For Better or Worse: How Was the 2023 Workplace for You? 

For Better or Worse: How Was the 2023 Workplace for You? 
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It’s a fitting moment to reflect on the transformations that have defined the workplace throughout the year. From a growing preference for remote work to a heightened focus on employee well-being, these changes have left their mark on the workplace.

Now, we discuss whether the 2023 workplace trends brought improvements or challenges for employees and candidates.

The Current State of the Workplace 

 

Employee engagement reached a record high in 2022.

According to Gallup, employee engagement has bounced back fully after being greatly affected by the pandemic and has now reached a record high of 23 percent. This shows that people are feeling happier at work and getting along better with their coworkers, managers, and the company. This good news is great for global productivity and economic growth.¹

 

Employee stress remains high.

44 percent of employees said they felt a lot of stress the previous day, marking the second year of record-high employee stress.

The increase in stress started in 2020, largely due to the pandemic. However, stress among employees has been rising for over a decade. Many things can make people feel stressed, but according to Gallup, managers have a big influence on how stressed employees feel at their jobs, which affects their overall daily stress levels.

 

Over half of employees are actively or passively job-seeking.

51 percent of employees with jobs are either looking for or actively trying to find a new one. Getting better pay is the central factor employees want in their next job. But they also value improved well-being and opportunities for personal growth and development.

 

Year in Review: What We’ve Discovered 

In the last few years, things have changed faster than most people expected, mainly because of the global pandemic. Now, as the world returns to normal, business leaders and workplaces adapted to their changing environment. We’ve highlighted key trends shaping the workplace.

 

1. More Remote Work

Remote and hybrid work are now prevalent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent Buffer report indicates that 98% of employees prefer remote work for their entire careers, up slightly from 97% in 2022. And on LinkedIn, 11% of the job postings are for remote opportunities and they are receiving 47% of the applications from candidates. About 5% of employers require employees to be 100% onsite, 55% hybrid and 45% remote. We expect to see this continue to fluctuate over the next 12-24 months.²

 

2. Greater Emphasis on Employee Health and Welfare

Employers have been giving more attention to work and personal life, as well as their employees’ mental health.

Since work-related stress and issues like benefits and flexibility often lead to employees leaving, companies are making efforts to prioritize wellbeing. This includes offering more benefits, greater flexibility, signing bonuses, and creating a positive employee experience and workplace atmosphere.

We can anticipate more employers introducing measures to support mental well-being and employee engagement and establish a positive company culture. This might include things like improving benefits, flexible work arrangements, and making changes to the workplace environment.

 

3. Skill-Based Hiring

Employers are now focusing on hiring candidates based on their specific skills rather than the work history listed on their resume. Even big companies like Boeing, Walmart, and IBM have joined groups that promote skills-based hiring. These companies have removed degree requirements from some jobs to broaden the applicant field.³

Read more: Is Experience Better Than a Degree? Everything You Need to Know About New Collar Jobs 

You might not have the relevant experience for a data analyst role, but you might have acquired the essential technological skills through different job experiences.

Employers are also helping employees learn new skills by offering courses, seminars, and workshops within the organization. This equips employees with the necessary skills for success in today’s workplace, where you must continuously learn new skills to progress your career.

For remote knowledge, webinars and e-learning courses are also offered to prevent a skills gap from emerging between in-house and remote employees.

 

4. Growing Commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility

For some time, employers have been paying a lot of attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Many companies are taking steps to enhance sustainability and environmentally friendly initiatives, driven by the expectations of both shareholders and consumers.

 

5. Increased Cybersecurity Risk Awareness

Cloud services, the transition to hybrid and remote work, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have created more cybersecurity issues that require attention.

Companies face various threats; among them is ransomware, a highly malicious software capable of locking a computer system until a specified ransom is paid. An attack of this nature can lead to severe consequences for an organization.

Cybercrime presents more than just a financial risk to companies. Many organizations and their employees are vulnerable to data theft, particularly those handling sensitive or confidential data. Data breaches can harm reputation, operational downtime, the loss of valuable information, and potential legal action in cases where data protection regulations have been violated.

With the increasing threat of cybercrime, we can anticipate higher investments in cybersecurity in the future to address this issue.

 

6. Employee Empowerment

Employers have realized that to prevent the “Great Resignation” and quiet quitting, they should empower their employees in various ways.

With remote work opportunities providing more freedom in choosing where you work, you can also be given control over available benefits, the structure of your workdays, and opportunities for advancement based on your skills.

This approach values your individual preferences, fosters flexibility, and aims to enhance your job satisfaction, engagement, and retention. It minimizes the likelihood of you leaving your job or disengaging from your role, contributing to a more committed and content workplace.

 

7. Multigenerational Collaboration

When you work with other companies, they often put together teams that have people from different age groups and backgrounds. This type of collaboration leads to the best and most diverse results in projects and tasks. It’s because your team members bring different perspectives and ways of thinking to the table. This diversity encourages you to think outside the box and consider a wider range of solutions.

These diverse teams share their unique life experiences, work styles, employee expectations, and problem-solving approaches. This diversity can spark innovation by pushing you to challenge traditional methods and explore new ideas.

When different generations collaborate, they often fill gaps in knowledge, technology, and communication, leading to more comprehensive project outcomes. Cross-generational and diverse collaborations bring a wide range of insights and creativity, making the work better and more effective.

 

What’s Your Take? 

The trends we’ve seen this year have had positive and negative workplace effects. It provided a platform for personal growth, professional development, and self-discovery, but it also posed challenges in various forms.

On the positive side, more remote work, well-being support, and diversity have improved many workplaces. Remote flexibility and focus on mental health have improved the life of employees. However, high stress, cyber risks, and skill instability have also made work more difficult.

As we move into 2024, let’s carry forward the lessons we’ve learned, staying adaptable, resilient, and focused on our well-being. The workplace will continue to transform, and adapting to these changes will be your most valuable asset.

 

GET A HEAD-START WITH ON-DEMAND GROUP

Whether you’re an employee seeking new opportunities or a job candidate looking to thrive in this evolving landscape, On-Demand Group is here to make the workplace better for you. We offer contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire technology resources tailored to your needs. Celebrate your head start with us! Contact us today!

 

References 

1 Gallup. “State of the Global Workplace Report.” Gallup.com, 2023, www.gallup.com/workplace/349484/state-of-the-global-workplace.aspx.

2 Buffer. “Buffer | State of Remote Work 2023.” Buffer: All-You-Need Social Media Toolkit for Small Businesses, 2023, buffer.com/state-of-remote-work/2023.

3 “Taking a Skills-Based Approach to Building the Future Workforce.” McKinsey & Company, 15 Nov. 2022, https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/taking-a-skills-based-approach-to-building-the-future-workforce.

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