10 Stories to Get You Ready for Work in 2022

Our 2021 year in review will help you prepare for what’s to come.

The past year came with a multitude of questions from organizations everywhere: How can we safely bring people back to the workplace? What will it take to build community and keep people engaged at work? How can we design meeting spaces that better support in-person and remote teammates? We have learned one thing— there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the future of work and there’s a lot to learn.

We’ve spent the past year talking to leaders and their people, designers, human resources professionals and industry-leading experts to more deeply understand how to create a better hybrid workplace. Take this crash course on our top 10 articles from 2021 so you can better prepare yourself and your workplace for the year ahead.

Woman looking out on a window

1. Six Hybrid Work Challenges Human Resource Professionals Face Now

“The Great Resignation” has impacted organizations everywhere as people continue to seek new opportunities and leaders scramble to attract and retain top talent. Many companies are responding with new hybrid work strategies. In-depth interviews with North American global talent experts and human resources leaders identified key areas to watch as organizations implement these hybrid models.

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Steelcase Flex Perch Stool

2. Creating a Hybrid Culture

Hybrid work may be challenging initially, but there’s never been a greater opportunity for organizations to reshape their culture. Companies are finding that a cultural reset is essential to create new norms for how people will work together going forward. Steelcase has uncovered five emerging needs people have in order to create a successful hybrid culture.

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3. Hybrid Collaboration Is Hard

The future of collaboration is hybrid, but getting hybrid right is hard. Leading organizations are taking steps now to welcome a significant increase in hybrid collaboration, and we’ve identified three key insights to help companies prepare for a future in which daily collaboration happens among a blend of co-located and remote participants, using diverse technology and high-performing spaces.

 


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4. Four Essential Solutions for the Hybrid Workplace

A new era of hybrid work is here and it will require new kinds of spaces that create a sense of belonging and provide greater flexibility and performance to build a strong hybrid culture. This fall, Steelcase introduced new products and solutions designed to give hybrid workers what they need now to have a great work experience.

 

a man and woman walking through the LINC hallway

5. Designing Our Return to the Office

When Steelcase brought people back to its Grand Rapids locations in the spring, employees followed a phased approach to facilitate a gradual return. Learn the framework we used to welcome employees to the office and explore how new spaces and experiences served as a catalyst.

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illustration of a woman working on a kitchen counter while his daughter is doing homework and son is using a cellphone

6. The Hidden Bias of Working from Home

Steelcase research uncovers how working from home has disproportionately affected women, as well as employees in individual contributor roles. We explored four common work-from-home space types and how different affordances impact productivity and engagement. Plus, we share what organizations can do about these disparities as they work to develop a more inclusive strategy.

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7. Kickstart Your Return to the Office

The shift to remote work caused millions of workers to suffer from loneliness and isolation, and it has had a negative impact on their engagement, productivity and wellbeing. Creating a social hub for your workplace can be a first step for organizations looking to design spaces that inspire and engage returning employees.
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8. Designing a Better Work Experience

Different design approaches will be required to create spaces that support the new ways people want to work and the things organizations need to compete effectively. As companies bring their employees back to the office, these four design principles are crucial to solving for a diverse set of needs in the future workplace.

 

AM Education Learning Classrooms No Masks

9. Three Concepts for Creating Better Hybrid Learning Spaces

By breaking down barriers and resistance to blended learning models, the pandemic fast-forwarded opportunities for learning to thrive as it never has before — in all types of institutions and at all levels, from kindergarten to corporate. Steelcase research outlines three key principles for creating spaces that support better hybrid learning experiences.

 

headshot of gabrielle Bullock wearing glasses

10. Diversity in Design Q+A with Gabrielle Bullock

In recent years, healthy conversations around diversity are becoming more common as industries that have long lacked representation are making strides toward cultural competency and inclusion. We interviewed Gabrielle Bullock, director of global diversity at Perkins&Will, about the importance of diversity in design and how the physical environment can help people feel more included at work.

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