5 main trends in the freelance market in 2022

Working from home is no longer surprising to anyone. This trend has firmly and obviously entered our lives for a long time. Firms continue to experiment and find new formats of work. Recently, another current trend has appeared, gaining popularity – a four-day working week. How can companies adapt to the new environment in order to remain competitive in the struggle for talent in the labor market? We will tell in the article.

Work-life balance

For people who have managed to work remotely, life blossoms with other colors. You can not stand for hours in traffic jams, do not hesitate to talk about burnout in the workplace and finally change the strict suit to democratic sneakers and T-shirts. More time is left for communication with family and friends, burnout occurs less often.

However, not all managers are optimistic about the new conditions. Working from home is often longer in time, but not always more productive as a result. So far, most companies are accepting change as a necessity and expect things to return to normal soon. Some try to manipulate the salary, while understanding that talented specialists should not be scattered.

What trends come to the fore in the post-pandemic period?

Casual vs dress code

As employees return to offices, their dress code changes. The New York Times notes that even the strictest rules, which until the last were observed by the largest banks and law firms, are now shaken. On Wall Street, more and more men are abandoning strict suits in favor of chinos and polos, and women are choosing not high heels, but sneakers and ballet flats. These changes only at first glance seem insignificant. In fact, they affect a whole layer of corporate culture. Previously, an expensive suit was a mandatory attribute of the business community and a sign of success, but now managers understand that employees are not eager to comply with the dress code after a year of sitting at home. And then the style of clothing will become more comfortable and relaxed.

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One of the reasons for this relaxation is the struggle for potential candidates with technology companies. Wall Street firms will have to make concessions to employees if they want to get talent. After all, in more democratic companies, they are loyal to both the dress code and remote work.

The whole office is on vacation

Some companies have found their own way to combat burnout. They began to send employees on paid leave for a week. And almost the entire office at the same time. LinkedIn followed this path when they saw signs of burnout and stress in the workplace. When this affected the effectiveness of people, the management decided to take such a step. Almost 16 thousand employees were sent on a week’s rest. Only a small group of employees remained at work to solve important and urgent issues. After the return of the bulk, they also went on vacation.

What is the advantage of such a solution? It’s that simple. When everyone goes on vacation at the same time, there are no work questions, no missed Zoom appointments and tons of emails on the e-mail. Getting out of vacation is painless. People are getting to work with renewed vigor.

Bumble (the developer of the dating app) went even further after this experiment. Now each employee can agree on unlimited paid leave if the need arises. And to give rest for a week to the whole team at the same time will be twice a year.

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Hybrid format is a new reality

More and more companies are thinking about a hybrid format of work. It looks like it will be one of the most popular trends in the foreseeable future. If this was a necessity during the pandemic, managers will allow their employees to combine work at home and in the office. At least, they will treat such a desire with understanding.

According to experts, the reformatting of the labor market occurs quite rarely. Now is the case when it is possible to revise traditional approaches and create a more effective model of work that will suit both employers and employees. Each company sets its own rules, but most employees note that they are ready to work remotely from home at least 2-3 days a week.

What are the pros and cons of hybrid work? Among the advantages are called comfort, efficiency, flexibility. The main disadvantages are the weakening of social ties, detachment, difficulty in establishing boundaries between personal life and work. In any case, the standard schedules from 9:00 to 18:00 may soon become an exception in many firms.

Longer, but not more effective

When the whole world switched to remote, many were able to adapt to the new format without sacrificing performance. The new data showed a slightly different picture (based on a study by an Asian technology company with more than 10,000 employees). In cases where the number of hours worked increased by 30%, productivity did not increase proportionally. It would be more correct to measure productivity for each working hour. In the course of the study, it turned out that with an increase in operating time, the efficiency fell by 20%. It turned out that most of the working day was occupied by general meetings and calls. There was no time left to solve specific problems, to immerse directly in the workflow.

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Less is not worse

This trend is being talked about more and more often. We are talking about a four-day working week with the preservation of wages. This idea began to be discussed several decades ago, long before today’s events, and now it has become especially relevant.

An experiment conducted in different companies around the world showed that reducing the working week can be effective. In some firms, productivity has increased by almost 40%. Employees find ways to work productively: delegate tasks, prioritize correctly, take breaks less often, hold fewer meetings, use programs to automate the workflow. At the same time, the company’s expenses are also reduced when it comes to office work.

The main advantages of this format are improved well-being, increased involvement, a healthy balance between work and personal life. If earlier companies cared about the physical health of employees, now they are worried about mental.

Not all employers approve of this idea. For example, Elon Musk is not enough and the standard 5 working days for 8-9 hours. According to him, there are much easier places to work, but no one has ever changed the world, working 40 hours a week. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, agrees with Musk. He states that working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week is a huge blessing. It is impossible not to agree that without hard work, these people would not have reached the heights at which they are now.

It is already clear that changes in the labor market, as in other spheres of life, are irreversible. Very soon we will see which format of work has taken root better than others, what trends have appeared, how employees and employers relate to them.


Written by Shubham

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