Future of work : 4 major trends

Mar 9, 2022

The transformations at work in 2022 will also impact have an impact in the years to come, according to Gartner. Well-being at work will play a central role in defining the future of work.

The future of work is now. Of course, the Covid crisis has brought to light new organizational forms, such as telecommuting, which has definitely taken hold. However, other trends are at work that will impact the world of work in 2022, but are also well on their way to becoming established in the medium and long term.

The proof is in the form of a Gartner study, the conclusions of which were published at length in an article in the Harvard Business Review. It would take too long to go through all of them, but we have selected four that seem to us to be particularly significant concerning the trajectory of executives and intellectualized professions (in other words, "white collar workers").

1/ The 32-hour week to win the war for talent

Shortening the working week to attract the best? This could be the path chosen by some companies that are unwilling or unable to offer a higher level of compensation. This would mean working less, but for the same salary. This would mean, for example, 32-hour weeks paid at 35. A sweet dream? Not really. In Europe, people are already experimenting with this formula. The proof is in Spain, where the employees of 200 voluntary companies will work 32 hours paid 40, 4 days instead of 5. To be continued...

2/Automation will change the nature of the relationship between managers and employees

Some managerial tasks, such as planning, or report approval (in short, those that are repetitive and without real added value) will be automated. For Gartner, this will open up a space to rebuild the manager/collaborator relationship on a more "human" basis. But for this to happen, the manager's missions will have to change drastically to move from managing tasks to managing the entire employee experience (perception of their career trajectory, impact of work on their personal life, relationship with the organization as a whole, etc.).

3/From the great resignation to the lasting resignation

Because remote work strongly abolishes geographical constraints, employees will have a larger pool of hires. It will therefore be easier to leave one's company for another. As a result, organizations should experience a real increase in turnover. For Gartner, the conclusion is clear: " The great resignation will turn into a sustained resignation". The Great Resignation is a strong message to employers,  as Deniero Bartolini writes.  The employer should improve their contracts and work environments adding more flexibility, otherwise, the company will starve for talent. 

4/ Well-being as a key measure

For years, leaders have experimented with different measures, such as employee engagement, to understand their employees. In 2022, organizations will add new measures, revolving around the notion of well-being, that will assess their mental, physical and financial health. A survey conducted by Gartner in 2020 showed that wellness programs implemented by some companies for employees have paid off. Employees who have benefited from them report 23% higher levels of mental health, 17% higher levels of physical health and are 23% more likely to say they sleep well at night. All the personal improvements had led to higher levels of performance and retention.

Fulfillment, the key to the future of work?

The future of work would therefore depend to a large extent on fulfillment at work. This is one of the important conclusions of a survey ("Et Maintenant") supervised in 2021 by the sociologist Monique Dagnaud with TV networks Arte and France Culture.

For the latter, the observation is clear. The place now given to the question of fulfillment is transversal to all age groups. But as the sociologist points out in an article published by Slate, "the striking fact is that this aspiration swallows up all the others, including pay (...)". Among the respondents, 79% of Generation Y is "willing to earn less to have a job that is more in line with their values". In a few words, everything is said...

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