As I was reading through Korn Ferry’s “Future of Work Trends 2022” report, one pronouncement caught my eye: “If 2020 and 2021 were years of unplanned reinvention, 2022 is where it gets intentional.”
This really hit home. The Covid pandemic truly fueled organizational change on an unprecedented level; companies quickly put in place all kinds of new work approaches and workarounds, without knowing when—or if—things would go “back to normal.” But two and a half years later, we can all agree things aren’t going “back to normal.” Rather, there is a new normal, and we can take a breath now and assess how the things we tried are (or aren’t) working. We even have some data behind our decisions, and we can be deliberate and purposeful about how we want to proceed.
To me, that means we can now take the time to research the future of work and try to adapt our businesses to accommodate—or, better yet, get ahead of—these trends. The Korn Ferry report identified six factors that will shape the marketplace going forward:
- A “skills-based” approach to talent: Organizations will move away from thinking of job descriptions as finite to thinking more broadly of the goals it wants to achieve and what skills are needed to get there.
- Project-based work: Flatter, non-hierarchical organizational structures will become more popular.
- More personalization: Expect more individualized products and services.
- Increased use of automation: Individuals will be freed up to perform higher-level work.
- Nuanced remote work: Rather than a wholescale remote vs. in-person approach, organizations will be more thoughtful about where and how work gets done, factoring in type of job, employee persona and preference, and more.
- Industry blending: Organizations will rethink industry boundaries to provide novel experiences; for example, a website could offer virtual group shopping, where individuals virtually “try on” clothes together and then order the real clothes to be shipped to their doorsteps.
Do these trends make sense to you? What are some of the ways you’ve been or plan to be intentional about your growth and change?