People

Consumer trends companies should be aware of in 2022

As organisations come under growing pressure to provide superior workplace experiences for employees, a new report suggests what their people are responding to as consumers outside the office

Organisations are now looking for ways to entice employees back to the office after employees have developed a taste for flexible working. For many, this involves creating a more consumer-led  workplace experience which can be perceived as superior to that of the home or other working environments. But what does that entail?

A new report from CB Insights, ‘The New Retail and Consumer Unicorns of 2021: What they tell us about the direction ahead’, gives some indication about what employees are looking for in the amenities and services they choose. Organisations are increasing viewing their employees as consumers of the workplace, therefore they can learn a lot from observing how they behave as consumers outside the office.

The report identified personalisation, wellness and speed as the most popular properties of a service. As people have adapted to a new way of life during the pandemic, they have adopted new forms of consuming, driving up demand for categories such as food delivery, personalised health, and wellness. The report looks at the key players driving the consumer market and how they are driving up demand for convenient and personalised experiences.

These are some of the key lessons for organisations looking to create a superior workplace experience:

Personalisation

People are increasingly looking for experiences and services that are personal to them. From personalised suggestions to individual consultations, people are more likely to choose a service which feels personalised. Retail platforms have been leading the way in this area, sending personalised offers to customers at the moment of payment or offering individual consultations for beauty and makeup.

If employers want their employees to choose to return to the office, they have to offer an experience that personally appeals to each individual. Most commonly, this avenue is being explored through the use of a workplace app. Employees can personalise their apps to access services and amenities they want, as well as find out who’s in the office that day. Advanced workplace apps even make personalised suggestions for each employee based on their chosen preferences.

Convenience

As consumer preferences shift towards online services, ultrafast delivery – which occurs within 15-20 minutes of order placement – is becoming one of the fastest growing categories in the food and beverage delivery space. Innovative companies in this space are emphasising their quick delivery times as part of their offerings.

Customers who use these services are often willing to trade variety for immediacy. However, this presents an opportunity in the workplace for organisations to partner with local restaurants or innovative start-up delivery services to provide ultrafast services to an employees’ desk. This could range from food and beverage services and parcel delivery to dry cleaning and transport.

Health and Wellbeing

Health and wellness has had a significant boost in popularity during the pandemic. From re-evaluating diets to becoming more aware of health benefits, people are investing in their mental and physical wellbeing more than ever.

Some of the key start-up players in the industry are focusing on fitness solutions from connected fitness equipment to subscription services for tacking behavioural and lifestyle improvements. People generally seem want access to the data about their personal health.

There is an opportunity for companies to partner with employees to use that data to create optimal workplace environments. This trend is already emerging in the workplace industry and has been coined the Internet of Bodies.

As the boundary between personal and professional life continues to blur, organisations should expect employees to exhibit similar behaviours and expectations in the workplace as they do in their private lives. In order for the workplace to become somewhere where employees choose to work, the experience needs to be personalised, convenient and beneficial to their wider goals of health and wellbeing.

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