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6 Predictions of the trends that will change workplaces in 2022

1. The 15-minute work-life model

During the pandemic, people appreciated not having to travel long distances, and we expect this to continue into next year and into the following year as well. It is anticipated that the elimination of commutes will lead to the emergence of the 15-minute work-life model, an entirely new reality in which people choose to work, live and play all within 15 minutes of their homes.

Workers who no longer wish to commute each day will demand that their employers adopt hybrid working as their default work arrangement, which is now widely accepted. This does not imply, however, that everyone will be able to work from home. We will also see an increase in satellite offices, which are smaller offices located in suburban areas that serve as a complement to the central business district.

Offices in the central business district will be primarily used by residents of the city, with other employees working from their homes, satellite offices, and co-working spaces, all of which will be connected and working collaboratively through simple and easy-to-use collaborative technologies.

2. A return to simpler times 

We were forced to slow down as a result of the pandemic, which was one of the more positive outcomes in the midst of a catastrophic global health crisis. Through the experience of lockdown, people learned to appreciate the little things in life: time spent with family, time spent connecting with loved ones, and the ability to avoid having to rush everywhere.

Upon our return to the office, this desire for simplicity will permeate the workplace, resulting in significant changes to the way meeting rooms are set up. Businesses will want to simplify their meeting rooms by getting rid of complicated systems that impede productivity and engagement with attendees.

Electric blinds and elaborate lighting systems that require constant tweaking are on their way out; people just want to walk into a room, conduct their meeting, and get on with their day, not be distracted by them.

This necessitates the use of appropriate technology that performs flawlessly on a consistent basis. They require technology that is simple, easy to use, and of high quality, which allows them to communicate seamlessly with coworkers and clients.

3. Business can be conducted in any location

Considering that remote work has no end in sight and that distributed workforces are required across numerous industries, this will result in further decentralisation of industries as they adopt hybrid working practices.

The Gartner Group predicts that by the end of 2023, 40 percent of businesses will use 'operations anywhere' to combine virtual and physical interactions with customers and employees. Already, as a result of the pandemic, we've seen an increase in telemedicine, an increase in e-commerce, an increase in digital banking, and even an increase in contact centers implementing decentralized work practices and procedures.

With the increasing adoption of cloud technologies and services, combined with the adoption of 5G and faster internet speeds, the decentralised workforce will continue to be propelled forward, enabling productivity and business continuity even when a greater proportion of the workforce is located outside of the corporate headquarters.

4. Virtual reality is still quite a long way off

By 2022, video will have surpassed text as the most common mode of communication, and we expect this trend to continue. The widespread adoption of virtual workspaces is not expected to occur in the near future, despite an increased emphasis on collaborative technologies and a desire for employees to feel connected and camaraderie while working remotely.

It's understandable that comfort is a top priority for remote workers, and those who spend their days on conference calls are looking for softly padded headphones that are so light that they don't even realize they're wearing them.

However, while virtual collaboration is a novel experience, the reality is that we will not see widespread adoption of VR meetings until the hardware is designed to be comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, is lightweight, and is easy to use.

5. Equality of experience

Many people were scrambling to acquire the necessary equipment for working from home during the early stages of the pandemic. This included things like computers, headsets, and even desks and chairs. Our technology has advanced significantly in the intervening years and it has become clear that remote workers require professional-quality sound, crystal clear video and an unflinching internet connection in order to be productive.

With a greater emphasis on achieving work equality – ensuring that those who wish to work away from the central office do not suffer from a substandard experience – the goal in 2022 will be to make technology more effective in assisting employees while also emphasizing the importance of improving employee productivity.

The emphasis will be on collaborative technology, which will allow employees to feel as if they are sitting right next to their colleagues, clients, and business partners, regardless of where they are located in the world while at work.

6. Data-driven decisions

Given that office space can only accommodate a fraction of the workforce at any given time, businesses will look for flexible and cost-effective systems that will allow them to scale effectively as needed to remain competitive.

Organizations will reorganize their physical office spaces to create hybrid workspaces that foster a more collaborative and less structured work environment, while also taking advantage of dedicated hot desks and co-working spaces. Employers will need to adapt and customize each workspace with the appropriate devices and solutions in order to provide a consistent experience for their employees.

Because of the complexity inherent in managing such asynchronous and dynamic work environments, there will be an increase in the demand for software that can help streamline both people and processes.

Employee engagement at work will be measured using new software that will be developed in the coming years. This software will provide information on everything from the number and timing of meeting rooms used to the type of technology used, the level of engagement in meetings, and whether or not employees choose to have their cameras turned on or off.

These insights will be critical in assisting businesses in gaining a better understanding of how collaborative technology is being used and how it can be used to improve productivity.

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