As 2021 comes to a close, we will read the predictions of psychics throughout the world answering the question, “What will happen in 2022?”
In this commentary, our CEO, Lesa Hammond, will use her psychic powers and attention to trends to “predict” 10 shifts that will impact small businesses in the coming year.
1) Remote Work
Remote work arrangements will continue as business owners and executives learn how to engage and manage employees working remotely. If a job does not require a physical presence, chances are it will be done remotely.
2) Gig Economy on the Rise
As a result of the pandemic, gig workers, independent contractors, freelancers, and consultants were on the rise. Out of necessity, many people started working independently and found that they liked the freedom and control they had as their own boss.
3) Reduced Physical Office Spaces
As companies are accepting remote work as a legitimate business model, they are able to reduce the physical space required to house all of their employees. This reduction of physical workspace can save companies significant amounts of money from rent, utilities, supplies, and in office perks.
4) More alternative and reduced workweeks
It took the pandemic to open our eyes to the benefits of alternative and reduced workweeks. It became clear that we do not need to have people sitting around the same eight hours a day for them to be productive. Alternative and reduced workweeks will rise throughout 2022.
5) Increased perks to attract engage and attract employees
As baby boomers and generation Xer retire, millennials and Gen Zs demand more from work. They expect amenities, advancement opportunities, and fun if they are going to have to sit in an office (even if it is a home office). Finding good ways to engage and reward employees will be a top priority.
6) Gamification of work
Meet the millennials and Generation Zs. They grew up on video games and not only will they expect there to be some fun engagement at work but they know how to make that happen. I think we will be seeing more ways to gamify mundane job tasks.
7) Partial pay by digital currency (e.g. Bitcoin)
It is happening, a shift from the monetary system we know to a digital currency; and early adopters made a lot of money buying digital currencies. So it is only natural that forward thinking individuals would want to divert some of their salary to this new form of currency. Companies like Bitwage, allow employers to offer partial pay in digital assets.
8) Accelerated Certificates, on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs
The cost of higher education is out of control and the value is being challenged. This makes short-term certificates through colleges or bootcamps more appealing and many organizations will return to on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs. The U.S. government even offers funding for apprenticeship programs.
9) Electronic data and recordkeeping
The pandemic showed us the vulnerabilities in the way many companies do business. Not to mention the tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters that show us storing physical business records is definitely the most insecure and unreliable way to house our important documents. An understanding that a more sophisticated and easy to use method of storing employee records and files is the only way to go.
10) More Co-operative Ownership Businesses
It began with Generation X, and has increased significantly with Millennials and Generation Z; the desire for a shared economy and rejection of high paid executives making 299 times the median salary of most employees in the same company. If the movement toward a more shared economy continues, the way businesses are run at the end of 2021 will look very different in five years.
Let’s track my “predictions” and see how many come to pass.