Updated: Jul 30
First and foremost, well done for reaching 2022 after a period of daunting uncertainty! It hasn't been an easy ride for any of us, particularly businesses that are struggling to make ends meet.
For me, the year has started with blogs-galore! More and more businesses are getting in touch to either commence or build their blogging strategy; aware that it's an optimal way of speaking to their target audience.
After the tenth blog of the year (on January 4th!), it dawned on me that there were similar topics that seemed to be doing the rounds as opposed to the usually random nature. It struck me that much of what we've encountered over the last two decades - in terms of business growth, is now making greater strides to becoming a well-established feature of the modern organisation.
I thought I'd share some of these common topics to give you an idea of what appears to be trending.
Top of the agenda in 2021 with an even greater presence in early 2022! A CIPD study in 2021 demonstrated that 79% of employees had reported burnout, and a further 20% reported mental health issues for the first time. With figures like those, it probably comes as little surprise that over three-quarters of participants stated that their bosses had incorporated wellbeing into the agenda. Whether choosing to utilise in-house counselling services, ongoing wellbeing programs, or mindfulness and yoga, it is apparent that caring for employees is the number one agenda for good health and business productivity.
My tip: Be nice to everyone you ever see and speak to.
Another hot topic that has overflowed into the new year; flexible working is now considered to be a necessity for employees across the globe. Homeworking during the pandemic provided employees with comfort, reduced pressures, tremendous flexibility, and lesser financial outgoings. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. While certain individuals prefer the aforementioned benefits, there are still plenty that thrive in collaborative working environments. It is, therefore, imperative that employees are placed efficiently to suit their existing skillsets. It is highly beneficial to provide this offering, regardless. Recent data suggests that a whopping 75% of employees expect flexibility from an employer, and may consider moving on to pastures new if the option is denied.
My tip: Home Mon and Fri, might pop in on Weds. Laters!
Comfortable Office Furniture
Yep! It's legit! Hard-backed chairs are out, and sofas are now monopolising the workspace. Naturally, there is always a requirement for efficient seated areas, and thriving flexible furniture companies such as Frovi and Zentura are hugely in-demand with their ergonomic and inclusive furniture ranges that are creating an optimal impact on a plethora of organisations. Open plan zoning systems that offer solitude amidst thriving, collaboration areas with the essential acoustic properties are the new must-haves! Provide employees with a palatial habitat of versatility that meets every requirement, and you're promising yourself loyalty, dedication, and greater productivity.
My tip: A nice 4-seater with really soft cushions and a cuppa, please...
And it's about time! In August 2020, a cross-section of office-based respondents were asked what they considered to be of the highest importance within the office environment. Several factors featured including wellbeing and flexibility, but an astounding 72% stated concern about the lack of environmental awareness within the workplace. Believe it or not, you don't have to go all Pixel Building, Australia to improve your carbon footprint! Incorporate co-working spaces, use less damaging green products, recycle where possible, and cut down on printing with email alternatives. You can also throw some beautiful biophilia into the office to improve oxygen levels, aid calm, and strengthen productivity. Take small steps and the rest will organically evolve.
My tip: Plants. More plants. When you can no longer see your colleagues for the indoor greenery, just one more plant.
Neurodiverse Office Spaces
Neurodiversity relates to hidden disabilities such as autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, and Tourettes, and accounts for 1 in 7 of UK-based individuals. Busy office spaces can be a battle for anyone, so for those that struggle with concentration at varying levels, it amounts to a highly unpleasant experience. Work-related stress is a huge factor for the most ambient of outfits, but there are ways of reducing such issues and incorporating inclusive measures. Pastel wall colours promote calm, soundproof pods and booths aid focussed work, and access to outdoor areas provides a beneficial time out for stressful periods. Most importantly, understand the requirements of your mixed-demographic workforce, and ensure that you do your research and cater to their needs when able.
My tip: Aspire for equality and kindness to all, and stay cool.
Overall, 2022 looks to be a year of tremendous positivity; a breakthrough that declares "we're still standing!" in our most British of voices!
Hope you found some useful pointers.
See you soon!