Trends to look out for in 2022
If there’s one thing 2021 taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected. But even in times of flux, it’s key to look ahead. So what might the next 12 months hold? Let’s take a look at some trends to watch out for…
If 2021 was the year of hybrid working, 2022 could be the year we see more adaptive workplaces. The positives of hybrid working are undeniable to most, but there are practical challenges. Expect to see more offices install ‘Zoom booths’ to help with in-office video calling and a mix of open-plan spaces for collaboration and tucked away workspaces for those who have thrived in calmer WFH settings. And for remote working, there is renewed focus on aligning and streamlining ways of working, with a shift towards multifunction tools like Notion and ClickUp.
Collective responsibility and collective action
According to an IBM Survey, 71% of job seekers want to work for sustainable companies after the pandemic. It’s just one example of how the combined effects of the pandemic, a global spotlight on climate change, and a focus on inclusivity has seen a shift in businesses wanting to do more than deliver great work. Expect to see more businesses go beyond the necessary quotas and compliance and take an active stance on issues and work collectively with employees on positively affecting change in the world they operate in.
Purpose and authenticity
This collective action is indelibly linked to purpose. Businesses are increasingly becoming purpose-led, going further than just defining their purpose and really living by it in everything they do. And just as employees are seeking a meaningful connection with their organisations, consumers are seeking connection with brands and businesses. But both internally and externally it needs to be authentic and we’re likely to see more and more businesses bringing their purpose to the fore and showing they stand for more than just profit.
A world of fast change demands more agile structures to respond to it. There’s been a shift away from hierarchy and inflexible top-down structures that looks set to continue. Not only are flatter structures more agile and better placed to respond to unexpected change, they allow for better management of remote or hybrid teams and a freelance workforce.
The Metaverse is still floating about like a bit of an ethereal term like the 'Internet' was in the late 1970s, but it's something we're going to hear much more about. In reality the Metaverse – essentially a centralised virtual world – has been around for years, but as a concept, it hit the mainstream when Facebook rebranded as Meta this year. Generations who have grown up living half their lives in Roblox or Fortnite simply see the virtual world as an extension of the 'real' world, but the Metaverse goes beyond gaming and into cryptocurrencies and NFTs and with Nike preparing to launch virtual trainers, it seems brands are readying to up their presence in the Metaverse too. The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the blurring of the lines between the physical and virtual – where the Metaverse goes next, it's hard to predict, but savvy businesses and brands will need to be ready for the ride.
Dopamine dressing and Barkitecture
Want to know what creative trends could be around the corner? Pinterest Predicts is a great tool for getting ahead of the curve. People use Pinterest to plan for their future which means it's a really interesting insight into what might come next. Last year 8 out of 10 of their predictions came true and from Dopamine dressing to Barkitecture, Hellenistic Revival to Biophilic Design, there's lots to get stuck into.