Culture   //   December 23, 2022

How the world of work changed in 2022 – by the numbers

This past year was anything but low-key when it comes to our lives at work. There were layoffs, mandated return-to-office protocols, unique benefit offerings and so much more.

That’s why WorkLife compiled the top 10 most shocking and interesting statistics from this year to really put into perspective how 2022 was a pivotal time for the future of work. Here’s what we have for you.


Max Farber, a 28-year-old social media coordinator, gained over 5 million views on his TikTok video portraying an apologetic customer service rep who hangs up with a client and then instantly drops his cheery persona. That’s just one example of the growing number of online creators focused on capturing what working is really like today. There have always been social media influencers in sectors like beauty and fashion, but in 2022, the work life sector truly emerged. 


LinkedIn’s new Silicon Valley office has over 75 different seating types. In 2022, workplace design experts honed in on activity-based working layouts where employees can grab a seat at a table to collaborate with their peers, working outside to have time in nature, or head to a quiet room to focus. Nailing office design has been at the center of attracting people back to the office for hybrid work.


A record number of parents missed work due to child care problems. The end of 2022 hasn’t been easy with what health experts are calling a triple epidemic between flu, RSV, and Covid. In years past, we might have been more masked up than we are today, while we try to navigate regular life. It has left parents, mostly moms who are the primary caregivers, figuring out how to navigate work and childcare. Even if you can work remotely, should you still be logged on while you need to take care of your sick child


In September, over 8,000 people signed a petition to make working from home a permanent option for AT&T employees and over 1,200 people signed a petition demanding location-flexible work at Apple. Employees came together in 2022 like never before in response to C-suite calls for returning to the office. These workers know what they can get done at home without having to spend money and time commuting to the office.


EdAssist by Bright Horizons, a provider of employee-sponsored education benefits, saw a 33% increase in employers offering free schooling this year. Student loans were a frequent topic throughout the year, with President Joe Biden forgiving $10,000 worth of student loans. Employers considered how they could make getting an education easier for people between offering free schooling and other added benefits like helping repay loans. 


Searches for “gaslighting” spiked by 1,740% on Merriam-Webster’s website in 2022. It’s the latest workplace bullying tactic that is far different from when someone overtly yells at someone in the office. It’s a form of emotional, often more subtle, abuse that can occur between co-workers, both on the same level or from their bosses. While this tactic might have been around for longer than we realize, now experts can give tips for how to recognize and respond to gaslighting in the workplace.


25% of 18-to-29-year-olds polled in HP’s “Hybrid Work: Are We There Yet?” November report would actively avoid participating in a meeting if they thought their tech tools might cause disruption, whereas it was just 6% for 25-to-40-year-olds. That’s right. Gen Z actually isn’t as tech-savvy in the workplace as one might have thought considering they grew up among digital devices. It’s a somber reminder that adequate training is indeed needed for the new workforce generation, even if we once thought these folks would have this down on their own.


Over two-thirds of employees surveyed in the U.S. and U.K. said they do not report which days they work outside of their home state or country to HR, according to HR company Topia’s Adapt to Work Anywhere report. A further 40% of HR professionals admitted they were shocked to discover certain employees had changed their working location without informing them. Who would have thought that there would be a time where you can work and your boss has no idea where you are, or even if you’re in the same time zone? That’s 2022 for you.


150,000 joiners have begun their careers at Accenture in the company’s virtual campus, called the Nth Floor. It’s where new hires and existing Accenture staff can have a more immersive experience for learning and networking. Come to the office and meet everyone in person? That’s so pre-pandemic. In 2022, companies used pioneering technology to attract and retain top talent.


Meta laid off 11,000 workers, its first mass layoff in its 18-year history. Twitter laid off 3,700 employees, or nearly half of its workforce. Food delivery platform DoorDash laid off 6% of its workforce, real-estate marketplace Zillow 5%, Snap 20%. Peloton had four rounds of cuts this year. The list goes on. So 2022 was the year where (largely tech) companies had to cut headcounts in order to stay afloat. However, it’s come with a clear cost, as layoffs always do, like a change in company culture and HR leaders comparing notes on how to handle fallout.