2021 has been a blitzkrieg of a year. The pandemic continued, people protested against control measures in parts of Europe, the U.S. and Australia, Biden came to power, the Suez Canal got blocked, farm laws in India, abortion laws in the U.S., tax hikes in Colombia…(the list does go on), and we saw tangible ramifications of climate change across the world. And just as we thought we’s seen the worst of COVID, waves and variants have left us reeling.
What could this 2022 bring? We’ve ventured into a list…
Table of contents
Here are twelve things we expect in the year 2022:
- The Metaverse Rush
A buzzword in 2021, metaverse will blow up in the upcoming year. It is the 21 Century’s, Gold Rush. You cannot miss your digital avatar, even if you are not an ardent gamer. Organisations are already clamouring to carve portions of the virtual universe for themselves, but will Big Tech succeed in owning it? Our guess is a No. With Blockchain, technology will be decentralised, allowing individuals to make their mark without relying on Big Tech. This also means that AR and VR headsets will become the next smartphones. With time the lines between the physical and the virtual universes will get blurry.
- Cryptocurrency and NFTs
Cryptocurrency will seek mainstream use, despite governments across the world trying to restrict them. Tesla is now accepting Dogecoin for its merchandise. With huge strides in blockchain tech and the explosion of the metaverse, Non-Fungible Tokens will become the next big investment. Follow the link to read how cryptocurrency and NFTs work.
- AI here, AI there, AI Everywhere
AI exists and is beginning to take over, that is not news. But, in 2022, the applications of AI are expected to exponentially increase. AI will have a central role in synthetic biology, an invention of cures, our quest for clean energy and zero emissions, Talent Intelligence systems that will reshape HR, you name it, AI will be at its hub.
- Rise of Electric Vehicles
This one is a no-brainer. Fossil fuels aren’t sustainable and add to the greenhouse effect. With governments subsidising electric vehicles, we can expect to see electric vehicles of all kinds around us.
- Tight Labour Markets
The Great Resignation has left employers and organisations in a tizzy. In the developed world, new jobs are being created while one in about every ten positions remain empty. This gap is expected to increase, at least until the first half of 2022. Recruiters and HR personnel will be in high demand and organisations will have a diverse range of talent to choose from.
- An Explosion of Gigs
The pandemic has caused immense burnout among working communities. It precipitated the Great Resignation and the general trend of people realising that they deserve better––whether it is better to pay, healthier working conditions or diverse workspaces. It has also translated to millions choosing gigs over structured employment. Gigs give people the freedom to manage their time, work on things they are passionate about and keep themselves on their toes. Intermittent lockdowns in the last two years have also taught people the value of the hustle. So, we foresee a huge jump in the gig economy.
- Hybrid Work
For an individual, the advantages of remote work supersede the cons. Even after COVID stops being a threat, people would prefer roles that offer them the flexibility of remote work. With the expected labour crunch, organisations might introduce policies that change the very nature of work to hybrid models wherever possible.
- Corporate Accountability and Responsibility
An organisation’s stance in an issue of social justice will come under the scanner. Work culture as we know it will be redefined beyond the paradigms of profits and compensations. People want to work in spaces that respect individuals, are open to ideas, stand up for causes and hire inclusively.
- Inflation worries
With the renewed threat of COVID, inflation will rear its ugly head. Easy growth and easy funding will taper as inflationary trends are already visible in the U.S.
- 4-day work week and mental health
For organisations to stay competitive in the labour market, 4-day work weeks will become the next stimulus. Conversations about burnouts and mental health, in general, will become more significant in workspaces, if an organisation wants to retain its talent. What people will want is for an organisation to practice an ethic of care, treating its employees as multi-faceted individuals rather than a homogenous mass of workers.
- COVID – an endemic
Unless Omicron throws a humongous spanner in the works, we will move into the endemic stage of COVID. We will learn how to live with the virus, rely on antibody testing and require rapid testing, especially when crossing borders. One thing is for sure. With many nations making vaccine passports mandatory, the world is going Roget progressively harder for the unvaccinated.
- A Golden Age of Vaccines
The rapid pace at which the COVID vaccines were developed and distributed has stirred interest in vaccinology. There is a vested interest in moving beyond the “tried and tested” methods and being prepared for other viruses that might attack humans. Libraries of advanced vaccines are what scientists and geneticists will be working towards. Serum Life Sciences has already committed GBP 50 million to establish the Poonawalla Vaccine Research Building at the University of Oxford.
What to expect in 2022? The summary
For all that the pandemic has put us through, it is proved one thing––our resilience. It has taught us to accept ourselves in our entirety. It is perfectly acceptable if you want to change careers or quit your job. It is okay if you are feeling burnt out. Give yourself the time and space to heal. It is okay to explore something off-beat or work freelance. We all have been doing our best to survive.
We hope that the new year brings in a shift from survival to that of thriving. To quote Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’__”
On our blog you will also find the article about in-demand skills for 2022.
Happy New Year!