Future of Work Trends Report 2022

Our mission is to highlight the critical role of the internal communications profession in times of profound change. As the places in which we work continue their journey of disruption and transformation, the need for robust, clear and cohesive communication has never been more critical.

The past two years has seen a profound change in the way we work. 

Already in flux as a consequence of multiple trends converging under the broad banner of the future of work, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent Russian invasion of Ukraine poured rocket fuel on an already complex operating landscape. 

Enforced working from home during national lockdowns, outrage over the murder of George Floyd and the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the introduction of hybrid working, global supply chain issues, national skills shortages, the Great Resignation, ‘quiet quitting’ – there is no end of forces driving ambiguity at work.

In early 2020, the Institute of Internal Communication published its first Future of Work trends report.  At the time, we were aware of a novel virus emerging in China, but of course had no idea of how things would subsequently unfold. Our original report outlined eight key trends driving transformation in the nature of work in the 21st century and emphasised the escalating pace of change.

The turmoil unleashed by COVID-19, Russia’s military action, and now in 2022 the unavoidable truth that we’re witnessing a climate emergency, has dramatically accelerated key trends and accentuated the requirement for fresh thinking elsewhere. 

So much has changed. 

Our new 2022 Future of Work trends report provides an updated overview of the multiple drivers transforming work, alongside the implications for the internal communication profession. While it’s increasingly challenging to predict with certainty how global events will unfold, understanding the interconnected forces that underpin market volatility is helpful.

When we have an informed view of the external economic landscape, we’re better equipped to deliver value to our organisations and our colleagues. Staying abreast of the multiple drivers disrupting workplaces is now an imperative for internal communication professionals.