Working In 2022 + Beyond: Here Are GlobalData’s Predictions.

In their latest report ‘TMT Predictions 2022,’ the leading data and analytics company, GlobalData – offers up their predictions on the future of work in the UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly disrupted our working habits in 2020 and 2021. Therefore, there is much speculation on how things will be, moving forward. GlobalData’s ‘TMT Predictions Report for 2022’ believes that ‘reshoring’ (when the production of goods is returned to the company’s original country), gig economy regulation, and flexible working are destined to become ‘the new norm.’

Reshoring is an increasingly attractive option,” said Amrit Dhami (a Thematic Analyst at GlobalData). The data company believes that businesses will have to resort to a new type of ‘homeward bound’ approach, as offshore manufacturing becomes too expensive, – after losing its cost advantage (due to significant supply chain disruptions, and the rising labour costs in countries such as China).

Companies are also being pressured to localize production to reduce their carbon footprint, and to support the post-pandemic rebuilding of their home country’s economy,” outlined Amrit.

Unfortunately, reshoring may “destroy more jobs in developing countries than it will create in developed countries,” and it won’t necessarily account for all of the jobs initially lost through offshoring, because contemporary production lines are less labour intensive. However, Amrit argues that this will still make up for a “welcomed difference, as developed economies shake off the pandemic.”

Also, Amrit forecasts that geopolitics will play a vital role in this new trend, especially in the US.

The direction of foreign policy is driving President Biden to reduce the US’s reliance on China. Furthermore, concerns over EV battery production and domestic semiconductor supply has inspired US manufacturers in the transportation equipment, chemicals, and in the computer + electronics industries to look at re-shoring to manufacture these critical components themselves, – to rival China’s vertically-integrated EV supply chain,” added Amrit.

Whilst the acceleration of reshoring hints at ‘autarky,’ it should be said that reshoring won’t necessarily lead to de-globalisation. For instance, the US knows that it will gain little from political and economic isolation. As it currently stands, the US, the UK, and other global powerhouses are situated at a crucial juncture, – in global cooperation on issues such as climate change, and… on sustainable production practices.

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And as for the precarious gig economy, the growth we saw in 2021 will continue into 2022. However, this growth comes with increasing instability: “The gig economy model is precarious and unsustainable, due to landmark regulatory changes across Europe, classifying more and more gig workers as ’employees,’ rather than as independent contractors,” noted Amrit.

GlobalData believes that governments will continue to legislate in favour of gig workers, and that this will heavily increase costs for companies that now need to afford sick days, holidays, and pensions. For example, Uber is yet to make a non-adjusted profit, and “its model is unlikely to survive such a shift, due to its operational costs.”

However, what is possibly the most influential aspect of this report, is that it highlights how flexible working has become ‘an office staple.’

The report says that 42% of workers are still working from home full time, whilst most offices are set to return to at least 50% capacity by May 2022: “Hybrid working will remain commonplace, even after the pandemic subsides, as workers are enjoying the flexibility of hours,” understandably, – due to them saving precious time commuting to and from work.

As well as this, it is expected that companies will need to maintain a flexible working arrangement in order to succeed, when it comes to retaining and attracting top talent around the country, and abroad.

You can find out more here.