Welcome to 2023! With a new year comes new promise. I decided to see what trends workplace experts predict for the coming year. Sure enough, I found forecasts for exciting new changes to come, but that wasn’t all I found. Some of the trends of the past seem likely to remain, and other emerging changes may present new challenges. Read on to see if you share these hopes and fears for the upcoming year.
Continuation of Major Trends
Before you can look ahead, you have to know where you’re coming from. As Albert Einstein famously said, “If you want to know the future, look at the past.” So let’s start with an overview of existing trends likely to carry on into 2023. This Forbes article notes a few. For instance, organizations are likely to continue striving towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. I’ve written in the past about the importance of hiring diverse candidates. I’ve also shared tips for increasing workplace accessibility. These are likely to remain major goals for your organization.
This article on future trends also predicts that remote work is here to stay. This has a lot of implications. First, it’s really good news for organizations. Working from home has led to a demonstrated increase in productivity. This means employees are getting more done working remotely. Still, there are challenges to address in 2023 too. Managers must continue developing their skills in managing teams remotely. For organization leaders, there are additional concerns to consider. For instance, cybersecurity must be prioritized. In addition, for less tech savvy employees, organizations should continue investing in an internal help desk. Finally, employers will obviously need to continue improving their collaboration and communication technologies. Fortunately, Pyrus offers many software solutions to help improve workflows and move work forward.
Weathering the Storm in 2023
As predictive as the past is, it’s not everything. In the words of another famous great, “the only constant in life is change.” (That’s from Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher.) So what changes can we expect in 2023? Unfortunately, a lot of what I read focused on the economic downturn we’re seeing right now. The effects are sure to ripple into the coming months.
One crucial impact will be the need to reconsider strategic priorities. This HBR article cautions leaders from deprioritizing efforts to better impact the world. Funding for sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts is often first on the chopping block in hard times. That’s a mistake. As I’ve explained in my posts on those topics, these priorities aren’t just good for the world. They’re also highly profitable. Consumers, current and potential employees, and investors all value these efforts. It’s no surprise that 70% of CEOs recognize the profitability of these investments. Even though it might be tempting, don’t let these priorities slide. Find new ways to keep them front and center, even in changing circumstances.
Another challenge stemming from the economic downturn may be finding new ways to compensate employees appropriately. At least, that’s what this article on 2023 trends predicts. This means identifying alternatives to just raising salaries. One way organizations may attract and retain talent is by offering more flexibility. (I’ll go into this later in the post.) Another is providing opportunities for professional development. Again, figuring out this challenge will take some creative thinking.
Fortunately, though, it’s not all bad news. The World Economic Forum expects that the workforce will grow in 2023. When the cost of living rises and inflation remains high, more people look for work. That’s good for organizations looking to find the best talent to solve new and emerging problems.
Shifting Workplace Culture
Another set of changes in 2023 is likely to center on workplace culture. In general, this Forbes article predicts that organizations will need to prioritize culture to retain their talent. We’ve moved past the crisis response of earlier years. Employees are no longer as forgiving of organizations that still haven’t adjusted to a changed landscape. It’s time to focus on long term investments in the people who make organizations run.
There are lots of ways workplace culture can improve in most organizations. First, efforts to fight burnout should continue and expand. Prioritizing the eight dimensions of wellness should be on leaders’ list of goals for 2023. In addition, organizations can continue working on improving communication with employees. Respectful communication is all about providing as much transparency and empathy as possible. Skills like active listening will serve leaders well going forward. Other changes like increasing flexibility will also gain popularity. But again, more on that later.
Another major shift that will become more prominent in 2023 involves the way we discuss compensation. This article makes that prediction. This is a result of several factors. For one, it’s increasingly easy to find data online about salary and compensation expectations. The Internet makes sure of that. Plus, laws are changing. In many places, organizations are required to provide information regarding compensation upfront. This has a few implications for organizations. First, employees involved in hiring and conducting interviews should be trained appropriately. They need to know relevant laws and have the skills to handle these conversations. In addition, organizations must prioritize providing competitive compensation. This will require doing some research on competitors. Ultimately, you want to make data-driven decisions about compensation offers.
2023: The Year for Expanding Flexibility
Now I’ll get to a very exciting trend I’ve been hinting at all along. It has to do with attracting talent and revamping workplace culture. I’m talking about increased flexibility in the workplace! If you haven’t heard, global experimentation with a four-day work week has been a smashing success. Both employers and employees who tried this new idea loved it. That’s probably why the World Economic Forum predicts that flexibility will radically expand in 2023.
In a way, this is a continuation of the shift to remote and hybrid work options. If employers can provide flexibility with where you work, why not when you work? It’s also a huge way to boost accessibility for diverse kinds of employees. In particular, I’m thinking of parents, and especially mothers. Working mothers often carry a unique burden when it comes to balancing family and work obligations. Better flexibility can make a big difference for them. Think of this as an extension of parental leave policies beyond those first few months. Though employees have to come back to work at some point, the 40-hour work week may be fading into obsolescence. For a lot of people, that’s great news.
And employers can get excited about this too. After all, employees can collaborate and communicate these days more effectively than ever before. All it takes is some investment in stellar software solutions for business processes like Pyrus. With the right tools, employers and employees can make 2023 into a win-win year!