Glassdoor reveals its UK workplace predictions for 2022

people sitting on office chairs in front of computers, office setup

At a time when the job market and workplace are undergoing unprecedented change, Glassdoor, the worldwide leader on insights into jobs and companies, has revealed its workplace predictions for 2022.

Drawing upon millions of employee reviews, applications, salaries and conversations, the economic research team at Glassdoor has unique insight into how UK workers are feeling and acting.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the world of work was thrown into crisis. Throughout 2021 companies were forced to adapt to the challenges brought about by COVID-19: employee burnout, remote work, labour shortages and record levels of employee turnover. Looking forward, Glassdoor predicts employees in 2022 will enjoy elevated power to negotiate in a tight labour market and companies will need to rethink old ways of hiring and retaining talent. 

Speaking about the predictions, Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor economist, said, “2022 is looking to continue to be a job seeker’s market and the tight labour conditions will empower employees to demand more of their employers.”

“The outlook for the economy is still uncertain but it is clear that companies need to focus on employee experience and engagement to attract and retain talent.”

Prediction One: Hiring won’t be easy in 2022

In 2021 the UK saw disrupted immigration, an ageing population, workers re-evaluating their priorities and a quicker-than-expected recovery in customer demand. These combined factors mean labour markets will remain tight throughout 2022.

With low levels of unemployment, high numbers of job vacancies and record numbers of workers quitting in ‘The Great Resignation,’ it will be the most creative employers who are best able to hire and retain in this environment. Employee engagement will be critical and companies should look to unlock new talent pools by seeking out overlooked workers such as remote workers, recent retirees, less-abled workers or those with a criminal history.

 

Prediction Two: Remote work will boost access to top talent but at a higher price point

Remote work is now an almost-necessary tool for companies, and no longer the secret superpower for employers who could afford to offer it. With the recruiting advantage of remote work diluted, employers need to provide more attractive offers and for many, this means boosting salaries.

As we move into 2022, workers who were previously plentiful locally may now be swept up by the wave of remote opportunities, leaving local employers to pay more as major companies compete more aggressively for remote talent. Glassdoor data shows 11.1 per cent of UK-based employers hiring locally between January-October 2021 are competing against remote jobs, up nearly eightfold from 1.4 per cent in the same time period in 2019. In addition, more employers (especially in tech) will walk back or reduce location-based pay adjustments as they compete against other employers for top talent.

Prediction Three: Employers will prioritise diversity, equity and inclusion action and accountability

In response to 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and several other  movements, many companies set ambitious goals around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Glassdoor found that 72 per cent of UK job seekers and employees consider a diverse workforce an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers and 2022 will be the inflection point for companies’’ DEI efforts. Employees will expect to see progress from companies and the goodwill gained by goal-setting and pledges through the last two years will wear thin if not followed through with real action. Holding companies accountable for their promises will help ‘level up’ the conversation around transparency.

Prediction Four: Workplace community will expand beyond company walls

Over the last decade, employers have increasingly competed for talent by emphasising employee engagement and workplace experience. But the rise in remote and hybrid working has meant workplaces have had to change: office table tennis and fruit boxes have made way for wellbeing days and mental health support. To attract and retain talent, companies in 2022 need to recognise that employees are not just looking for a job, but for a career and a community.

In 2021 the UK saw disrupted immigration, an ageing population, workers re-evaluating their priorities and a quicker-than-expected recovery in customer demand. These combined factors mean labour markets will remain tight throughout 2022.

With low levels of unemployment, high numbers of job vacancies and record numbers of workers quitting in ‘The Great Resignation,’ it will be the most creative employers who are best able to hire and retain in this environment. Employee engagement will be critical and companies should look to unlock new talent pools by seeking out overlooked workers such as remote workers, recent retirees, less-abled workers or those with a criminal history.

The pandemic hasn’t changed what matters to employees

Glassdoor has also reviewed the workplace factors driving employee satisfaction in the UK. Despite the pandemic and the many discussions about how workers have reevaluated their priorities, the drivers of employee satisfaction have not changed between 2019 and 2021.

UK workers prioritise a company’s culture and values, quality of senior leadership and access to career opportunities within the organisation. Compensation & benefits were the least important factors to UK workers and ranked below diversity & inclusion and work-life balance.

Speaking about the predictions, Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor economist, said, “2022 is looking to continue to be a job seeker’s market and the tight labour conditions will empower employees to demand more of their employers.”

“The outlook for the economy is still uncertain but it is clear that companies need to focus on employee experience and engagement to attract and retain talent.”

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About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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