Consumer and Workforce Trends for 2022

Since Britain decided to leave the EU it seems no one has been able to predict the future with much certainty – since then we’ve seen Donald Trump elected President of the United States, Boris Johnson rise to power in the UK, nearly two years of global pandemic, and various other oddities in between. 

That said, it’s the end of the year and time to take stock of all that has happened leading up to this point. To that end, and inspired by a recent article by Forbes, we’re listing a few trends that have been brewing to keep your eye on heading into the new year. 

A Realignment of Values

The pandemic forced many to reconsider their priorities – for some this meant their work-life balance, for others it meant changing careers or moving to the country. With the prospect of redundancy, reduced income from furlough, or the spectre of illness looming over many, an increased emphasis on personal fulfilment and family values has come to dominate the consumer subconscious over the last two years. 

This has manifested in many different ways: an uptick in home cooking, increased bicycle use, flexible work-from-home arrangements to allow for more family time, as well as more conscientious spending habits. 

This trend can affect your business in one of two ways: 

  1. Be aware of how changing priorities might impact the fulfilment and productivity of your workforce 
  2. Adjust your brand’s messaging to consumers to fit their new, more conscientious mindset

Connecting with the Intangible

If you were privy to the whistle-stop tour of the uncanny valley that was Facebook’s announcement of its metaverse, you might have cause for concern for the future of humanity. 

Failed Turing test, Mark Zuckerberg, proclaims his vision of the future of social media, work, and life in general – and guess what – it’s all presided over by Facebook! How lovely! 

Facebook’s metaverse – similar to other metaverses – is a virtual/augmented-reality environment that can be shared in real time by many different people. Imagine a virtual reality game but instead of the purpose being to have fun, the purpose is to do your 9-5 job in a virtual stuffy office instead of a real one. 

Alongside this, the explosion of NFTs onto the art and financial markets has threatened to turn many industries on their heads. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are unique tokens that function has a sort of receipt of originality on a blockchain. This is to say, if you buy an NFT-associated item, the fact that you own it will be baked into the existence of said item. 

This presents hugely exciting opportunities or markets like digital video game vendors – where previously digital copies of games could not be sold at a discount like their physical counterparts, NFT certificates will allow for the trading of digital assets in exactly the same way. 

These technologies are still very much in their infancy – so, while there is incredible opportunity to be had, caution should also be taken in the quick adoption of the technology. If the public’s reaction to Facebook’s metaverse was anything to go by, people aren’t ready to hand that much of their life over to companies just yet. 

Be Steady

To call the media an apocalyptic hype machine might just be an understatement. Over the last two years we’ve been bombarded by doom and gloom on a seemingly hourly basis: warzones, corrupt politicians, disease, and finical instability: you name it, we got it. 

While this all remains true, people look for stability in times of hardship. A measured and strategic approach is likely to be your anchor among these tumultuous seas.

Double down on your business’ practices, make sure you have bullet-proof ESG credentials and ensure all ethical practices are being met. Stability amongst the turmoil coil be what separates your business from a less considerate one. 

Final Thoughts

These are but a few of many nuances thoughts on future trends to look out for in the new year – to read to full list, click here

As for your business – trying to predict the future is impossible, but being mindful for the trends brought about by the previous two years is certainly another string to your bow.

The last two years are evidence enough that the world is experiencing life/business/economic/community-altering transitions and that there is no going back to the way things were.

By Rebecca Garland on 22/12/2021