There’s no question that 2022 has been a roller coaster year when it comes to the ever-evolving workplace. We’ve seen a shift to remote work, inflation, layoffs and now predictions of a possible recession. For employees, that will mean asking for promotions, raises or even looking for positions with higher salaries to help them keep up with rising prices. On the employer side, recruitment and retention activities will take center stage as workers continue to have leverage in a tight job market. So, what are the most impactful workplace trends for 2023? Let’s examine the top five.
Workers continue to have leverage
According to Glassdoor and Indeed’s Hiring and Workplace Trends report, 2023 will continue to see a tight labor market with employers vying for top talent. That means workers will still have the upper hand when it comes to demanding higher pay, better benefits, remote work options and other perks. That may also be good news for those graduating college in 2023. In a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), respondents plan to hire 14.7% more 2023 graduates compared to the number of graduates hired the previous year. And nearly half of employers surveyed believe that the class of 2023 is entering a very good to excellent job market.
Flexibility remains at the forefront
Employees enjoy flexibility in the workplace and aren’t willing to let go of it. In McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, a whopping 58% of employed respondents say they work at least part of the time remotely. In addition, 87% of employees offered at least some flexible work options take advantage of the opportunity and spend an average of three days a week working remotely. Another concept gaining momentum is the four-day workweek. A recent study of more than two dozen companies that tested a four-day week reported increased sales, lower burnout and improved absenteeism. Even more remarkable is that almost all participating employers plan to continue with the four-day week schedule.
Workplace surveillance expands
The rise in remote work is also causing workplace surveillance activities to expand. As flexible work becomes the new norm, 60% of companies with remote workers are using employee monitoring software to track their employees’ activity, while another 17% are considering it, according to a Digital.com survey. It’s one of the workplace trends that represents what Microsoft Corp. chief executive Satya Nadella has termed “productivity paranoia” on the part of employers. Based on the latest research by Spherical Insights & Consulting, the Global Employee Monitoring Software Market was valued at USD 1.1 Billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 2.1 Billion by 2030.
Mental well-being gains importance
Even before the pandemic, millions of Americans struggled with burnout and mental health issues. Now, a survey from Gympass, an employee well-being platform, reveals that nearly half of employees (48%) say their well-being declined in 2022. Not only that, 28% say they are miserable at work. Given the current economic uncertainty combined with recession fears, it’s predicted that employees’ mental health will continue to decline. As a result, the demand for mental healthcare will rise in 2023. More than ever, employers view supporting the mental well-being of their employees as a top priority—especially since burnout is one of the top reasons employees leave their jobs.
Pay transparency gathers momentum
Pay transparency will continue to take center stage in 2023. According to Harvard Business Review, by the beginning of next year, “a fifth of all U.S. workers will be covered under pay transparency laws, a trend that experts predict will continue to grow.” Moving forward, employees should expect greater clarity and communication around compensation. Some examples include how their efforts are rewarded, and how their role contributes to the company’s success. Ultimately, organizations that prioritize having ongoing open and honest conversations about determining compensation will attract the best talent.
Most, if not all, of the workplace trends we are seeing, were sparked or accelerated by the pandemic. Many companies, particularly in finance and tech, will adopt a hardline approach when it comes to employees returning to the office. In that case, while some workers will comply, others will say goodbye. The movement in favor of remote and hybrid work isn’t surprising, given that the power is still in the hands of employees and will remain there throughout 2023. It will be interesting to see which companies hand down mandates resulting in workers pushing back (or leaving entirely) and which excel at putting employees first.