What every business must know to make 2022 a success

Six top tips for the year ahead, plus essential advice from four leading business figures for making the most of the new hybrid work era.

The revolution in hybrid working has changed the daily lives of millions around the world. The hybrid model – where employees and freelancers can split their time between an office HQ, a local coworking space, and their home – is rapidly becoming the new normal, but how can SMEs and start-ups maximise its benefits in the year ahead?

1. Meet your people’s needs

“Hybrid work represents the biggest shift to how we work in our generation and it’s clear there is no single standard or blueprint for it. Every organisation’s approach will need to be different to meet the unique needs of their people. According to our research, the vast majority of employees say they want more flexible remote work options, but at the same time they also say they want more in-person collaboration, post-pandemic.” Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

2. Allow them workspace flexibility

“Covid has helped us redefine how people work and who should come to an office, especially in countries such as India, where people can be stuck in traffic for three or four hours a day. We want to ensure employees have a place to work that is closer to where they live. In the past, we would just go out and get a long-lease office with 50 seats or 100 seats, but flexibility is very important in this current environment and access to IWG flexspace gives us that.” Arvind Kumar, Global VP, NTT Global Sourcing

3. Give them the right tools to do the job

“In terms of tech, the big hybrid work experiment officially begins now. Digital infrastructure will continue to be the foundation for hybrid working going forward and there’s an onus on organisations to provide the tools to help employees securely communicate and collaborate from home – and that’s going to have to be a little more thought out than just a webcam on a laptop. Ultimately, the right technology in a hybrid world means delivering employees with as rich a set of collaboration tools as possible, ones that don’t exclude people on the basis of their physical location, and ones that can be trusted 100%.” Chintan Patel, Chief Technologist, Cisco UK&I

4. Keep them happy

“At Avaya, we talk about ‘hybrid happiness’. Employees are happy when they can choose where to work, and their happiness leads to productivity, which is beneficial for the company. With our new hybrid model, employees can choose if they want to work side by side with the customers, meet the partners in one of our meeting rooms, spend a day with colleagues in the office or focus on a specific subject at home. The pandemic has shown that hybrid collaboration and home offices are here to stay.” Ourania Odermatt, Managing Director, Avaya Switzerland and Austria

As we are hopefully seeing the last of the lockdowns, there are reasons to be optimistic about 2022. Companies of every size, however, need to adjust quickly both to the ‘new normal’ of hybrid and an employment market that has changed significantly.

As Mark Dixon, Founder and CEO of Spaces’ parent company IWG, says, “One of the lasting legacies of the pandemic will be the ability to work in different ways, in different places – and more companies will have distributed workforces empowering their teams to work closer to or from home.”

And providing that flexibility will be an important factor when it comes to retaining and attracting talent. The so-called ‘Great Reshuffle’ has seen an 80% increase in Gen Zs changing jobs, with a 50% rise among millennials.

With all this in mind, here are six top tips to help your business get ahead in 2022.

  1. Recognise the crucial importance of technology in the new world of work, and ensure you have systems in place to allow employees to work effectively from wherever they are.
  2. Take advantage of the new ‘work from anywhere’ paradigm to widen your recruitment net in terms of both geography and diversity.
  3. Take time to fully investigate the many potential sustainability benefits for your business associated with hybrid working.
  4. Invest in employee wellbeing and reap long-term loyalty and productivity.
  5. Explore suburban flexspace opportunities, with a view to reducing CRE overheads and expensive leases.
  6. Think of offices and coworking spaces as places for creativity, fun and human connection, helping to build and maintain a resilient company culture.

To find out about the latest trends in the world of work, read IWG’s new white paper, The Future of Work: a trends forecast for 2022.

Find out how Spaces can help you and your company transition towards a hybrid solution.

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