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Glassdoor’s 2022 work forecast: Cloudy with a chance of déjà vu

Protocol Workplace

Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter where we share the latest tips, tools and insights to help you stay informed about the modern tech office. Today: Glassdoor’s predictions for 2022, the bias of e-signatures and how mental health resources help retain employees. Read to the end for the best rage quit of all time.

—Amber Burton, Reporter (twitter | email)

What will work look like in 2022? Glassdoor has four predictions.

It’s that time of year: prediction season. With omicron taking a wrecking ball to the tech industry’s return-to-work plans, it feels laughable to make predictions about how we’re all going to be working in 2022. In fact, the only thing that seems certain is that nothing is certain.

This week Glassdoor unveiled four predictions for the workplace of 2022, gleaned from its treasure trove of reviews and salary data as well as economic trend data. Protocol spoke to the platform’s senior economist, Daniel Zhao, about these predictions and the greater economic forecast for the year ahead. Here’s what he sees in the crystal ball:

Hiring will continue to be brutal. Bad news for the tech industry: Talented engineers and employees in general will continue to be hard to find. The pandemic hasn’t loosened its grip yet on the talent shortage. Some contributing factors, according to Zhao: pandemic-related burnout, an aging American population, lower immigration and general ennui.

  • As of September 2021, there were only 0.74 unemployed Americans for every job opening, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number goes down to 0.63 when you’re excluding temporary layoffs.
  • Wages are going up, especially for workers on the lower end of the income spectrum, but that isn’t translating to significantly faster jobs growth, Zhao said.
  • There’s significantly more chatter on Glassdoor about mental health and burnout. Mentions of those two terms in Glassdoor reviews have more than doubled during the course of the pandemic.

Surprise, surprise: More people will want to work remotely. But they also want to be paid San Francisco rates. And more companies will be willing to shell out. We reported on this phenomenon this year, but Glassdoor thinks it will continue.

  • More employers will stop issuing location-based pay as a means of competing in this hot talent market. That also means local employers will have a harder time competing against remote job offerings. Tough luck all around for employers, but good news for jobseekers.

Companies will release more diversity data. The really progressive ones will start giving more than just racial and gender employee breakdowns and compare across other demographics (like disability and veteran status).

  • One thing that Zhao wants to see more of: demographic breakdowns of promotion rates. He cited the PWC DEI report as a particularly transparent one worth checking out and perhaps replicating, if you dare.
  • The problem is: The tech industry doesn't have a standardized system when it comes to reporting diversity data, as Protocol has reported. But if you’re curious, we took a stab at comparing how the big tech companies are doing against each other, and here’s the result.

People will want community, but the jury's still out on how we’ll get it. Community and culture will still be hard to find, and companies will need to figure out a way to keep employees feeling connected to each other, even sans office.

  • People want to be in an office to connect with their coworkers, “but if only one in five employees return to the office, that isn’t solving the problem,” Zhao said. There’s also an unbalanced access to connection when some people are fully remote and others are hybrid or full-time in the office.
  • 48% of employees felt isolated from coworkers during the pandemic, according to a recent Glassdoor survey of U.S. workers. Companies are trying different ways to keep remote workers connected, everything from smart whiteboards to campfire-style furniture, but no one solution has risen above the pack yet.

I’m curious: Are you planning on moving somewhere next year, and, if so, do you think your company will adjust your pay? Do you think diversity data reporting is effective when it comes to holding companies accountable towards their DEI goals? I’m reachable via (or encrypted email, if that’s more your jam:, and I’m open to speaking with you confidentially or anonymously on sensitive topics.

— Michelle Ma, Reporter (twitter | email)

Signed, sealed and eventually delivered

A recent survey conducted by Adobe found that there is a disparity in the amount of time it takes people to e-sign a document in the workplace. The software company found it takes women and employees of color a longer period of time to secure signatures from other people. To be more specific, women spend 27 more minutes chasing down signatures compared to men, and employees of color at least six more minutes than white employees. According to Adobe this points to the challenge underrepresented minorities face when trying to get input from coworkers. The point of e-signatures is to make the signature retrieval process faster and smoother for all those involved, but the findings show that not everyone benefits equally from the technological advancement. “That’s a big gap. It doesn’t seem like a lot but it is when you look at the progress we’ve made [in cutting down signature time],” said Lisa Croft, director of Digital Media at Adobe. Adobe plans to use this data to decrease pain points across its products.

Read the full story.


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Pay, perks & benefits

The latest in pay, perks and benefits news in the workplace.

Payroll company UKG announced this week that it would be making a large contribution to closing the pay gap. UKG will contribute 18 cents for each employee paid each year via its payroll system. The money will go to nonprofits dedicated to pay equity. 18 cents also represents the current gender wage gap in America.

Why now?

This is far from a new problem, Brian Reaves, chief Belonging, Diversity, and Equity officer at UKG, told Protocol. But he believes that the nature of UKG’s business puts it in a prime position to gain a deeper understanding of the systemic issue.

“[The pay gap] is not new … people just throw money at it and then the next year it's out of whack and they throw more money at it. We really felt it's time now to try to get to the systemic nature, and we can't do it alone, even ourselves,” he said.

The company is partnering with organizations like, Reboot Representation, 9to5 and Grantmakers for Girls of Color, all of which focus on access to education and pay equity for underrepresented groups.

What else does UKG plan to do?

  • UKG will launch its first annual Pay Equity in America Research Study in partnership with Harvard Business Review to gain a better understanding of the pay gap.
  • The company also will provide educational resources for its own customers and employees.
  • Last, it’s encouraging more companies to sign its “Close the Gap” pledge.

Could mental health resources help solve attrition?

People have fled their jobs for a number of reasons over the past two years, but a common explanation among job leavers has been burnout and the desire for more flexibility in their work lives. Email company Superhuman found in a recent study that knowledge workers are seeking both clearer boundaries in terms of workplace communication and more meaningful mental health benefits. And they have a clear idea of how they would like to be supported:

  • More flexible work weeks. 72% of those surveyed said a four-day work week would make them twice as likely to stay with their company. And 30% of people reported they would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant they’d be allowed to work whatever schedule they want.
  • Clearer boundaries in the workplace. 44% of workers said their companies don’t set firm rules or guidance around workplace communication, and 80% responded that they wished their employers had more effective communication.
  • Involvement in mental health. 65% of survey respondents believe employee mental health should be a shared responsibility between the employee and the employer. And support for mental health pays off. Workers who responded that “their employer provides substantial mental health resources” were 65% more likely to say they were highly productive on their jobs.


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