What workplace trends for frontline workers will we see in 2022?

Did you know, according to our findings two thirds (66%) of all frontline workers often feel stressed at work?

Looking for ways to improve the work-life for your employees but overwhelmed by articles about remote and hybrid working? Don’t worry this isn’t another listicle of workplace changes that only benefit the lives of office workers. 

As we move into 2022, the ways of working have been seriously revamped due to the pandemic. Frustratingly, most of the chatter is around businesses moving away from working in offices and central workplaces - and that doesn’t mean a lot to the frontline workers, who have not had the luxury of a remote working job in the past two years. 

People working in sectors such as retail, transport and hospitality have been somewhat overlooked during this time. 

But since there has been more and more talk about the “Great Resignation,” frontline working conditions are finally being discussed and taken seriously. This includes a new attitude to employee wellbeing, a shift in skillsets and a focus on the new generation of workers: Gen Z. 

The pandemic showed more people than ever voluntarily leaving their jobs, or switching to part-time employment. This has been for several reasons including pandemic-related stress, duty of care for family members, and some simply wanting a better deal for themselves. 

With that in mind, we are going to take a look at what workplace trends we are likely to see over the next year for frontline workers - and how you as an employer can implement change that benefits you and your workforce.

1. Making employee wellbeing a top priority

During the pandemic, it was the people on the front line that kept the country going. From delivery drivers, supermarket workers and healthcare professionals. They were the ones who got up, put on their PPE and faced the unknown. 

So, it’s no wonder that they are now questioning their well-being at work. Which is forcing employers to acknowledge the mental and physical well-being of all their employees. 

Stat - 66% stressed at work

So, how can you implement employee wellbeing in your workplace? 

  • Create a wellness action plan.

  • Educate your workforce on employee burnout, how to recognise the signs and how to tackle this.

  • Have regular wellness check-ins.

  • Provide staff with mental health days.

  • Provide access to additional support.

  • Offer activities such as meditation, yoga and team building.

  • Ensure employees take a break. 

Going forward, access to mental health and wellness will no longer be considered a ‘perk’ but something that is expected. Many companies will be required to have wellness training and programmes, as well as opening up communication regarding mental health to create normalised attitudes to wellness. 

So what’s in it for you? Well, it’s a proven fact that employees who are happier and less stressed in the workplace are more productive and less likely to leave. So it’s a win-win for the employer and employee alike. 


Click here to see what your employees are saying about your company.

2. Employers will be accountable for diversity and inclusion 

It has never been more important to create a workplace that actively encourages people to be their authentic selves. Having voices within your company that come from different backgrounds, have different experiences and characteristics is where you will get the best, the richest and the most powerful information. 

However, it’s not enough for a company to preach about being diverse and inclusive. People want to see it. 2022 will see companies putting a focus on diversity and inclusion in hiring no matter someone’s background, race, experience or gender. 

We are starting to see companies release their statistics on workplace demographics as well as their goals and progress regarding diversity and inclusion. 

Here’s what you can do to focus on Diversity and inclusion in 2022: 

  • Recruit inclusive leaders and develop them at every level. 

  • Create a safe space where everyone in your workforce feels empowered and part of the conversation. 

  • Hold the leaders within your company accountable. Educate them about why it’s important to create a collaborative workforce.

  • Build diversity and inclusion into your recruitment process.

  • Monitor your diversity and inclusion goals.

  • Share your stats with the world. 

By focusing on building a more diverse and inclusive workforce, you are likely to see the following results:

  • Appealing to new markets. 

  • Making better and stronger decisions. 

  • Better employee wellbeing. 

  • Higher productivity. 

3. A huge emphasis on work-life balance

One of the main things to come out of the pandemic was that people realised that their work/life balance was completely off. With more and more people spending time with their families and their loved ones, peoples’ priorities changed. 

But, what does this mean for frontline workers?

Well, after years of being ‘the forgotten workforce’ it’s time to put the effort into ensuring your workforce doesn’t burn out. Employee wellbeing can be significantly improved by promoting a healthy work/life balance. 

Stat -81% fast food workers shifts

Here’s how you can help: 

  • Ensuring staff have their shifts at least 4 weeks in advance so they can plan their time off effectively. 

  • Make sure employees leave on time and are not working unpaid overtime.

  • Encourage holiday time to be taken.

  • Review workload and shifts with your employees on a one-to-one basis.

  • Offer flexible working hours to suit the employee.

So, how does this help you? Well, this one is a bit of a no-brainer, giving people the opportunity to have more flexible hours, be able to leave on time and have access to their shift patterns earlier will make for happier employees. 

Happy employees mean higher retention and better productivity. 

Stat - 63% nurses not paid for extra work

4. There will be a rise in efficiency thanks to technology

For far too long, the focus has been on office workers when it comes to using technology to improve productivity and workflow. How many frontline workers are managing shifts on a confusing excel spreadsheet or even worse - written out manually in a book - we’ve seen it all?

The pandemic saw work for frontline workers in industries such as healthcare, logistics and manufacturing significantly increase - yet they are still relying on outdated and old fashioned work systems. 

Retail stores are stepping up their technology to quickly see stock levels, delivery drivers are using more sophisticated hand-held computers to streamline their workday and communicate with each other better.

We are also seeing more companies using better tech programmes to better train their team, and help them level up their skills to progress further. 

stat - new skills

This shift in companies bringing in new technologies will help them learn and develop more. 

By advancing technology for front line workers, they can also easily stay connected and find the answers they need more easily as well as stay on top of company updates and messaging. 

How can you incorporate technology into your front line business? 

  • Update the way you hire candidates by using different digital channels.

  • Research ways in which you can integrate mobile technology across all areas of your business.

  • Look into automation technology to improve production.

  • Using technology to improve your onboarding and training process.

  • Use online performance management tools.

  • Employee surveys to improve working conditions and engagement.

  • Employee benefits, sign up for a programme that offers benefits such as discounts, wellness and rewards.

In 2022, we will start to see more companies using technology to improve and enhance the frontline worker experience. Making for a more productive workplace with better opportunities to enhance the worker’s skills. 

5. Gen Z is entering and stepping up in the modern workforce

As Gen Z enter the workforce and are even starting to step up into leadership positions, it has never been more important to ensure that you appeal to them. Gen Z has a refreshed attitude to working life. They are looking for more flexibility, better work-life balance and better employee wellbeing. 

They are also a generation raised by technology, so it’s so important that you have the tools and the tech to run your business as efficiently as possible. 

As we navigate the ‘new normal’ when it comes to working it has never been clearer that ‘the forgotten’ frontline workers need to have a voice. The pandemic has paved the way for employees to speak up about what exactly a good job is. And it goes beyond salary, people want and need to have a better deal in the workplace… or simply put they will leave. 

With Breakroom, employees can understand what a job is really like! They can see if there is better out there. Thanks to over 200,000 frontline workers surveyed about their jobs, candidates can understand what the job really entails. This includes sick pay, notice of shifts and paid breaks. People want more from their workplace now, and if they can get it elsewhere they will.

So, it’s time for employers to step up and focus on the employee experience before you get left behind. 

Do you want to find out more about how you can prioritise your employee wellbeing in 2022?

Click here to tell us more about your business needs, and we’ll get back to you asap. We’d love to talk.

Published on 28 January 2022