creativity at its heart is the main aim for companies. Offices are looking to provide an employee-centric experience by bringing in not just smart offices but also smart desking options like office seat booking software and hot desking solutions on board. The new emerging generation of employees love to explore new boundaries. It is only fair that they have their creative needs met to further enhance their talents and capabilities.
Employees Mental well-being on Radar
Almost on par with work hygiene and the physical well-being of employees, employee mental well-being will be a top priority for employers. An office can no longer afford to be fathomed as an area of stress. The rate of employee burnout, anxiety at the workplace and work-induced stress levels have been skyrocketing in the previous decade because of the growing pressures faced by workers in all spheres of business. A look at the high rate of resignations, it is clear employees are no longer willing to compromise on their mental health in return for a paycheck. In response, companies are radically transforming to create a mentally relaxing office space.
Small talk, flexible work schedules, hybrid workplace management, downtime to unwind, mental health helplines, internal employee helpdesk, etc are just some examples of investments companies are making in their employees’ mental welfare. This shows that work culture is improving and is bound to accelerate towards making the workplace a hub of freedom, integrity and joy. The coming years are, therefore, going to see a lot more relaxation centres within offices, team-related outdoor activities, team yoga and more targeted towards the employee’s work-life balance.
Many companies are going the extra edge by setting up IT Help Desks at their workplaces for better grievance management. This allows the employees to raise their issues to the central authorities easily, which is then followed by a systematic procedural hearing to ensure that the employee’s problems are dealt with most efficiently, promptly. When companies invest in an employee’s mental health, the workplace is bound to become more productive.
Use of Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning and the concept of Artificial Intelligence has already penetrated deep into workplaces. With every passing year, bots are taking over routine jobs. Even as the world is heading towards AI lawyers and AI cars, the workplace will see more humans and machines joining hands on a regular day.
From sensors to chatbots operating in browsers to smart assistants doing the work for you, the power of artificial intelligence is hard to imagine. In fact, 77% of the devices that people use for their day-to-day activities are offsets of AI-powered technology. This sheds light on the growing impact that this wonderful technology has on our lives in and out of the office. With proper usage of AI within the organisations, managers and executives can make informed decisions that are data-driven and fail-proof. For example, AI driven asset management software can help companies discover inventory trends by viewing asset history and performance over a long period. It can also help organisations carry out predictive maintenance at a high rate of success. This way AI is reshaping not just the way companies function but also the way everyday activities and tasks are performed. In the next ten years, AI is expected to grow 40% higher than the previous decade with bots performing clerical as well as complex tasks.
Geography and Location won’t Matter
The only good thing that pandemic gifted the world – the acceptance and success of remote jobs. In the past 20 years, it was believed that remote working was for the part-timers and was not an effective way to work. The spread of the virus, however, made the world believe otherwise. Even as businesses are reopening, remote working is going strong and is being adopted by many organisations as a serious mode of work.
In a recent study, 76% of executives feel that their hiring is no more location-dependent. This points to global ways of remote working. With virtual collaboration tools, conference features, communication apps and multi-feature platforms making things easier for remote workers, there is absolutely nothing that remote working cannot achieve. Even as more than half of global organisations have decided to adopt the hybrid workplace model, it is only a matter of time before the rest catch up. For the ones hesitant to hire off-site workers, it means spending more on real-estate to accommodate increasing on-site employee databases.
Work from home has given new life to employees and has opened up a sea of talent pool for hiring. Jobs are hassle-free, without compromising on productivity and output. With so many upsides, we have multiple reasons to conclude that the remote way of working is the beginning of a new era for workstations as it allows for diversification, unison and inclusion.
Reskilling Employees will be a Necessity
Talking of workplace trends in 2022, the workplace is a changing ecosystem and it is challenging to match pace with the emerging tech and tools. This matching with the trends is going to surely open doors for another trend which is ensuring that the employees are learning and growing with every passing year. The introduction of new policies and reforms in everyday work culture has led many organisations to face the problem. Most of the time, the staff is trained to do things in a certain way. However, tech innovations are coming in every day, allowing work to be done more accurately and at a better speed. This calls for employees to be trained and equipped with the latest know-how so that productivity is never compromised.
Upskilling of employees will be a top priority for organisations because people need to understand the machines and systems properly to leverage maximum output from their operations. This instils more confidence in workers and offers a great ROI for employers willing to invest in training their existing employees. In the next five years, it is predicted that the employees of 50% of companies will require some sort of upskilling and reskilling.
Safety and Health Standards
Right after the pandemic, companies have begun to acknowledge better hygiene and health standards in office spaces. The spread of coronavirus shook the very basics of hygiene and cleanliness at workplaces. Today, wearing masks, gloves, disinfection of every surface and sanitization, temperature checks, and keeping track of vaccination status is a must at workplaces. The pandemic has opened up ways and means of ensuring that the workplace is equipped with best-in-class HVAC filters, broadened ventilation systems and high-degree cleaning protocols.
Reportedly, more than half the executives across the world have hired extra professionals and healthcare workers post-pandemic to lay out a proper cleaning protocol for the office premise. Health and safety concerns are also among the top fears of employees returning to the office.
Trends like these are going to be prevalent because the pandemic has shed a strong light on the importance of creating a safe and healthy workplace.