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HR managers: 5 trends of the future of work and what you can do with them?

Written by
Chinmayee Naik
HR managers: 5 trends of the future of work and what you can do with them?

If you're in human resources and you're passionate about the latest trends in your field, you can't have missed some of the terms that have sprung up over the past couple of years: big quit or big shakeup, hybrid work, flex office…  

Organizations must move from treating employees as a cost center to a revenue center, from managing people to their involvement in corporate identity, from transactional relationship to emotional engagement. In this article, we focus on how HR leaders can engage employees and give them a sense of belonging.

The world of work is changing rapidly, employee experience is a priority, and a company's brand is more important than ever. How do these much talked about trends translate into concrete ideas for HR managers? We bring 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 their desk in 2022. 60% say they want to meet new colleagues and see old colleagues again, and 48% welcome the return of in-person meetings.

The physical office is making a comeback, and HR departments need to plan for changing ways of working.

The office is still important because it fosters the culture of transparency and collaboration that comes from face-to-face interaction. Of course, it's important to be flexible when it comes to working hours, but many employees like the stability of having somewhere to go each day and where they belong.

As our workplaces evolve and we reimagine remote working, companies must remain flexible without losing their sense of identity.  

Remote days won't go away, and physical offices will need to be more attractive and user-friendly to entice employees to come to work.

2. Value Propositions vs Outdated Benefits

HR must also redefine the value proposition to attract and retain quality talent. Salaries are still important, but they are no longer enough to keep employees happy and loyal. It's time to think about how we can invest in the well-being of our people, and provide them with an environment that allows them to thrive and feel fulfilled professionally. The importance of a healthy workplace has never been greater, with 63% of employees saying they care more about it now than before the pandemic.

We need to think about what really matters to employees today by asking them directly and then acting on their needs. Companies that focus on improving well-being and fostering collaboration within their teams will be the ones that will be able to attract the best talent. The Great Resignation may not end until companies respond to these demands.  

In 2022, companies will be pressured to deliver a healthier work-life balance, a strong office culture, and tangible commitments to employee satisfaction , or risk being left behind.

3. Bridge the employee communication gap with data management

Improving the employee experience can be greatly facilitated by good data management. Using technology has become second nature after two years of working remotely. This familiarity will make teams less resistant to new software, prompting teams to collaborate more effectively as they move through the hybrid workplace.  

The biggest challenge for HR managers and business leaders is understanding the needs and levels of engagement of their employees in a context where people may be working remotely or on-site at the same time. The most urgent thing is to close the communication gap with the staff. The HR function must be supported by technology to collect, analyze and transform information into concrete initiatives that improve the experience of everyone, from recruitment to retirement.

Adapting to complex work patterns will require the sharing of real-time data voluntarily provided by staff and translated quickly to justify workplace policy changes. Expect to see more spaces for employee comments.

4. The five-day week is here to stay

The idea has some appeal, but we don't need less time at work. Employees need to spend more – not less – time with co-workers and supervisors to build relationships and have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them. This will only be possible if companies return to the basic principles of good personnel management.  

There's something revolutionary and flashy about the four-day workweek, but it's hollow. Leaders must not lose faith in the importance of quality time with staff; they must not concede that work is inherently bad and that the answer to dissatisfaction is to spend less time working. A more flexible approach to the five-day week seems to be the best solution for all.

5. Hybrid work is happiness

The pandemic has pushed businesses around the world to work remotely, digitally, asynchronously and often on the fly. The hybrid or flex office workplace is becoming a reality for most employees. But how can companies and managers deal with this new paradigm?  

A few simple questions can help define an effective strategy for 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 a few of the questions companies need to answer quickly if they want to ensure employee productivity and engagement.

Hybrid working, safeguarding mental health, worries about returning to the office, shared offices 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 work models. The sooner HR managers get started, the easier the transition will be.

With Witco , HR managers can check real-time office occupancy, team satisfaction, employee status (in the office or working from home), and more, all through a single app. This is an effective way to identify improvements that need to be made so that the office is always at the service of employees.

To find out more, schedule a demo with our team today!