What will the workplace look like in 2022?

The Australian head of a global communications supplier believes a 15-minute work-life model will become a major trend next year. 

15 December 2021

Andy Hurt is the ANZ managing director of Poly, formerly known as Plantronics & Polycom, a global supplier of communication systems including telephones, software, video, and voice technology for businesses. 

He believes businesses will need to adjust to meet the new demands of employees, which will ultimately affect the way they use and implement technology in the office. 

“During the pandemic, people enjoyed not having to commute long distances and we expect to see this continue into next year and beyond,” Mr Hurt said. 

“Commute-avoidance will lead to the rise of the 15-minute work-life model – a new reality where people choose to work, live and play within 15 minutes of their home.”

It’s now widely accepted that we can be productive from anywhere, and workers who no longer wish to commute each day will demand that their employers incorporate hybrid working as part of their default working arrangement. But that doesn’t necessarily result in everyone working from home. 

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found less than half (41%) of Australians are regularly working from home. 

“We’ll also see a rise of satellite offices, smaller offices located in suburban areas that provide an additional workspace to the central CBD location,” Mr Hurt said.  

“CBD offices will predominantly be frequented by those who live in and around the city, with other employees working across a mix of home offices, satellite offices, and co-working spaces, all connected and working as a team through simple and easy to use collaborative technologies.”

Business anywhere

With no natural end to remote working and the need for a distributed workforce across many industries, Mr Hurt said this would lead to further decentralisation of industries as they incorporated hybrid working. 

Gartner believes that by the end of 2023, 40% of companies will use “operations anywhere” to combine virtual and physical interactions with customers and employees.

“We have already witnessed the rise in telemedicine, the boom of e-commerce, the rise of digital banking, and even contact centres adopting decentralised work practices and processes as a result of the pandemic,” Mr Hurt said. 

The growing adoption of cloud technologies and services, combined with the uptake of 5G and faster internet speeds, will continue to drive the decentralised workforce, enabling productivity and business continuity even with a larger proportion of the workforce working away from the central office.”

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