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5 Workforce Trends For 2023

The workforce is always changing and evolving. What skills and trends will we see in 2023? 

Here are a few predictions:

1. Remote and hybrid working will become the norm. With the pandemic forcing many companies to adopt remote work, this trend is here to stay.

2. Work-life balance will be as crucial as ever. With more people working from home, there will be a greater need for flexible work hours and policies.

3. Retention through upskilling will be key. Companies will need to invest in employee development and training to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.

4. Workplace surveillance will increase. With more employees working remotely, companies will need to find ways to monitor and manage employee productivity.

5. The unemployment rate is expected to increase. This is due to the continued impact of the pandemic and changes in the market.

Market Has Changed

The pandemic has also forced companies to re-evaluate their workplace needs. Many companies have realized that they can get by with fewer employees, and that they can save money by having those employees work from home. As a result, the demand for labor has decreased, while the supply of labor has increased. This has led to a decrease in the bargaining power of workers, and to a decrease in the wages that workers can demand. In the future, companies will be less likely to give raises, and workers will be less likely to ask for them.

According to the article on Forbes, The Great Rebalance, “The post-pandemic frenzy, when people quit on a whim and there were two job openings for every person unemployed, is no more. That was a one-off. In 2023, less job hopping and fewer counteroffers are likely as the demand for talent and the supply of candidates evens out. Salary rises will be less common, too. Many employers have already increased wages over the past 12 months – a shortfall of talent left them with little choice. So, any pay raises they can afford to award in the future will be marginal.

It is also likely that workers who have gotten used to making demands of employers and having those demands met will lose their bargaining power. The market has changed, and employees won’t want to risk rocking the boat.”

Remote and Hybrid Working Will Continue

2023 is going to be a year of change in the workforce. We’ve already seen a shift in the way that work is done, and that is only going to continue. Employees will continue to be able to work remotely or on a hybrid schedule. The near-complete global shutdown due to COVID made working remotely essential. Meetings on Zoom and workers staring at computer screens from their kitchen tables remain an enduring image of life during the pandemic. From a Workplace Trends study for 2023 from GlassDoor and Indeed, “As a result of this forced work from-home test, many employers discovered a somewhat surprising result: remote work worked.

Another article, What to Expect in the Office Next Year Top Work Trends to Watch For in 2023, “Despite many companies encouraging employees to return to the office, employees aren’t letting go of hybrid and remote work. And with a recession threatening to further increase the cost of living, workers don’t want to spend extra money on gas, lunch, and their morning macchiatos.”

Further, from the Future Work 4 Biggest Workplace Trends 2023 on LinkedIn, “Far from just being a hangover from the times of lockdowns and the pandemic, research and statistics are showing that home, remote and hybrid working arrangements are set to become standard – at least for knowledge workers. During 2022, according to McKinsey and Ipsos, 58 percent of Americans had the opportunity to work from home at least one day a week, while 38 percent were not generally required to be in the office at all.”

Work-Life Balance Will Be More Important

The pandemic has forced organizations to change the way they operate and has accelerated the adoption of many digital tools and technologies that were already in use. The way we work has changed dramatically during the pandemic lockdown and afterwards. 

There is a greater emphasis on work-life balance. Companies are offering more flexible work arrangements which is becoming more important to employees. 

As noted in the article, What to Expect in the Office Next Year Top Work Trends to Watch For in 2023, “Hybrid and remote work offered something employees hadn’t received much before the pandemic: more balance between work and their personal lives. It’s usually the first benefit employees cite when asked why they enjoy working from home.”

Additionally, Future Work 4 Biggest Workplace Trends 2023, “Along with the daily commute, 2023 could be the year that we wave goodbye to another long-standing convention – the five-day working week. Four-day week trials have taken place in many countries in recent years, including England, Belgium, Sweden and Iceland, and 2023 will see projects starting in the US, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.”

Retention Through Upskilling

Upskilling is defined as in Tech Target “a workplace trend that facilitates continuous learning by providing training programs and development opportunities that expand an employee’s abilities and minimize skill gaps. Upskilling focuses on improving current employees’ skill sets, usually through training, so they can advance in their jobs and find different roles and opportunities within the company. “ 

In order to keep up with the ever-changing workforce, employers need to provide their employees with opportunities for growth. Employees who feel like they are stuck in a dead-end job are more likely to seek new opportunities elsewhere. By offering upskilling programs, employers can show their employees that they are invested in their development and growth.

As noted in the article, What to Expect in the Office Next Year Top Work Trends to Watch For in 2023, “In 2023, workers can expect their employers to invest more in training and upskilling programs to equip them with the skills they require. Jamie Kohn, research director at Gartner HR, says companies will need to look into internal upskilling to compensate for the growing talent shortage.

“Companies are focusing a lot more on their internal labor market and thinking about how they can take high-performing employees and move them into positions where they need them more, so thinking about upskilling programs as part of an internal mobility strategy is really important,” Kohn tells ZDNET.”

Also, important to note, “In a survey of 3,000 US professionals conducted by Amazon and Workplace Intelligence, 64% of employees said they feared losing their job due to new skills requirements for which they have not been equipped. A further 58% of employees said they were worried that their skills had gone stale since the pandemic, while 70% reported feeling unprepared for the future of work.

As a result, around two-thirds of employees said it was “extremely” or “somewhat” likely they’ll leave their employer within the next year because there aren’t enough opportunities for skills development (64%) or career advancement (66%), or because there’s no way for them to transition to a different job or a new career path (65%).”

Upskilling can also help with succession planning. By upskilling employees, companies can create a pipeline of talent that can be promoted into leadership positions. This can help to reduce turnover and improve morale.

Flexibility Will Be Key For Companies To Succeed

The traditional 9-5 workday will no longer be the norm. In today’s climate, many companies have had to adapt their work schedules to accommodate the needs of their employees. Employees are now expecting more from their employers in terms of work-life balance. 

From a study on LinkedIn, “Many companies are still reeling from the so-called Great Resignation, and have since been offering a broader range of benefits, with some going as far as adapting a four-day work week to help recruit and retain employees.

Adaptability and flexibility are therefore key for companies going forward. LinkedIn data shows that the trend of flexible working might be coming to an end.” Companies need to be prepared to adapt and iterate in order to compete in the long-term.

Workplace Surveillance

When it comes to the workplace, 2023 is going to be a year of big changes. Companies will need to find and improve ways to manage the remote workforce. As noted in the article, What to Expect in the Office Next Year Top Work Trends to Watch For in 2023, “With workforces more likely to be geographically distributed, another challenge for businesses in 2023 will be developing processes for monitoring employee output and standards, without infringing on privacy or personal freedoms.”

The Unemployment Rate Will Increase

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) suggests that the US unemployment rate will increase in the coming months, “The unemployment rate is projected to reach almost 4.5 percent in 2023, up from 3.5 percent in September 2022. Several factors explain why unemployment may only increase by about 1 percent. A tight US labor market, understaffing, expected declining participation, and an aging workforce emphasize that US labor supply is challenged. On top of that, the recession is projected to be short, and demand for workers may increase again in the second half of 2023. Employers may be more careful in laying off workers.”

Also, from Fitch Ratings, “Imbalances are unlikely to recede through a recovery in labor supply, but the economic downturn expected in 2023 will likely result in lower labor demand through both job losses and falling job openings.

Other Trends

Some other trends as noted from the Glassdoor and Indeed study include: 

  • Demographic shifts and aging populations mean hiring will remain challenging for years, as labor supply issues will remain. 
  • What employees want is changing, including their compensation and benefits needs, with inflation playing a key role. 
  • Company culture is valuable in both attracting and retaining employees, as a way for employers to further distinguish themselves from their competitors.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion will remain top of mind, as employees continue to deeply care about these initiatives, as well as the progress employers are making, or not.

If you need any assistance with navigating your career, contact us for a customized approach to your needs. 

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