Companies in 2023 face many challenges related to the future of work and expectations of employers in the year to come. In this blog, we will explore a handful of the top expected 2023 workplace trends we can expect to see in the coming months.
- Hybrid Work
- AI & Employee Data Transparency
- DEI Transformation
- Upskill, Reskill, Educate
Even though people continue to migrate back to the office, for desk-based workers, hybrid work isn't going away. What was once a phenomenon now looks to be permanent. According to McKinsey and Ipsos, in 2022, 58% of Americans could work from home at least once a week, and 38% had zero obligation to work in the office. So, companies must learn to balance what works for the company with what works for the employee. That means solving security challenges, scaling space, maximizing productivity, work schedule stability, employee disconnect, and striking the perfect work/life balance.
Of the 2023 workplace trends, flexibility is poised to be impactful in a lot of ways. People want their freedom, but employers must have productivity. As we continue to embrace the here, there, and everywhere remote workforce, 2023 businesses must find ways to monitor output. Investments in technology are critical, but stakeholders must discover digital tools that can address the metrics fairly and quantitatively.
Could 2023 be the year the five-day workweek bites the dust? That is the talk around the global water cooler. Several countries are already trying the four-day week, and many companies want to make it permanent. This move will no doubt check the box for workers who want more flexibility. Still, employers could also see positive bottom-line impacts with a healthier, happier workforce and an attractive recruiting tool. However, the workload won't change, so creating efficient processes and strategies to enhance productivity will be imperative.
AI & Employee Data Transparency
As AI entrenches deeper into HR processes, employers must prioritize transparency around collecting, using, and storing employee data and allowing employees to opt out of AI-led methods. Big brother will be watching.
To better respond to employee needs, emerging technologies (AI assistants, wearables, etc.) can help collect data on physical and mental health, living conditions, and even how much people sleep. However, these cool gadgets can also get companies in deep water regarding privacy as technology continues to outpace our understanding and control. Word to the wise, start building an employee data bill of rights to support your employees' need for healthy boundaries.
Organizations should do their best to level the playing field, but beware of the pushback for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. 42% percent of employees believe their organization's DEI efforts are divisive, and 2 out of 5 agree that many employees feel alienated by or even resent their organization's DEI efforts. Ideological trends that characterize DEI as social engineering or reverse discrimination increase the resistance.
Employee pushback can be unintentional, but how organizations address it must be intentional. In 2023, savvy leaders will address the opposition early before it devolves into more disruption. Beyond that, they will focus on initiatives that embrace the complexities and exceptional talent of the ever-growing, diverse workforce.
Upskill, Reskill, Educate
Gen Z is the future face of business, but COVID-19 impacted their ability to pursue educational and career goals. Due to isolation, they missed the opportunity to learn and practice business skills like networking, speaking confidently, and persistence. The pandemic didn't just affect Gen Z. Isolation and uncertainty led to burnout, exhaustion, and career insecurity across the workforce spectrum. That's why organizations must upskill, reskill and educate moving forward. But how?
The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that workers have more trust in their employers than they do in higher education institutions. So, employers can capitalize on paid apprenticeships, internships, and other programs to help talent make a more immediate impact. In-house upskilling efforts such as continued education, short courses, or certifications allow employees to advance their knowledge without sacrificing earnings. This shift in focus towards measuring and developing skills is helping organizations close skills gaps and meet their most urgent business needs.
There is so much to look forward to as the workforce continue to find its footing post-COVID. However, focusing on these top 2023 workplace trends will help you make 2023 a banner year for business.