In this article about office trends for the new year, we will be casting our eyes over what this means for working in 2022.
Much has been written about the pandemic that has dominated our lives over the past two years. And, in 2022, the corona virus will still influence our daily reality, even though we have become masters at flexibly adapting to a (working) context that is continuously changing. In this article about office trends for the new year, we will be casting our eyes over what this means for working in 2022.
Working from home is here to stay
SD Worx, which surveyed the extent of working from home in Belgium in the summer of 2020, states that 85% of employers say that their WFH systems work ‘really well to perfectly’. Almost 90% of them are planning to maintain these systems even after the corona virus has passed. This is primarily in consideration of employee well-being. The top three reasons for maintaining the WFH facility include ‘increasing employee satisfaction’, ‘supporting employees in their work/life balance’, and ‘preventing traffic stress for employees’. Employers also recognise the benefits of working from home for them; they cite ‘increased work motivation’ and ‘time gained for working’ which complete the top-five.
The best of both worlds
According to Katleen Jacobs from SD Worx, however, there is increasing coverage of the disadvantages to working from home. ‘To start with, the focus lay on the benefits. Now, however, employers are having to deal with the other side of the coin, such as reduced engagement between employees and with the organisation itself.’ Experts are thus recommending hybrid structures that combine the advantages of home-working with going to the office. Flexible workstations and multifunctional meeting areas are therefore a vital element of office trends for the new year.
AI defining office trends
In 2020, the World Economic Forum predicted that AI and automation would create 97 million new jobs across the world by 2025. Many existing jobs will, of course, also change under the influence of artificial intelligence. In the offices of the future, repetitive tasks will be increasingly assigned to computers and robots, while human employees will focus on tasks which require creativity, imagination, strategic thinking or emotional intelligence.
Even if you think that this type of progress will not affect your office, you are advised to invest in technology and the corresponding training for your team. The latter issue is certainly lacking among Belgian employers, according to the SD Worx study that we mentioned above. Over 75% of them have paid no extra attention to training on digital collaboration or computer skills, despite the huge efficiencies that can be realised as a result.
Finally, the office trends for 2022 will be determined by the fact that both customers and employees are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of materials and furniture. So, if you are setting up a new office or renovating an existing area, you had better not ignore the sustainability aspects and energy-efficiency of your equipment, lighting and heating.
Your office in 2022