The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed perceptions and expectations about what work should be, prompting most workers to desire greater flexibility in relation to the workplace.
We believe that this year, the main goal will be to keep employees happy and engaged in a hybrid workplace.
Adapting to this new strategy will be the focus of many companies, bringing new challenges for managers and IT teams as more offices reopen with combined working modes.
It is also this support for flexible working that will enable companies to retain employees and scale up initiatives around technology investments.
In this way, we can say that changes and challenges will persist in 2022. So, let’s highlight, below, the three main predictions – those visualized by analysts in the technology universe.
Hybrid work will be dominant in the reopened offices, but it will bring many challenges.
Workers continue to appreciate the benefits of a better work-life balance, while employers continue to be excited about their employees’ increased productivity in the remote work model.
With the reopening of offices, the hybrid dynamic has become very interesting. This work strategy should combine physical and virtual communication, aiming to effectively connect employees, regardless of where they are. This is the general objective, but also a great challenge.
Therefore, it is possible that among companies that adopt hybrid work, failures arise – at least on the first attempt. Of the three possible paths – physical (back to the office), fully remote (at home) and hybrid (relay between physical and remote) – the hybrid model is the most challenging. And why can hybrid work be so complex?
Most companies already have nearly two years of experience dealing with a fully remote workforce, in addition to extensive experience with physical (in the office) work, but hybrid work is still unknown. Therefore, combining two different (and even conflicting) ways of working will require a lot of effort.
It’s a new reality! Even organizations that have supported distributed teams and had their employees completely remote over the past two years have not prepared themselves for what they will experience. They will need to learn what it will be like to have their employees two to three days a week, at home or in the office.
The new model undoubtedly raises new questions: “Who should be in the office?”, “What days? and “For what purpose?”. For these choices, companies are even less sure. Only by experimenting with the hybrid format, on a day-to-day basis, will they be able to discover the best solution.
All of this assumes that companies and corporate leaders have the patience and cultural flexibility to learn. For organizations not motivated to face such a challenge, a return to the dynamics they already know is expected: “everyone in the office” or “everyone in the remote model”.
Invasive monitoring tools could spur negative reactions and even lawsuits by employees
Somehow, even if not daily, remote work will remain and because of this, companies will want to create a means of tracking worker productivity and well-being when physically removed from the office.
However, some organizations go overboard in their attempts to maintain control over employees, resulting in a backlash from the worker, which could result in legal action being taken against employers.
Business interest in “bossware” software, those that provide detailed analysis of employee actions, has grown during the pandemic, drawing criticism from workers’ rights groups for being overly intrusive.
These tools can include regular screenshots of an employee’s laptop or keystroke logs to track productivity levels. And, depending on how they are implemented, they can seriously undermine trust, especially when they are used without consulting the employee.
How much monitoring is acceptable? Ideally, collaboration and productivity vendors tread carefully and care about employee privacy. Organizations must not violate privacy laws and must take employee perceptions into account.
If managers do not act in a moderate way and err in the way they use these monitoring tools, they can harm the trust and well-being of their employees, as well as even allow lawsuits.
However, companies can take steps to avoid this scenario. One is to anonymize employee data so that it cannot be misused against them. Another way would be to carefully consider what will be monitored, why and whether such direct monitoring is even necessary.
It is important to remember that the performance of work teams can be evaluated and monitored in less intrusive ways. Nothing better than observing the results achieved. This is a form of assessment that ensures employee privacy and well-being.
Lack of staff to promote a better employee experience
Last year, another situation experienced in the workplace was the increase in staff shortages in various sectors. This is likely to continue into 2022, with employers scrambling to hire the right staff and investing to keep those already employed.
So, this year, companies are worth focusing on three areas:
- Observe employee well-being to ensure that there is no exodus and that problems are resolved as they arise.
- Promote better internal communication and employee engagement, providing greater integration, engagement, and productivity.
- Invest in learning and development programs, providing the opportunity for professionals to enrich their careers or to work in new areas, without leaving the organization.
Concerns about employee retention will lead to a string of investments in employee-centric initiatives and technologies.
There will also be a great effort to extract more value from the technologies that have been deployed with the aim of facilitating the remote work experienced in previous years.
This will include investments in leadership development, monitoring employee engagement, and even ways to adapt team culture to the new requirements of the market or business in which they work.
We also add that it will be necessary to create an atmosphere where workers feel valued and connected to the rest of the organization. The more engaged they are, the more they will want to stay in the organization.
We take the opportunity to insist that managers aware of the challenges of implementing hybrid work need to seek solutions in virtual platforms that allow them to keep teams productive and succeeding in their daily tasks.
We have the most complete solution for this purpose: MyHive. In addition to being a virtual office that offers a pleasant and integrative work environment, it meets any communication need that employees may have, even if they do not share the same physical space.
MyHive was developed for all types of companies and its differentiated structure – which eliminates the need to hire several non-integrated solutions – is perfect for the hybrid work model.
Take your team to MyHive. Test the ideal platform for hybrid work for free: MyHive.Global.