Whether it’s the evergreen need to foster workplace diversity or the time-sensitive imperative to deal with rising inflation, the new year is bound to bring changes to workplace culture. Let’s take a look at five trends that will shape the workplace in 2023.
1. Remote work
The global lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic caused many employees to leave the office and work online. At first, progress was slow as people learned how to stay productive, manage their time effectively, and communicate with co-workers. Over time, however, people became comfortable in their home offices. Indeed, many found that they preferred their homes over the office.
Working from home allows employees to save money on gas, clothing, meals, and more. As long as their productivity doesn’t dwindle, many don’t see a problem with remote work. This trend will likely continue.
2. Flexible Schedules
Although the pandemic has slowed down, it hasn’t ended. When a single family member gets sick, the entire household usually has to quarantine. Needless to say, this affects parents’ ability to make it to the office and kids’ ability to make it to school.
As such disruptions become commonplace, adhering to a rigid schedule becomes more difficult. Hence, many employees and employers are embracing flexible schedules that allow more wiggle room for balancing work and life. Flexible schedules are about moving beyond the standard 9-to-5 and shifting focus to getting the right amount of work done rather than working the right amount of hours.
3. Rising inflation
As the pandemic rolls into its third year, it’s no secret that the economy isn’t what it was pre-pandemic. Alongside supply chain issues, inflation is causing prices to rise all over the world. Everything from food to heating to gas is costing extra, and people are anxious about being able to make ends meet.
Understandably, all this added financial stress is going to affect how they feel at work, which in turn affects workplace culture. Most employees will push for a raise to cover the rising cost of living, or they’ll take on another job to cover expenses. Either way, there will be an added layer of stress that might impact performance.
4. Employee Wellbeing
Whether it was working in an underground mine or an aboveground office, workplace environments have always affected an employee’s physical and mental well-being. However, Gen Z – those born between the mid-1990s to the early 2010s – are acutely aware of this.
They want to see workplaces take wellness seriously by providing robust programs and perks such as fitness centers, childcare, medical care, and more. Although some of those perks can be pricey, one relatively inexpensive solution is to focus on providing natural light in the office. When there are plenty of windows to let the sun shine through, employees feel better.
Automation has been around for quite some time, but it’s sure to accelerate in the future. It’s easy to see why. Machines and software can perform many tedious tasks in a way that saves time and money while also reducing human error.
The continued rise of automation will affect workplace culture because many tedious tasks will be taken over by machines. To avoid mass unemployment, companies will need to upskill employees so they can work on more complex tasks that aren’t easily automated. For employees, life-long learning and curiosity will be essential to thriving.
Although the above list isn’t exhaustive, these five trends are sure to shape the workplace in 2023.