The modern workplace has undoubtedly undergone massive transformations due to technological developments, economic changes, and social action. The emergence of Covid-19 in 2019 accelerated some of these changes as more organizations shifted to remote working, virtue training, and an increased focus on employee welfare. At the same time, the world is experiencing substantial demographic shifts that have brought significant changes in employee expectations. Most workers today are demanding more from their employers, which will expectedly be reflected in the future workplace. The workplace environment will also doubtlessly transform as more Gen Zers enter the job market. Even though these changes will not occur en bloc, most will predictably begin showing in 2023. Accordingly, here are the biggest workplace trends to watch for in 2023.
1. The Workplace Will Be More Diverse
Diversity and inclusion are some of the oft-discussed topics in the modern workplace. Organizations are expected to employ people from all genders, races, sex, religion, ethnicities, and nationalities as a sign of embracing diversity and appreciative of all cultures.
Today, people are increasingly aware that they have a right to a respectful workplace, irrespective of their racial, ethnic or cultural background, making diversity one of the biggest workplace trends in 2023. Covid-19 hugely disrupted the labor markets leading to a decline in women’s employment by about 5 percent. In 2023 and with most economies recovering, this will presumably change and increase women’s participation in the labor market.
Additionally, more organizations are gearing towards inclusivity and diversity. Organizational leadership will also become more aware of culturally sensitive behavior to reduce workplace bias and its effects on workplace culture.
2. Remote Working and Hiring Will Be More Pronounced
This comes as no surprise in the biggest workplace trends of 2023. Given that most organizations have now embraced remote working and hiring due to the physical restrictions during the pandemic and will continue gaining prominence in 2023.
Some of the critical features of this trend will be increased virtual interviews, enhanced technological adoption in organizations for managing remote teams, streamlined processes that redefine working hours, and changes in workplace cultures due to new communication and management demands.
3. Employee Surveillance Will Be the New Normal
Employee surveillance is one of the major workplace trends growing simultaneously with remote working as managers endeavor to track their employees’ productivity. Surveillance commonly tracks idle time, GPS locations, work hours, social media usage, and attendance. Even though it promises productivity, it will lead organizations to tread in the murky waters of data privacy and employee confidentiality. Employee surveillance threatens to blur the work-home boundaries and data that employers should not track. Extreme surveillance may elicit feelings of micromanagement, creating a toxic virtual office culture. This may give some employees reasons to quit their jobs and seek employment elsewhere. Despite these obvious challenges, most organizations will continue investing in employee surveillance technology to assess how their employees are working remotely. Advisedly, these technologies should be used to promote a healthy workplace culture and show compliance with the applicable privacy laws.
4. There Will Be Increased Employee Expectations
Socio-demographic changes in the global environment define a few workplace trends of 2023. However, with generational shifts, increased awareness of social issues, and changing power dynamics, such changes should predictably induce massive workplace transformation. 2023 will be marked by increased demands for flexible work assignments and hours and a workplace that promotes better employee welfare. The demand for flexible work assignments arises from the sensitization and popularization of the significance of a proper work-life balance and the continued entry of Gen Zers in the job market. Covid-19 led most employees to re-evaluate their life priorities, leading to what has been christened as the Great Resignation. Organizations will be expected to redefine their policies and prioritize employee welfare to prevent great employees from quitting. This will include cutting the number of work hours to reduce burnout and stress, increasing benefits, and promoting a culture of transparency and communication.
5. The Culture Will Be More Employee-Centric
There is a growing recognition that employees should be the primary focus in the modern workplace. In a traditional workplace, employees are expendable cogs continually treated as afterthoughts. Such a framework under-prioritizes employee welfare as organizations seek to reward top leadership and get more customers. Nonetheless, such approaches are being eschewed and will be replaced by more employee-centric workplace trends in 2023. An employee-centric workplace culture is one that allows decentralized communication, and innovation, and fosters ideas and creativity. Organizations in 2023 will be more open to positive team relationships, trust between employees, and increased psychological safety. Other popular employee-centric approaches that are already gaining traction are upskilling and reskilling employees and giving employee equity. This trend will be hugely vital to organizational productivity and post-pandemic business recovery.
6. New Cybersecurity Challenges Will Arise
With remote working and hiring top among the most significant workplace trends, the 2023 workplace will be characteristically hybrid. This will create new cybersecurity threats as cybercriminals will start targeting employees working remotely. Remote jobs reduce operational costs for businesses but also carry the challenge of unclear cybersecurity guidelines. Consequently, organizations will need to enhance their security awareness, educate their employees on data privacy, and occasionally conduct security audits.
Most of these workplace trends have been catapulted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Ergo, they will require paradigm-shifting leadership and organizational processes to catch up. Most global organizations have done tremendously well in shifting their structures and processes to reflect the changes that took place in the past two years. 2023 may prove difficult and unrewarding for those that have lagged. It will be vital for them to change swiftly as these workplace trends are only harbingering more momentous labor market shifts.