A big change in 2022
I think the biggest change in the workplace will be the holistic view on wellness. The definition of wellness will go much beyond financial and physical wellness. It will cover many more dimensions of wellness, including mental, social and career wellness.
Mental wellness — Whether employees are offered employeeassistance programmes or mental coaches or mental health apps will matter.
Social wellness — What are the key tenets of the culture of the company? What is the organisation’s view on work-life balance? Is the organisation providing enough opportunities to its people to balance their personal and professional priorities?
Career wellness — The pertinent questions in this case would be — Is the organisation offering enough learning and development opportunities? Does it offer programmes such as coaching and mentoring? Is organisation doing enough to ensure that people are comfortable?
Having experienced the rat race for many decades now, I think nature has pressed a reset button for us. The new workplace priorities, with work-life balance as the focus is just one more manifestation of it.
Gig driven by choice or business challenges
The pandemic and ensuing lock down have made us rethink the whole concept of full time and exclusive employment. I think people now aren’t as keen to commit themselves to one enterprise or one assignment exclusively for a long duration. They are keen for opportunities, where they can take up multiple challenges together. They can use their skills to benefit multiple organisations in multiple projects. I think the gig workforce is no more a choice for an organisation. It is pretty much the future of work and workplace.
“People aren’t keen to commit to one employer exclusively for a long duration”
Organisational hierarchy threatened in a hybrid workplace
Organisations have realised that the new ways of working have less to do with designations/positions but more to do with the potential of the talent, the roles they perform and the organisation’s ability to excite talent to give their best. The contributions are not dependent on band and level, but more driven by skill, interest and attitude of the individual. In the evolving workplace, the approach to workgroups is making a shift from linear structures to amoeba structures, flexible structures and structures where people come together towards a common cause depending on the skills they possess.
These structures have no fixed functional leader, but different team members take up the leader’s job depending on the priority at that point in time or in a given assignment. The lifespan of amoeba structures is directly linked with the project assignment. It disintegrates once the project is over, and the resources eventually move to other projects and become part of another amoeba structure. Some organisations also call these structures ‘tribes’. While the names may vary, these structures have a common theme of skill-based leadership and project-based life spans.
Such structures are extremely helpful in driving the process of change faster, helping young talent learn leadership capability and also driving flexibility and adaptability.