Research from Gartner estimates that at the start of 2022, 32% of all employees worldwide will be working remotely. Remote work was slowly becoming more popular in some industries pre-pandemic, but when the world was forced into a work-from-home situation in 2020, it forced many agencies to take a look at what the office of the future looks like.
Here’s our take on what your agency can expect in 2022:
#1 Embrace a hybrid workforce
With many CEOs not believing that a fully remote workforce is a viable option, but many workers (57% in the UK) wanting to have the option of working from home, a compromise has to be made. In corporate America, the “hybrid workforce” is becoming an emerging trend that might define the agency of tomorrow. Senior research director at Gartner, Ranjit Atwal, believes that the hybrid office is the “future of work”.
Essentially this means that employees will divide their time between working from home and working at the office. As a result, the office of next year will likely be downsized; have shared workspaces with other businesses; and create more flexible work schedules.
#2 Move from the office into an agile hub
The move to a hybrid workplace will mean that single-location offices could become a thing of the past, and a hub that supports “flexibility, functionality and employee wellbeing” could be the future, according to predictions from the global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield. Think co-working spaces, cafes, multiple offices, and mass hotdesking. Agencies should start considering how they could operate in a space like this, as it will likely be a more financially viable option.
#3 Switch up the benefits your company offers
Gone are the days of agencies thinking that ping pong tables and an open bar are the top perks employees desire. Because your team will be spending less time in the office, having quirky “office perks” doesn’t make sense anymore. In fact, 74% of employees surveyed by Perkbox would prefer an increase in pay as a result of the company saving on office perk costs.
#4 Place a greater focus on employee wellbeing
The mental health of employees has been a hot topic amongst many businesses, including agencies, for a long time. And with the stress brought on by the pandemic, this is the time to increase your focus on the wellbeing of your team when they’re in the office or working from home. CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work 2021: Survey Report found that 74% of organisations offer access to counselling services and employee assistance programmes. Does your agency fall into that category? If not, then in 2022 your workplace should become synonymous with caring for your team, and prioritising their mental health.
#5 Say hello to virtual assistants
Along with a remote or hybrid workplace, comes the need for a more affordable and time-saving way to get specific work done – from administration to writing social media copy – on an hourly or project basis, using a virtual assistant. This will be a great investment for both a smaller agency who wants to scale up but can’t afford too many new hires, or a larger agency wanting to scale down.
#6 Say goodbye to having a boss
The office of the future may not have managers walking around, which makes sense, since many team members may not even be operating from the office. According to Gartner, by 2024, 30% of corporate teams will be without a boss due to the agile and hybrid nature of work. This means agencies may have to abandon traditional hierarchies in favour of more agility within the organisation.
How to prepare your team for the hybrid workplace of the future
Communication will be key. Remember that not all of your employees will necessarily want to work remotely and may prefer to be in the office permanently. To determine exactly how your hybrid workplace will function, you’ll need to conduct a survey with your team to find out what their specific needs are, and how they work best.
Download this free survey that you can implement with your team today, so you can best prepare for the agency of 2022.