As we close out the first month of 2022, themes like adapting to remote work, an emphasis on employee wellbeing, and the Great Resignation (or Great Reshuffle, however you’re choosing to brand it) continue.
I predict that 2022 will not be the peak of a massive workplace shift, it’s merely the beginning. Here are three trends I think will last:
Who had hybrid meetings, supply chain crises, or the Metaverse on their 2019 bingo card? The last few years (of rapid change and new challenges) have heightened the need for an always-be-learning mentality.
Historically, “learning” was somewhat relegated to a few key events: college, onboarding, and once-a-year professional development seminars. Now, continuous change, coupled with record-level career shifts has upped the urgency for continued intellectual growth. Learning is no longer an event; it is an ongoing organizational practice, one that is increasingly necessary for bringing in and retaining top talent.
For many of us, working from home gave a welcomed reprieve from uncomfortable suits and stilettos. Personally, I think if I were to don a pair of 4-inch heels these days, I’d stumble through the airport like a baby giraffe. Yet, for many, it’s not just a mass move towards sweatpants. Earlier this month, The New York Times published an article that mentioned, for some, the pandemic has given a new level of fashion freedom. Even Minnie Mouse is getting a new look.
The rules of what constitutes ‘professional’ attire are shifting (for the better). Most organizations are recognizing that it’s not about what you’re wearing; it’s more what you’re saying, doing, and thinking about while you’re wearing it.
Perhaps you’ve seen the viral tweet – a recruiter, who had budgeted 130k for a role, offered a candidate 85k because ‘that’s what she asked for’ and the recruiter ‘doesn’t have the bandwidth to give lessons on salary negotiation.’
I personally find this maddening. The onslaught of negative reactions to the tweet is emblematic of a larger shift taking place. The market is moving towards greater transparency because people are coming to understand, the absence of transparency enables inequity.
Just 1 in 4 workers say their employer is transparent about salaries, according to a new report from Salary.com. And that’s about to change. For example, employers in NYC will soon be required to list the minimum and maximum wages for any role they advertise. Business Insider is also launching a new series, “Salary Journeys’ aimed to demystify pay and compensation. The workforce is recognizing the traditional smoke and mirrors of salary ranges are very rarely working in their favor.
There is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube, people. After years of challenge, change, and immense self-reflection, there will not be a ‘back to normal’ in the workplace. And honestly, there shouldn’t be.
My hope is that 2022 is a year of continued progress, championing growth, diversity, and equity. Because let’s be honest, the ‘normal’ we once knew was far from perfect.