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ComplianceFebruary 02, 2022

Top business trends for 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically transformed the business landscape, bringing uncertainty and disruption but also innovation and resilience.

As the economy and consumers prepare for a post-pandemic future, businesses will need to continue to adapt to thrive. As they do, here are eight trends to prepare for in 2022.

1. Volatility remains a major theme

Despite a level of optimism that the worst of the pandemic is over, executives and analysts from sectors including food service, healthcare, packaged food, manufacturing, and logistics warn that any return to “normal” is unlikely this year and will continue to challenge businesses across the globe.

2. Increased customer expectations

Accustomed to seamless digital experiences, customers increasingly expect those same experiences as they interact with businesses online and offline. While many businesses pivoted to offer contactless services during the pandemic, continuing those initiatives, with an eye to increasing consumer engagement, is paramount.

But just as customers expect more channels, they also expect convenient, personalized experiences — 24/7. Meeting this demand will be a big challenge for businesses in 2022 as they look to find scalable solutions to keep pace with changing customer expectations.

3. Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a huge focus for businesses, regardless of size — and can’t be ignored. According to research by McKinsey, DEI in executive teams is proven to increase a company’s financial performance. When women make up more than 30% of the executive team, those companies outperform businesses with a fewer ratio of female executives by 48%. Moreover, culturally and ethnically diverse businesses outperform less diverse companies by up to 36%. A commitment to DEI is also key draw for millennial and Gen Z job seekers.

4. Combatting the “Great Resignation”

A significant outcome of the pandemic was a desire among workers to seek out new and more rewarding or flexible jobs. But the “Great Resignation”, as it came to be known, has burdened businesses as they seek to fill roles, and hiring and retaining talent will be a significant priority for companies in 2022.

To stem the tide of more resignations, firms will continue to focus on encouraging employees to take paid time off, offer higher wages to new recruits, and increase wages for existing employees.

How firms find talent will also change. According to Middle Market Growth, in 2020 most businesses relied on their network to source talent (42%), with only 10% using online search methods. While the former remains important, online recruiting has nearly doubled to 19% in 2021 and looks set to continue on that trajectory.

5. Supply chain issues could linger

Although supply chain bottlenecks have improved, disruption looks set to continue at least for the first half of 2022. As such, many businesses are bringing their purchasing plans forward, strategic stockpiling, and sourcing materials from vendors in new geographies.

In doing so, many small- to midsize businesses are starting to think like larger enterprise firms — reducing risk by taking a more strategic approach to supply chain diversification and the sourcing of goods.

6. Inflation

Supply chain issues naturally lead to higher prices. But couple this crisis with the emergence of the omicron variant and continued and strong consumer demand, and inflation looks set to continue well into 2022.

Even as supply chain issues look set to abate, businesses should prepare for elevated inflation. Until potential policy changes to slow inflation come into effect, companies should review expenses, consider raising prices, and make changes to ensure profitability.

7. Hybrid working

The pandemic quickly dispelled myths that working from home would lead to decreased employee productivity. Indeed, many employers were surprised at how well their employees performed remotely.

The hybrid workplace trend looks set to continue as employers seek to attract and retain top talent. But a focus on “when” employees work will also come into sharp relief as employees demand more flexible hours. As employers prepare for a new age of asynchronous collaboration, consideration must be given to how they will ensure productivity in this new, fragmented workday.

8. Cyber risk

In the past few years, threat actors have targeted middle-market companies more often than any other sector. Not surprisingly, concerns about being a victim of a cyberattack — particularly malware and ransomware — is on the rise. These attacks can have devastating consequences, including reputational, financial, and productivity impacts.

Remote work factors heavily into the risk that employers face. As the digital perimeter has extended to remote offices and homes, the attack surface has grown giving cybercriminals more opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities, weak security controls, and careless employees.

As such, cybersecurity is now an executive priority and not just the responsibility of security teams. Reviewing the organization’s security posture and investing in the right controls is critical. Employees must also be educated on cybersecurity best practices — in the workplace and at home.

Learn more

CT Corporation is dedicated to helping a business stay compliant so you can focus on the business. If you want to learn more, contact a CT Corporation representative at 855-316-8948 (toll-free US)

The CT Corporation staff is comprised of experts, offering global, regional, and local expertise on registered agent, incorporation, and legal entity compliance.

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