As we step into a new year, it's natural to look ahead and try to predict what the future holds. In the world of work, there are always new trends and developments emerging that can have a big impact on how we do our jobs and how organizations operate.
It doesn't take a crystal ball to know that the workplace in 2023 will continue to evolve and change, and in the coming year, we will continue to face technological advancements, shifting social trends, and recession fears.
Several workplace trends for 2023 are already underway and will continue to impact how we work this coming year. The workplaces in 2023 will be more diverse, flexible, and virtual than ever before.
With that in mind, it's worth taking a look at some of the workplace trends for 2023, and thinking about what they might mean for us as employees, managers, and business leaders.
Remote Work is Here to Stay
One trend that the pandemic has accelerated is the shift in how and when we work. 2022 brought an increase in hybrid and distributed work styles that will continue and possibly expand in 2023.
Hybrid work combines remote and onsite work. A distributed workforce includes multiple employees working in different locations, which could be remote offices, headquarters facilities, home offices, or in the field. Many organizations have adopted hybrid and distributed work models providing employees with more flexibility.
Employees love hybrid. In a recent study by McKenzie, 75% of all respondents said they prefer a hybrid working mode. Only 25 percent said they like to be entirely onsite.
Employers? Not so much! Survey after survey has shown that employers eagerly hope their employees will return to the office as soon as possible. Who will win? Only time will tell.
While remote work may not be the right fit for every company, Glassdoor data shows that remote positions generate more interest from job seekers, and organizations that offer remote work have a much larger pool of job seekers.
Increased Need for Cutting-Edge Cybersecurity
As the acceptance of remote work continues to rise, so will the need for cutting-edge cybersecurity.
While today's technology has made it possible for people to work anywhere at any time; a remote workforce also introduces new cybersecurity challenges.
Employees who were once working in a secure environment on company-issued computers and phones now work from virtually any location. At best, they are utilizing office equipment on a home network equipped with VPN, and at worst, on an employee-owned smartphone or tablet from an insecure Wi-Fi connection at a hotel or coffee shop.
Additionally, lost or stolen devices may contain company data or login credentials that enable unauthorized access to sensitive corporate information or even physical network devices.
In 2023, companies will deal with cybersecurity by connecting employees to corporate networks through various devices and protocols.
More Focus on Employee Wellness Programs
2023 brings an increase in employee wellness programs. While burnout and mental health issues began to increase before the pandemic, the number of employees who report feeling overly stressed out continues to rise.
A survey from Gympass, an employee well-being platform, reveals that nearly half of employees (48%) say their well-being declined in 2022.
Across the board, employers view supporting the mental well-being of their employees as a top priority in 2023—especially since burnout is one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs.
Companies realize that investing in the well-being of their employees can lead to increased productivity and overall satisfaction in the workplace.
Companies promote employee well-being in many ways, such as offering flexible work arrangements, providing access to mental health resources, and fostering work-life balance.
Employees Continue to Want More Flexibility
What about a 4-day workweek?
Over the past year, CNBC reports that 900 + workers across 33 businesses in the United States and Ireland tested a four-day work week, and they don't want to go back to the five-day model.
Employees worked four 8-hour days and received the same pay as they did working the five days. The total time spent working was reduced by cutting non-productive activities from the working day.
The participants overwhelmingly enjoyed having a long weekend. They rated the experience 9.1 out of a 10-point scale, and 97% reported they wanted to continue the four-day schedule.
There are several positive benefits to a 4-day work week. For employees, it can provide the following:
- An opportunity for a long weekend.
- Improving work-life balance.
- Increasing leisure time.
- Improving both mental and physical health.
- Increased productivity
- Increased employee happiness
- Reduced absenteeism and turnover
The four-day workweek may not take over every organization. Still, the trend is for more flexible work hours allowing employees to fit their personal lives and responsibilities around their jobs.
Gen Z Brings a New Perspective to Diversity
In 2022 diversity became a priority for many organizations. It is common to hear employers emphasizing their efforts to recruit and promote people of different ages, races, genders, sexuality, and abilities.
A continuing workplace trend for 2023 shows that the benefits of successfully attracting a diverse workforce have never been more critical in attracting the best and brightest talent.
In a recent Monster survey, 83% of Gen Z candidates said that a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential when choosing an employer.
Gen Z looks at diversity in the workplace differently than prior generations. To Gen Z, diversity and inclusion are more than age, religion, gender, race, or physical ability. Gen Z defines diversity as a mix of experiences, identities, ideas, and opinions rather than the traditional definition.
We've learned that diverse teams are more innovative and reflect the customer base they are trying to attract. McKinsey's study revealed that companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams were 33% more likely to outperform their peers.
And perhaps the most significant benefit in these days of resignation: diverse organizations are better at attracting the talent they need, especially when attracting Gen Z.
Welcome the Human-Centric Employee Experience
In response to the Great Resignation (2020-2022), the focus of many organizations became "turning on" disengaged employees and attracting and retaining talent.
Gallup defines employee engagement as the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace culture. Engagement connects the employee to the company, leadership, and their work.
Shifting the focus from employee engagement to a complete human-centric employee experience is a top workplace trend for 2023.
The new employee experience approach is human-centric vs. organizational-centric, focusing on the complete end-to-end journey an employee takes with your organization.
This includes every interaction along the employee life cycle, focusing on how the employee is treated from recruitment, onboarding, understanding benefits, and their work environment (both home and at work).
The employee experience connects the employee to their work. It shows that the company authentically cares about their well-being.
Organizations Leverage “Quiet Hiring” Strategies
If 2022 was the year of "Quiet Quitting", a new workplace trend for 2023 will be "Quiet Hiring." And while Quiet Quitting describes employees who refuse to go “above and beyond”, opting only to do the minimum amount of work required, Quiet Hiring involves organizations acquiring more capabilities and skills without increasing headcount.
Quiet Hiring is really just a clever new term to describe the practice of hiring and promoting from within. Many older readers (Gen Xers and Boomers) are probably thinking, "How is this a workplace trend for 2023... Isn't this how it's always been? People who go the extra mile get more raises and promotions."
Among younger workers, however, the term Quiet Hiring has taken on more negative connotations with many skeptical that putting in any extra effort would actually lead to any tangible benefit or reward.
Whether quiet hiring is seen in a positive or negative light, as many predict we are heading into tougher economic times managers will leverage this workplace trend for 2023 to avoid adding new headcount while boosting overall capabilities.
In conclusion, as we explore the future of work 2023 promises to be an exciting and dynamic year, with many new trends and developments emerging that will shape the way we do our jobs and how organizations operate.
From the continued growth of remote work and flexible work schedules, to the growing emphasis on employee wellness and the need for greater resilience, the workplace trends for 2023 highlight many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
By staying informed about these future of work trends and understanding what they could mean for you and your organization, you can be better prepared to navigate the changing landscape of work and stay ahead of the curve.
Whether you're an employee, manager, or business leader, the key is to be proactive, adaptable, and open to new ideas and ways of working. By doing so, you can set yourself up for success in 2023 and beyond.