Our latest webinar covering The Trends Destined To Impact Workplaces in 2022 featured guests Rob Harris, Chair of the British Council for Offices (BCO) Technical Committee and Steve Kellett, Sustainability Manager for the property developer Argent LLP.

During the webinar, Steve and Rob shared their insights on the following five trends that are already impacting businesses, and no doubt will continue to do so well into 2022:

  1. Covid secure working
  2. Employee health and wellbeing
  3. The move to net zero carbon
  4. The fight for talent
  5. The use of technology

From our discussion, it became patently clear that if the pandemic has proven anything, it’s that the office is not dead. Instead, we need to focus on the quality and design of the workplace.

Some of the suggestions raised during the webinar discussion for achieving this included:

  • Buildings and workplaces need to be managed differently
  • Organisations must be more agile and building management needs to reflect that
  • Organisations need to be bold and innovative to survive
  • People are now more able to choose where to work, so we must give them compelling reasons to choose to come into the workplace
  • We need to use existing tools to make buildings adaptive to people’s needs, offering curated experiences and spaces for people to choose how they want to work
  • Being in a period of high employment, offices need to be attractive to provide an added benefit for new talent

The number one takeaway from the webinar was that we are currently experiencing a profound and disruptive moment of change. Businesses need to be bold to succeed, so the more innovative organisations will survive, while others may not.

Employer and employee relationships

Another crucial point that was brought to light is the relationship between the employer and the employee, with remote and flexible working continuing to be a focus for most. Many employees need to choose what’s best for them and their families, and what is also important for their wellbeing. But is that best for their career progression? How do you balance the needs of employee and employer in this new flexible way of working?

Even before the pandemic, many people moved out of cities and into the country, preferring a commute to their offices. Now, Steve Kellett suggested that rather than long commutes, those people will either seek more local positions, or the larger London-based organisations will open satellite offices outside the M25 area.

To balance the needs of both employers and employees, Steve stated that managers need to be in the office to guide younger colleagues, helping them in their career progression. Young employees need to appreciate that unless they’re working alongside their experienced managers in the office, they’re not going to learn enough, and their career could stall. So, to draw those people back into the office, not only do those points need to be clearly communicated, but the workplace conditions need to be attractive and comfortable enough to attract both existing people and new talent. Flexible working also needs to remain as an option.

In summary, 2022 will be a continuation of much of what has been seen in 2021. We need to see an ‘emerge and adapt’ focus, building on what we’ve learnt already. And we all need to question our own roles and what we’re doing. To see the full watch the webinar here or below.

Go get in touch if you would like advice on how to improve the productivity and performance of your workplace to make it as attractive to existing and new employees as possible.

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