Is finding a 'new normal' in the workplace impossible? - Deepstash

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Shorter Workweeks

Shorter Workweeks

A call for shorter workweeks and condensed hours has been gaining traction around the globe, with companies and entire governments alike already exploring this alternative.

It’s necessary to shake up the structure of when we work. The 9-to-5, 40-hour workweek that emerged during the Industrial Revolution – the last time work changed so dramatically – is no longer sustainable due to the increasing pace of work necessitated by video conferencing software and continued online presence.

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22 reads

A New Divide

  • It will be a challenge in 2022 to navigate the gulf between those who can take advantage of flexibility versus those who can’t – especially as calls for increased flexibility and shorter hours only get louder.
  • The labour shortages and hiring difficulties of 2021 will follow us into 2022. That’s because the factors that drove these shortages will still be here – a pandemic, retirees and parents staying home and growing customer demand businesses must keep up with. This means employers may need to take a different tack for hiring workers – and keeping them in seat – than they did in the past.

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A Job Tailored For Us

Job personalisation could be the key to worker satisfaction – and retention – this year. In 2022, we will see employers catering more to employees’ needs and desires in order to engage their current workers and attract top performers from other firms. It’s not only good business sense – flexibility and accommodation is becoming a perk workers expect from their employers. This imbalance in worker demand and supply means employees and job seekers have elevated power to ask for more.

Another important personalisation could be prioritising a worker’s individual mental health. After all, amid burnout, more workers are saying enough is enough, and quitting their jobs ([or at least thinking about quitting). Even bastions of hustle culture such as Wall Street are getting in on the act and introducing sabbaticals.

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A Hybrid 2022

Even as rent stays sky-high in practically deserted city centres, companies still want workers utilising those buildings, especially as hybrid work will likely dominate 2022. It’s impossible to shrink the office footprint even after all the ways our working lives have been destabilised the past two years.

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The Unknowns We Don't Know

Despite all our best predictions, we don’t know what we don’t know.

Many analysts were predicting a return-to-office movement by summer 2021, as vaccines became more widely available – but that target continued to move. Variants like delta protracted public health concerns and remote work didn’t end. Zoom meetings remained the daily standard for millions of workers around the globe.

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