The Future Of Work in 2022 and Beyond

Resource scarcity, new business models, radical thinking, demographic shifts and disruptive innovation — the past two years have changed many things for businesses and employees all over the world. So, what will the world of work look like in 2022?

In the following article, we have outlined some of the trends we are seeing ourselves and with our customers at Codex as they plan for 2022. We believe that these trends have the potential to shape the future of work and force employers to rethink and reinvent the workplace. 

The Future of the office

“The work is the same, so why am I in the office?”

If we accept that the shift to remote working is here to stay, then when asking staff to return to the office in any capacity, it is important that leaders and managers answer the “why” to their team. For many employees, remote working has proved to be very beneficial. They value flexibility, work-life balance and greater autonomy. But, employees also miss things about working in the office, like collaboration and socialising with colleagues. 

The research backs up what we would expect is being lost in a virtual workplace. Research highlights that innovation cannot happen in a vacuum. It needs collaboration and interactions with colleagues. If we are to use the office as a space to encourage face-to-face interactions, we need to change the setup of the office and find ways to give staff the time and space to do just that.

Using the office space to encourage collaboration

Collaborative workspaces are more than bringing work desks together. A collaborative space needs a proper foundation. Employers need to consider factors like available space, ergonomics, variety of furniture and technological resources. For example, equipping your conference room with simple things like whiteboards and projectors, paying attention to lighting and acoustics and adding easily movable furniture to the space will allow your employees to interact safely and productively. 

Codex is delighted to provide its customers with a carefully selected range of Collaboration Space furniture. Whether you’re looking for acoustic pods or stylish modular seating, we’ve got you covered. 

Tips on changing staff behaviour

Remember that redesigning your office space will not lead to change in itself; you need to think about how you can encourage behavioural changes and not just expect them to happen. 

After almost two years of working from home, employees may feel overwhelmed at the thought of returning to the office in 2022. The only way to understand the experiences of your employees is by listening to them. Start by sending out a survey to gauge what your employees feel about returning to the office. Based on their opinions, feedback and suggestions, think about putting a hybrid working policy in place. 

Obligations to remote workers

When lockdown hit in March 2020, most businesses thought it would be a short-term problem and thus provided staff with short-term solutions. Now, as the shift to hybrid working looks like it is in part here to stay, we are getting more and more requests from businesses to provide long term solutions for their remote working staff in 2022.

It is essential to know that The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 still applies when employees are working from home. Legally, companies will need to adjust their safety statements considering the remote working situation. They also need to have risk assessments done to show the hazards and controls.

A workstation assessment or a DSE assessment is an evaluation to protect employees’ health who typically use screens. Aside from this being a legal requirement, it helps identify and prevent postural problems and musculoskeletal disorders. A competent assessor generally carries out the assessment and makes necessary recommendations to help the employee work better.

At Codex, we offer you the opportunity to speak to one of our trained physios. You can speak to our partners Spectrum Optimise about your current workstation setup, remote or not. They will talk to you, understand the type of work you do, and offer practical advice to help you set up your workspace for better health. Plus, this workstation assessment only takes 30-minutes.

Managing the transition to hybrid work

Managing a team in which some employees work from the office and others work remotely is exceptionally challenging. Here are some essentials to ensure this transition is smooth in 2022:

  • A hybrid approach will mean setting up a solid IT foundation. It will also mean using dependable devices, installing robust cybersecurity software and providing remote IT support.
  • Hybrid working majorly depends on your company and your ability to transform digitally. For example, replacing stationery with digital tools like Mural, will ensure remote and in-office workers are on the same page. 
  • Workspaces will have to be redesigned and reimagined to optimise them for individual workspaces and meeting rooms.
  • Communication is vital and will make the transition easier, no matter where employees choose to work form.