San Francisco, CA, December 8, 2021 – BeyondHQ, the leader in digitized workforce and workplace planning, today announced the top strategic workforce trends facing HR leaders in 2022. The ongoing disruptions to business models and operations caused by the pandemic, the transition from fully remote to hybrid work, and the changing power dynamic between employers and employees - are driving new approaches to how companies hire and retain employees and address the growing skills shortage.
In this kind of dynamic environment, HR leaders will need to put greater emphasis on flexibility, agility, and diversity in workforce and workplace management as well as a greater reliance on data-driven intelligence in hiring and location planning. Additionally, companies will need to find effective ways to get the pulse of their workforce in pace with this ever-changing environment.
“The Next Industrial Revolution is here and is defined by the transformation in which talent, more than capital, becomes the most critical factor for business,” said Jeff Goldman, COO and Co-founder of BeyondHQ. “As we begin our journey into this new revolution, employers, individuals, and the government need to come together and make the changes necessary to enable businesses to become more human - and more profitable - at the same time.”
BeyondHQ’s Key workplace trends that will have the biggest impact on businesses in 2022 include:
Workers in tech-enabled companies are demanding — and getting — greater empowerment, choice, and flexibility in the workplace. As a result, forward-thinking organizational leaders must tackle challenging issues around where, when, and how to scale their workforce and workplace. Decisions about location planning will focus on enabling hybrid work models. This will mean shifting away from high CAPEX spending on centralized headquarters to distributed, low CAPEX solutions, including the use of employees' homes, regional hubs, and co-working spaces. As discussed below, leveraging and integrating new technologies and tools will be a significant factor for companies looking to successfully navigate through what feels like constant change.
“As a result of the pandemic, a growing number of companies have shifted to operating with hybrid and remote workforce models and geographically distributed teams,” said Goldman. “This transition will continue well into the future, enabling businesses to reduce their physical footprint and resulting costs, and opening up the talent pool to a broader range of people across different markets.”
The historic organizational silos around annual location strategy planning will give way to a more collaborative, continuous, and agile approach. HR, Real Estate, and Finance leaders, along with their teams, will work more closely than ever before. A synergistic and sustained approach to planning, in conjunction with leveraging the best, most current, and applicable types of data for identifying where the best talent and physical workspace opportunities are located, will be the key to achieving the company’s goals in this seemingly ever-changing environment.
“Employers recognize that ‘where’ work gets done is increasingly geographically distributed, and this distribution will change more often than it has before,” said Goldman. “Moving away from static, once-a-year plans, to a model where they continuously track and compare talent availability, costs, business environment, quality of life, and location-specific activity will give employers a competitive edge.”
Mental Health and Well-being
Mental health and well-being are no longer seen as optional benefits for the workforce, but as essential elements. In the coming year, we’ll see this important aspect of the overall employee experience continue to redefine what productivity is and how it’s measured. Companies are increasing investments in scalable mental health applications for employees and putting greater emphasis on creating and supporting a healthier work environment.
Workforce diversity that encompasses gender, race, age, and socio-economic status will become a necessity and not a mere talking point - powering business competitiveness and growth. More companies will introduce hubs of diversity that help drive significant and much-needed changes in talent analytics and recruitment strategies company-wide and on a global scale.
“A growing number of employers will begin to commit to truly investing in workforce diversity and even demonstrating that investment to employees, customers, and society,” said Goldman. “The benefits will outweigh any costs of the initial investment — many studies and much data already bear evidence of this. As work goes global, this investment will become even more critical.”
Digital innovation has come to the HR technology stack. Whether it is satellite imagery for monitoring global supply and demand, AI-powered chatbots for customer service, or new forms of measuring productivity with a workforce that includes digital nomads, employers must embrace new technology-powered processes in every aspect of operations.
Worker Skills and Experience
Many companies are already looking at potential hires based on a combination of skills that are not necessarily acquired through a traditional four-year college. Companies’ creative approaches to identifying new talent in unexpected places will be rewarded, especially in a job market where skill requirements are rapidly evolving. Greater emphasis on employee training and development, combined with technological change, is generating new approaches to finding and retaining top talent.