Rethinking work: The trends that will define the workplace in 2022

  • Posted on December 14, 2021
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes
Workplace Trends in 2022

The rapid changes to work that we experienced in 2020 have accelerated throughout 2021. The nature of work, the workplace and the shape of workforces are still going through an unrelenting period of continual change. Who can say what 2022 has in store for us?

Well, we can – or we can give you our best predictions, at least.

So, before you set your out of office, reach for your terrible Christmas jumper and head off for the festive break, add one final item to your to-do list: Watch Avanade’s 2022 workplace predictions.

The short video and accompanying recaps below capture the key themes and trends that we believe will shape the world of work in 2022. Check out our forecasts, share them with your peers, and give us your prediction for the year ahead.

We hope these projections give you food for thought while you enjoy your festive food – or simply some down time. And we hope these forecasts get you excited about the opportunities you can capitalize on in the next 12 months.

Because here’s one prediction we can guarantee will be accurate: change isn’t going to stop in 2022.
Happy holidays, from the Avanade Workplace Team.

My prediction:
We will increasingly overcome outdated beliefs and habits with the help of evidence and facts. Fundamentally, we will move from policy to long-term strategy. In this context, we will look at the workplace, the workforce and the transformation of work as critical elements of any business strategy.

“As the war for talent continues, we’ll see more companies doubling down to retain existing talent, with a significant focus on human-centric design – around the individual and their needs.”
- Caroline Fanning, Chief People Officer

“Companies will increasingly focus on taking a human-centric approach to workplace security, raising the security IQ of the entire organization to understand inherent risks and make better decisions.”
- Brad Gephart, Global Modern Workplace Security Lead

“Organizations will need to turn their sustainable development ambitions into reality. Technology competencies in the year 2022 will be able to support a holistic sustainability journey.”
- Eva-Maria Hesslinger, Senior Analyst, Digital Advisory

“We’ll increasingly see the digital world merge with the physical world. And this will be expressed in a mesh of interconnected experiences, applications, devices, products, tools and infrastructure – where we’ll have a continuity of data, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects and communications.”
- Florin Rotar, Chief Technology Innovation Officer

“My workplace prediction for 2022 is that there will be no trend. Continuing change and everyone’s differing needs will mean we’ll have to focus on offering flexibility and choice.”
- Jillian Moore, Global Advisory Lead

“We’ll see the increased use of asynchronous collaboration technologies (like smart whiteboards) to enable us to develop ideas and continue working with our colleagues – without being on video conference calls 24/7. Work will be smarter in 2022!”
- Keith Hudgell, Global Workplace Modernization Lead

“Companies will find more and more ways to meet their employees where they’re hanging out. Whether that's working from home, working from their office, another place of work or when balancing personal and family needs. The more that we can find ways with IT to meet people where they are hanging out – enabling them to do their job in the way that's most authentic and easy for them – the more engaged employees will be, and the better each company will do.”
- Marci Jenkins, Global Avanade Workplace IT Experience Executive

“I think we’ll see manufacturers continue to struggle with the massive talent gap of employees needed to compete in the digital economy. We’ll see increased investment in tools like extended reality that allow manufacturers to cross-skill, upskill, and train workers so that they can be more competitive.”
- Tom Nall, Global Manufacturing Lead

“Video collaboration platforms have become standard practice, but only Teams – with native integration into the Microsoft desktop – will accelerate and mature, with more automation, AI and telemetry. Other platforms will not be able to catch Microsoft here.”
- Michelle Baxter, Global Financial Services Lead

“The rise of the ‘omnichannel associate’ will accelerate – creating retail employees who are equally at home operating in store and remotely or online. Through this, retailers will be able to deliver ‘true omnichannel’ and unlock the very best experience for customers.”
- Corine Vives, Global Retail and Consumer Goods Lead

“We're going to see massive integration in physical and digital spaces – large screens and large display capabilities built-in to physical offices, conference venues, even factories. This will be utilized to enable remote participants to enjoy first-class experiences. We're going to see an explosion of technology and innovation in this area.”
- Mike Holzman, Accenture Digital Workplace Lead

“We’ll see many more organizations measuring their digital experiences and using the insights from that to drive their overall employee experience.”
- Nathan Boddam-Whetham, Global Workplace Managed Services Lead

“My 2022 workplace prediction is a boom in citizen development. After helping many of our customers build strong governance and centers of excellence around low code tools like the Power Platform this year, I expect that next year we’ll see the impact of these new platforms accelerating.”
- Paulina Martinek, Consultant, Digital Advisory

“2022 will be the end of pure ‘shift left’. We’ll see a balance of more truly human worker experiences and more investments in less obtrusive security. With the rise of untrusted platforms like blockchain and our permanent shift to hybrid in-office/remote working experience, the need is great to find a way to balance these innovative new ways of working with just getting the job done, while we keep our assets – both individual and corporate – secure.”
- Scott Waymack, North America Workplace Modernization Lead

“Organizations are going to be pressured from both internal and external forces to completely re-evaluate how they serve their employees – requiring organizations to take a creative lens to compensation, benefits, and what it means to provide a meaningful work environment.”
- Zachary Katz, Senior Consultant, Digital Advisory

Find out how we can help you rethink your world of work to unlock growth opportunities for your organization and people.

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