Workplace Change: How to manage a changing workplace in 2022

Published by Elaine Gallagher on

Workplace change: how to manage a changing workplace in 2022

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COVID-19 is responsible for some of the most dramatic examples of workplace change in recent memory. As the new philosophy of flexible work has arisen, the idea of working in an office five days a week is no longer the norm. 

Originally, a remote work strategy was something that companies were hesitant to adopt. However, the switch from remote working during the pandemic highlighted the benefits to remote workers and employers alike. Remote work offers employees more flexibility and work-life balance while letting employers reduce the sizes (and expense) of offices. But the benefits go beyond workers and employers. 

Remote work reduces carbon emissions and helps us combat climate change as well, with fewer people commuting every day to an office. 

However, remote working does have its drawbacks. Some argue that it lessens productivity due to a lack of in-person communication between colleagues. The line between home and work blurs, and employees may not be able to fully focus in a home environment.

In order to combat these drawbacks of remote working, many companies have decided to adopt a hybrid approach. This workplace change has already proven very popular. 

The company Slack found that 63% of its employees were in favour of a hybrid working model.  What’s more, it has proven positive effects on the workforce. A study found that 63% of high-revenue growth companies use a hybrid model. Employees are productive and motivated.

As a leader, it may be a good idea to consider this model to increase engagement among your workforce.

The four day week

When we talk about workplace change, we have to look at the four-day work week. In the UK, there are relatively few companies putting this in place, but the initiative is making a big splash in other European countries, like Belgium. However, it bears looking into the data on productivity in your sector (if it exists) to understand if you can truly expect equal or greater productivity. 

The argument for a four-day work week is that it allows for a much healthier work-life balance for employees, which hugely increases levels of productivity and motivation on working days.

63% of businesses found it easier to attract and retain talent with a 4 day work week. This is extremely important in workplace culture as regularly replacing employees will start to cost more than paying the same employee for any period of time. Poor employee turnover can cause even more challenges for your workplace culture.  

Furthermore, 78% of employees with 4 day work weeks are happier and less stressed. Happier employees are more efficient, and motivated to complete their tasks.

However, the data on productivity is less clear. Proponents of a four-day work week point to a study conducted in New Zealand that found that productivity remained the same but employees were happier. However, this might depend on your chosen model. There are two different approaches:

  • The 4/10 model: Employees must complete the same amount of hours as they would during a normal 5-day working week. Therefore, they would do around 10 hours of work for four days of the week, and have the fifth day off. The same amount of hours are produced, but employees get an extra day off work.
  • Same pay but fewer hours: Employees work the same amount of hours per day as they normally would, just four days a week. Hours are reduced, but employees are paid the same wage. The idea is that employees would be more productive for those 8 hours, with an extra day off.

Your approach could impact productivity and quality levels.  For example, if an employee is supposed to work 40 hours in a week, for four 10-hour days, it’s hard to imagine that quality and productivity would stay the same or higher for long.

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Better training

Almost 59% of employees claim they had no workplace training, and largely taught themselves the required skills for their position. Training isn’t just about productivity, training is about investing in your team to improve their skill sets. Ambitious employees look for companies that offer ongoing training since they see it as a way to better themselves (and increase their opportunities for advancement).  

In fact, 41% of employees consider the advancement opportunities in their company an important factor in their job satisfaction, so a lack of training can indirectly lead to employee attrition and recruitment challenges.

Recruitment in a changing workplace

Recruitment can be a gruelling, expensive, and lengthy process but it’s made harder by the current jobs market. A report by KPMG found that the current staff shortages in the UK were “ “unsustainable in the long run for businesses and the wider economic recovery”.

Any company that has tried to recruit in 2021 or 2022 will tell you that it’s a tough market. Rises in the cost of living have driven up salaries. Companies with a lengthy recruitment process are failing to secure talent because applicants are accepting offers with the faster moving, more nimble companies. Benefits, company culture and work-life balance are becoming more important for applicants as well when they compare potential employers.

happy woman at work laptop

‘The great resignation’

However, the challenge doesn’t end once you secure talent. Managers are seeing talent happily leave their jobs at an increasing rate. This is an increasing concern for companies as it’s clear that if an employee is unhappy, they’re more likely to resign and look for work elsewhere. November 2021 saw 4.5 million people leave their jobs in the US alone. With similar statistics for each month of 2021, the year of the great resignation is apparently showing no signs of slowing down in 2022.

The fact of the matter is that the happier you keep your workforce, the more likely they are to stay in the role and to actively engage in their work. Seeing as there is a growing talent shortage which is predicted to cost the global economy $8.5 trillion by 2030, you’ll want to acquire the best available talent whenever possible, and retain them for as long as possible. You do not want to have spent time and money training employees in a particular skill set, just to lose them to competitors offering a better package or more flexible work.

At BestAtDigital, we believe that the ability to adapt to workplace change in today’s working world is hugely important. However, it can be challenging to implement company-wide change. 

Our solutions have been devised through the study of behavioural science, and its application in the workplace. We believe that if both managers and employees are provided with the correct type of training for their workplace, you can help employees to make real change for the benefit of the business.

Get in touch with us today to discuss your workplace training needs!

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Workplace Change: How to manage a changing workplace in 2022

COVID-19 is responsible for some of the most dramatic examples of workplace change in recent memory. As the new philosophy of flexible work has arisen, the idea of working in an office five days a week is no longer the norm.