[BLOG]Are You Prepared for 2022? Emerging Hybrid Workplace Trends You Must Know!

Jan 4th, 2022
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The business world is undergoing radical change, with workplace trends pointing to a new normal. In 2021, companies were pushed to shift their focus away from a traditional office model and towards a hybrid workspace: a mix of remote and in-office employees. 2022 will certainly bring its own series of changes, not all of which can be readily predicted. That said, the more you know about where workplace trends are headed, the better you can prepare for almost any eventuality.

Every business is different, but regardless of the specifics, a hybrid workplace grants the ability to handle whatever comes your way. Indeed, a recent report by Gartner indicated that the vast majority of hybrid employees felt more comfortable taking risks, could work effectively asynchronously, and could accommodate each others’ work preferences more readily. That translates to a flexible team that can work around any problem efficiently and swiftly.

With many companies still making the transition to a hybrid workplace, the smart move is to anticipate some of the challenges that may emerge in 2022, and have a plan to respond accordingly.

How Do We Avoid Creating a Two-Tiered Workforce?


A two-tiered workforce emerges when a mixture of in-person and remote workers leads to favoritism and similar forms of unequal treatment. It’s a holdover from the more traditional 9-5 mindset which held firm that good, quality work was only accomplished in the office. This biased perception often leads to remote workers being passed over when it comes to benefits such as salary increases and promotions.

Effective employee collaboration is a strong tool to combat such tendencies: ensuring that everyone on the team can exchange information and make their opinions heard. Smarten Spaces has developed software designed just to do that, featuring AI-driven tools that can help you manage any changes in the workplace better.

That includes:

  • WORKPLACE EXPERIENCE APP – A connected digital space for use by employees and visitors… all in one place.
  • THE WORLD’S FIRST HYBRID SCHEDULER – Both employees and managers can build the best work schedule using AI-based recommendations. Employees can also view who is working from home and when. This helps employees plan their in-office experience for a more collaborative and productive workday.
  • WORKPLACE COMMUNITY FEED – Share and centralize updates on one digital workplace platform.
  • SMART BOOKING SOLUTIONS – In a world where the office is now a collaboration space, let people book spaces best suited for working together. Be it the desk, collaboration spaces, or even amenities. Let the system automatically book spaces that are best suited for employees based on work schedules and team affinity.

What Are Some Ways to Promote Both Physical and Mental Health in a Hybrid Workplace?


Hybrid workplaces are (or should be) geared to improve mental health and work-life balance among employees. A team member who works from home can better handle personal matters and household tasks without losing efficiency, as well as saving time otherwise spent in grinding commutes. But that can come with a price. There is less social interaction in a hybrid workplace, and employees who spend the bulk of their working time at home may feel isolated. Concerns about social distancing and overall health naturally play a huge role in employee well-being too. All of which should be factored in when planning how to address the workplace trends of the new year.

Smarten Spaces features a comprehensive suite of tools to address these concerns. And not only the mental health and wellness aspects, but the physical health of your employees as well.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT – Community Feed along with Survey & Feedback options let you share updates and posts securely with team members. Conduct surveys to monitor employee health and experience while keeping a pulse on employee sentiment.

EMPLOYEE HEALTH & SAFETY – Ensure employee health and safety with digital social distancing, health assessments, vaccination uploads and approvals, contact tracing, occupancy control, and smart sanitization. Employee screening options to determine health statuses.

WAY & PEOPLE FINDER – Save time with easy navigation. The user-friendly app helps employees locate their desks, key facilities, and even their colleagues’ desks.

ACCESS CONTROL & VISITOR MANAGEMENT – Employees can access the building through contactless access control. Ensure collection of health declarations for all visitors at entry and provide temporary building and floor access. Get real-time insights into space utilization in a flexible workplace.

How Can We Use Artificial Intelligence to Optimize the Workplace?


Changes in the workplace and hourly schedules can be surprisingly complex, and new realities such as social distancing, contact tracing, health declarations, and occupancy level setting play a considerable role as well. That means hybrid workplaces require a great deal of management and making all of that work is key to a properly connected workplace.

The solution? AI-driven hybrid schedule recommendations that can automate bringing the right teams together in the office at the same time for complicated schedules. As a result, management and employees can save more time: ensuring that schedules are optimized and team members can maximize face-to-face collaboration time and have ease of access to the workplace information they need.

Smart Spaces’ Hybrid Work Scheduling, powered by AI recommendations, is designed to maximize team collaboration, improve employee productivity and provide the organization with the visibility into workplace analytics needed to plan for the future of work.

THE WORLD’S FIRST HYBRID SCHEDULER – Empower employees to build work-from-home and work-from-office flexible schedules driven by AI-based recommendations.

DESK BOOKING – Get complete visibility into where everyone is sitting and who's working together. Booking recommendations to help you book desks across multiple days. Reserve hot desks in real-time with visibility into desk amenities. Find your way to a desk and search for a colleague or team. View colleagues’ in-office or WFH locations.

POWERFUL ANALYTICS – Analyze space trends in real-time ensuring optimal space utilization. Track space occupancy and reconfigure workspaces to match supply and demand to create the best environment to support your hybrid workforce. Get a 360° view of the split between who’s back to the office, who’s remote, as well as forecasts and selections for the next 30-60 days.

How Can We Recruit & Retain More Team Members?


Attracting and retaining skilled employees is one of the most important workplace trends of the new economy. Prospective candidates are leaning towards jobs that offer flexibility and a good work-life balance. HR personnel and hiring managers need to sell those benefits in order to attract and retain top talent for the long term.

Employee satisfaction is forefront in the minds of the Smarten Spaces team. We are committed to creating positive work experiences that empower individuals to find the right work/life balance. Smarten Spaces’ solutions can help your workplace evolve quickly from fixed to flexible by offering a comprehensive suite that will help you align your space with the needs of your hybrid workforce.

The world’s first hybrid scheduler lets them build work-from-home schedules that meet both their needs and the company’s, while amenity booking and service requests such as IT and sanitization requests can be made swiftly. Workers can even order food from the company cafeteria while reserving parking spaces, gym time, and other amenities. That makes an easy pitch to potential hires and provides assurances that your company is committed to looking after their needs.

Preplan for 2022 Work Trends—Don’t Just React


Not every change can be anticipated, and 2022 will, of course, present its fair share of surprises no matter what your business is. But the ability to be nimble, to be agile, to be constantly on the lookout for innovative solutions will let you face those challenges head-on and thrive long into the future.

Jolene Peixoto offers an apt summation on LinkedIn. “It isn't [just] about pay, it's about enjoying what you do, feeling fulfilled, and having the balance to enjoy life AND work again. I especially applaud those companies that are trying new approaches spurred by the pandemic - hybrid, flexible work hours... Empower your employees - and trust them - and the work will get done, and they'll be happier too.”

Smarten Spaces provides you with the flexibility to set up and maintain the optimum hybrid workspace, leveraging powerful AI tools so you can keep up with the latest workplace changes and trends. This will ensure optimal collaboration and efficiency to ‘get the work done,’ as Peixoto notes. The new normal can open up new frontiers for your business. We can help you get there faster and smarter!