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Bluescape 2022 Predictions: Hybrid Work is here to stay. Here's how to embrace it.

vmblog predictions 2022 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2022.  Read them in this 14th annual series exclusive.

Hybrid Work is here to stay. Here's how to embrace it.

By Peter Jackson, CEO of Bluescape

It's hard to believe that we're almost saying goodbye to 2021, but here we are. After two years of lockdowns, office closures and telecommuting, we're potentially about to enter into our third full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning that -- in the not too distant future - we could reach our 1,000th days of remote work. Let that fact sink in.

Despite the fact that we've all, in one shape or form, adapted to the realities of this new working world, it still seems as if we're playing catch up -- looking around corners to anticipate what's coming next in 2022. To help you prepare for the road ahead, below are a few notable trends that I believe will take shape in the new year, as well as a few key insights about what you can do to prepare. 

Embrace the change; don't fear it.

If 2020 was a year of unforetold upheaval, and 2021 was a year of recalibration, 2022 is going to be the year we settle into the new normal and make it our own. However, acclimating to this new reality does not mean everything is going to stay the same. Instead, it will be important to embrace any upcoming changes in intentional, sophisticated and deliberate ways - elevating existing processes not only to adapt, but also to evolve in this new environment. 

Expect an accessibility boom. 

Now more than ever before, we're seeing remote and hybrid work models create new opportunities for those in different geographies, with different work styles and with varying degrees of education. Just consider that an estimated 23 million people could move thanks to advancements in remote work alone. Equipped with these transformative hybrid workplace models, I predict that we will see more and more people enter the workforce, without having to concern themselves with commuting, office logistics, proximity to the workplace, and so on. 

Anticipate disruption and invest in R&D.

Admittedly, almost every industry was hit by the pandemic. While this kind of disruption was nearly impossible to anticipate, moving forward, it will be increasingly critical to prepare for even the most unexpected circumstances. That's why the onus is on leadership to bake in resilience to their corporate structure by investing in innovation. Researching and anticipating what your customers and users will want in the next 5, 10, 15 years will help companies remain agile in even the most unprecedented situations. If you haven't learned this lesson already: Fluidity and elasticity are the future. 

Soft skills will rule in a hybrid world.

In a world where our boss and colleagues live in our computer screens, and not the next desk over, self-motivated and creative workers will thrive. Moving forward, hybrid employees will certainly need relevant work experience and education, but they will also need to be agile, entrepreneurial, and intentional to be successful. I predict that our hiring methods are going to require recruiters to shift their practices and best identify the candidates who not only have the right skillset, but also have the right mindset for the job. 

Protect and account for mental health. 

We're seeing record rates of anxiety and depression, with individuals from over 60 countries exhibiting significant signs of mental health decline, according to a recent survey. Amid a catastrophic pandemic, a historic social reckoning, and what seems like endless negativity on the news, business owners and company leadership have a responsibility to ensure mental health practices are baked into every aspect of work. This could look like offering mental health days as well as sick days; mandatory shut-down days; and attainable work/life balance policies. This mentality must come from the top and inform how workers approach mental health discussions within the workplace. 

Understand that dissatisfied employees are more likely to quit than tough it out.

In 2022, employees will dictate the culture, not the employer. Relinquishing those reins may be hard for employers, but it will be essential to let the workers set the culture and prioritize key values. Gone are the days where unhappy employees feel pressured to stick it out. Rather, they will leave for a place that is more amenable to their preferences. This change will require HR and Employee Experience teams to be both communicative as well as responsive to retain and attract the next generation of talent. Let me be clear: This is a trend that you don't want to overlook. 



Peter Jackson 

Peter Jackson is the CEO of Bluescape, a secure visual platform for high-value collaboration used by Fortune 100 companies, government educations, higher education and media and entertainment. He is well known in the industry as a visionary with a deep knowledge of technology, business, and financial markets and for taking start-up companies to acquisition and IPO exits. Prior to joining Bluescape, Peter was CEO, co-founder and Board Member of Ziploop Inc. which was acquired by SNIPP in Oct. 2017. He also served as Board Member and Advisor to Eventbrite, DocuSign and Kanjoya. He founded and led several emerging companies to successful exits - taking Intraware to IPO and becoming President/COO of Dataflex (NASDAQ. DFLX) after Granite Systems was acquired. Peter received his BA in History from the University of California at Berkeley and his MBA from Stanford University. He is based in the California Bay Area. Find him on LinkedIn and on Twitter @phjackson5.

Published Friday, October 29, 2021 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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