Office Life is Dead. What Work in 2022 Will Look Like
Thanks to the transforming and evolving pandemic that keeps coming back in waves to change what we had become accustomed to, our jobs will never look the same.
Office based Monday to Friday jobs are a thing of the past. There never was a good reason to make everyone sit in the same windowless room, separated with cubicle walls, decorated with thumbtacked vacation photos and family portraits. Teams quickly transitioned to working from home and the management had no choice but to let it happen. They lost a bit of control over the employees but it turned out the the qualified adults they had working for them were actually capable of doing their jobs without a middle manager wasting time with ‘morning check-ins’ or stand-up meetings.
9-5 means just that. Before we got to see what life was like without a morning commute and rotating business casual outfits, checking work and replying to emails before and after work was expected. Now we’ve come to realize that it’s pretty bad for your health and closing down the laptop at 5pm means that you’re done for the day. Work emails can wait, hard pass on a last minute request at 4:50pm to be ready by the next morning, and don’t even think of texting on the weekend. Oh, and if you ask “what’s the best way to contact you while you’re on vacation?”, Don’t expect a polite reply.
The pandemic and lockdowns gave people an opportunity to rethink mental health, balance, and priorities. During work time, your team are at their desks and getting it done. After that, their time is their own.
Traveling for sales meetings is over. This was already an outdated concept, but with the advent of Zoom calls being pushed on even the most resistant of technophobes, a face to face meeting doesn’t need to include flights or creased suits from hours of driving.
Social media networking is key for making new industry contacts. Before, we’d go to conferences and expos, shake hands and hand out business cards. Now we have to curate and manage our online reputations via LinkedIn, but not to forget every other piece of content with our likeness attached.
Remote work has given employers the opportunity to hire the best people for the job, no matter their location. On the flip side, candidates can find a position at any company they want to apply to. This gives both sides a huge advantage as where you live is no longer a requisite.
Tools will keep changing. From augmented reality to virtual meetings, sporting goods brands selling NFT sneakers to social networks pivoting to keep you in their ecosystem longer, we have to keep up.
Out of necessity we have switched from an office hive of elevator small talk and communal lunchroom birthday cake, to a network of skilled employees and more comfortable teams (who else discovered working in sweatpants?).
This new future is already here for the most part and is ultimately a positive thing. We’re discovering a much needed balance in our lives, increasing the time we have with our family and doing things that bring us happiness.