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2021 was the year of the "Great Resignation" - a year when workers quit their jobs at historic rates.

But in the wake of this - in 2022 - employees are being given more flexibility than ever, consumer awareness of how companies treat their staff is at an all time high, and technology continues to enhance productivity. So what does this mean for businesses in 2022? Simply that this year is the year of the worker.

Publications have been referring to 2022 as 'the year of the worker' for some time, with The Economist commenting: "Workers have more bargaining power than they have had for years."2

We take a look at this year's workplace trends and how they're putting employees centre stage. 

Remote becomes flexible

Although more and more employees have returned to office environments in recent months, the way people work has changed forever. Namely, flexible working is now standard. This puts the worker centre stage by allowing them to create the work-life balance that works for them.

Bill Gates believes that companies that offer flexitime will always "have an edge."3 This way of working has been said to increase employee satisfaction and productivity.4

The key benefit of flexible working is choice. 78% of working parents say they now have more flexibility around childcare needs,5 so will choose to work out of office more frequently. However, the 60% of workers that believe remote working negatively impacts their career 6 can choose to work in the office.

Increasing workers' autonomy in this way is one of the main reasons 2022 is being considered the year of the worker.

The role of technology

Old anxieties that technology would eventually make human workers obsolete has largely been dismissed. Now, it seems as if technological advancements are more likely to be used to bolster employee engagement and satisfaction.

Data shows that Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example, has grown by 270% over the last four years in many sectors of business.7 This technology can use machine learning and predictive data analysis to - amongst other things - help manage and identify employees who can work well together: driving engagement via the creation of a more cohesive work environment.

67% of hiring managers state that AI is making their jobs easier,8 whilst AI is already being used to improve workplace wellness. These solutions allow employers to promote employee health via smart wearables, personalised benefits recommendations, and more.9

Wellbeing

If you ever find yourself scrolling LinkedIn, you'll know: employee wellbeing is getting a lot of attention this year, from business owners, employees, and consumers.

As many as 29% of consumers now say that how a company treats its employees is the most important factor in deciding whether to become a loyal customer.10 90% of those surveyed said to earn their trust, companies needed to protect the wellbeing and financial security of their employees.11

When Salesforce was voted the #1 Best Place to Work in the UK this year, the reason given was this: "Friendly culture that prioritises employees' wellbeing and development, not just revenue generation."12

From mental health days and volunteer days to free counselling and gym memberships, companies are looking after their employees' health like never before.

2022 really is becoming the year of the worker. More than ever, companies are flexing to worker demands - and consumers are watching closely. DHL Parcel UK is delighted to have achieved a top employer certification in the UK and Europe and we are proud to put our employees first to attain the best results for our customers. Want to find out more? Visit here



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