The past two years have been a bit unpredictable for workers and employers, and while 2022 could bring some surprises to its name, the history of the past has hinted at the trends that will continue into the new year.
Although the patterns may be familiar, they have complexities that innovative businesses must recognize to identify and retain valuable employees.
The continuing growth of the gig economy
For a long time, people have made a living from side hustles. They may have wanted to earn extra income or explore other industries. However, for many working from home, gig work is their primary source of revenue. In the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, some estimates suggest that gig workers comprised around 35 percent of the US. Workforce.
With the uncertainty and closures accompanying the disease, it’s unusual for people to look for other work opportunities. Many freelance opportunities seemed to be a perfect fit for the current times. Skilled freelancers could work remotely in marketing, consulting, design, or user interface.
As more and more workers shift to gig work, the struggle to attract and retain talent will continue for businesses through the 2022-23 year and after. As companies struggle to find employees with the necessary skills today, employees are more capable of demanding and finding jobs that match their interests and capabilities.
What’s in store for companies that are looking to fill positions? The gig economy will grow, and there will be more workers. Forbes states that in 2023, more than half of American workers will be self-employed. Businesses must adapt to the changing market and think strategically about how gig workers of different skills can assist in achieving their goals.
When gig-working becomes more commonplace, organizations may need to adjust. Suppose companies want to expand their participation in working with freelancers. In that case, they’ll need to decide the best way to balance their needs while maintaining the flexibility and autonomy that gig workers expect.
The companies want to raise worker wages at an average rate of 3.9 percent, the most significant increase since 2008. While higher salaries could bring more employees, the present generation of employees are seeking more than just a boost in their pay. They are also seeking the flexibility of their work environment, flexibility, and opportunities to improve their abilities.
The Changing Work Environment
Many companies are reopening their offices or shut down due to the COVID-19 epidemic; however, not everyone wants to return. A Gallup survey discovered that 45 percent of full-time workers worked remotely from September 2021. Remote work has always been a top priority for employees, and when the pandemic began, those opposed to remote work could not resist the urge to change their ways.
Many employees appreciate the freedom of working at home, and when companies ask employees back to work, some say ‘no thanks’ or, at the very least, “not now.” If companies do decide to bring the employees to work, they are also faced with the question: why even bother?
Many companies are exploring hybrid work environments in the hope that offering their employees the option of in-office and remote work will hit that perfect balance of flexible working and collaboration.
Even if organizations can create perfect hybrid workplaces, not every worker can work remotely. Certain front-line positions require employees to be on-site. Businesses must also consider what they can do to create an environment that offers more flexibility despite the limitations of working on-site. Companies must also take the initiative to create a safe work environment for employees on-site.
What do leaders need to know about the changing working conditions? The workplace can no longer perform things the same way because that’s how they’ve always done it. Instead, they need to realize that regardless of their work, employees want the flexibility of deciding the time and place they work, allowing them to concentrate on their professional and personal priorities.
Addressing this change requires looking at every organizational process and practice to determine what makes sense. Does it benefit employees as well as contractors? Does it benefit the business? Instead of deciding that a new idea isn’t working, consider what modifications are required to help it succeed.
As we’ve seen, people who work as gig workers want freedom and satisfaction from their jobs; workers everywhere want more control over how and where they work. Strategic employers will work with their employees to think of new ways to accomplish this.
The concept of culture is widely accepted as the critical factor that differentiates
The past two years have been difficult for employees, and it was also a challenge for employers. Since then, companies have had a renewed understanding of employees’ importance to the company. While previously, employers had the power, now the shift has been towards a focus on employees.
More than ever, companies recognize that their culture is crucial in attracting and keeping employees. They also understand that a positive environment is more than just making employees content; it benefits the bottom and the overall bottom line. Businesses with positive cultures enjoy more income growth and profits than those without. If a company has an established, thriving culture, its employees get an improved experience. This will improve productivity, retention, and customer relationships.
How will culture affect companies in 2022? Companies that have succeeded in establishing the right atmosphere could face difficulties as they move to work remotely when their employees start to work on a hybrid schedule or expand their involvement with freelancers.
The companies will need to establish the culture their company requires and how they can embed it into the entire organization regardless of where employees work. The company’s leaders must devise strategies for adapting to employees’ evolving demands to ensure employees are committed to the business’s goals. Companies that can do this first and foremost will be ahead of the pack.