The metaverse is one of those topics that people in all industries are talking about. It is a fusion of technologies that spawn an enduring virtual reality (VR) infrastructure that anyone will be able to access from anywhere on earth to interact, play, work, and shop. Even though it is only in its infancy, the metaverse is already impacting the coworking space industry by creating new hybrid physiverse/metaverse business models that allow coworking space providers to take advantage of this emerging trend. As it becomes what it is meant to be, the metaverse will offer even more opportunities for those businesses that are ready and that invested in the proper technology early on.
Another weird year of work almost in the books. What kind of workplace trends can we anticipate in 2022?
Things will be different, that’s for sure. Many trends will be carved out of the changes the pandemic forced us all to make.
Others will reflect both employers’ and employees’ desire to get back to normal – even if it’s a new normal.
Here are the top six workplace trends HR pros will want to prepare for as we turn the calendar year.
In 1964, the RAND Corporation predicted that we would be breeding intelligent apes to perform manual labor by 2020. In 1959, the US postmaster general predicted that today’s mail would be sent by rockets (email turned out to be a more cost-effective option). In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that continued economic growth over the course of the coming century would reduce the workweek to 15 hours. Nikola Tesla echoed this sentiment in 1935, when he predicted that robots would replace most human labor in the next hundred years.
The now-common term “work from home” belies an important phenomenon in today’s economy: many people, when given the option to work remotely, are actually working from somewhere else. Before the pandemic, most people did not get to choose where to work. Now, the popular narrative is that many people are dividing their working hours between exactly two locations: an employer-provided workplace or the home office, whether that is a refined salon with specific thousand-page books or the humble living room couch.
More than two years into our national experiment in working from home, one of the most popular arguments for returning to the office is about collaboration: Employees need to be on site, we’re told, because collaborating with one another has been harder to do when everyone is working from separate locations.
Getty Images/Rudzhan Nagiev
More than a quarter of the global workforce does some freelance work— from writers and designers to coaches and delivery drivers. Though the majority of freelancers are based in Europe (35%) and Asia (28%), the gig economy has an exciting and attractive future in the U.S. as well.
After two years, giddy executives appear on the brink of welcoming their workforces back to the office, whether their employees are ready or not.
“I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to being together again,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook told his employees in a memo last week, outlining his company’s April 11 hybrid back-to-work plan.
So many bosses have repeated the same arguments against remote work so many times, most workers could recite them during a desk nap: People are less productive at home. Offices are necessary to maintain company culture. Chance encounters at the water cooler breed innovation.
The past year of remote work has shown us very little about what the future looks like. That’s because our working model simply switched from one extreme to another. In the pre-pandemic world, many companies operated from one defined norm: Work happens primarily in an office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the pandemic, most companies replaced that with a new universal norm: We can’t go to the office, so work happens primarily at home. The future of work for many companies is at neither end of this spectrum. It’s in the middle.