Work for both employers and employees has changed since COVID-19 began in 2020. This is evident. There’s no doubt that things will continue to change in the workforce as time continues. We can't be sure of the changes the future holds, but we can be sure of one thing. The working assumption that office life can “go back” to what it was before 2020 is just wrong. As we jump into the new year, here’s a list of work-related trend predictions. We've broken them down into employer and employee categories.
Since COVID began, businesses have struggled with decisions revolving around offering remote work. They have struggled to find a balance and or solution. Should they offer full remote work, hybrid work, or make employees return to office? When it comes to returning to work previsions for 2023, this struggle hasn't changed. It's predicted that companies are going to try to create a more engaging workplace. Employers want to help attract new employees who want to be in office. Companies with more on-site staff can gain a competitive advantage due to how much faster they'll be able to solve problems collaboratively. While predictions show transitions back to office, they also show hybrid opportunities. Hybrid work has grown with rapid speed and will most likely continue to.
Many people find working from home all the time can cause issues, but not enough to go back to the office full time. A hybrid working setup allows people to pick and choose what works best for them. It allows them to find their perfect balance of work, personal space, and time. Three out of four applicants say hybrid work is now non-negotiable for them. In 2023, employers should find balance between company productivity and employee happiness. They should offer flexibility and work-life balance. Offering hybrid work is a way to do this. Employees who aren't offered flexibility may leave. Remote opportunities are on the rise, so if needs aren't met, they may seek work elsewhere.
With hybrid work rising, companies are using technology to watch employee productivity. After a boom in employee monitoring software during the pandemic, this type of tech has become known as “bossware”. Survey's report that 60% of employers have monitoring software installed on employee devices. 17% of employers are considering implementing this software. They have stated that monitoring allows them to understand their employees’ workdays. It shows how they spend their time, how much time they spend, and how they use work equipment. Bossware comes in many forms. Some take screenshots, some record mouse movements, and some log keystrokes. Some even activate the device’s microphone or webcam at random times. This software is on the rise in 2023 because it makes it easier for employers to offer remote work.
Employees have rights in the United States, but so do employers. Employer rights can have an effect on employees. Employers have the right to establish policies and procedures governing employee ethics, leave policies, pay, pay for performance, and behavior when interacting with customers or the public. Written policies accessible to employees show fair expectations that apply to all employees. This will help employers defend themselves against an unfair or discriminatory employee claim. If an employee finds a work policy unfair, they need to comply, negotiate, or find a new job.
Since COVID, employers have been doing anything to get and keep employees. They've been putting their demands and rights on a backburner. These rights are coming back into focus in 2023. Employers are beginning to revert back to their ideals for their company and they have every right to do so. If employees aren’t going to follow them, then they have options. So do employers.
Behavioral and mental health continues to rise as a crisis employers need to address. The pandemic offered a new perspective on behavioral and mental health. Employees need mental health services. Poor mental health leads to poor work performance. Poor work performance not only affects you as an employee, but also your workplace as a whole. Many businesses are now providing employees and their family with behavioral health care. 2023 predicts more companies will provide benefits that can improve mental health. These benefits help improve mental health, and also physical health. Not only that, but they push employees to live better and work harder.
When workers are more emotionally, socially, and financially fit, they will be more engaged at work and contribute to an energetic, positive work environment that excels in creativity, problem-solving, and a can-do spirit. Employers are realizing this is true, which is why they're offering alternative benefits. There are many alternate benefit types, but one of the biggest rising in 2023 are EAPS. These are resources that enable employees to seek mental help as needed, in a safe and private way.
COVID launching remote/hybrid work made it a lot simpler to maintain a work-life balance. Employees have favored remote work so much because of this. When you have a strong work/life balance, you feel valued. Feeling valued helps you remain committed to a company. You also show increased productivity and engagement. The work-life balance standard must change to align with needs of employees. Employees value time for personal interests and time for family. Employers value these same things in their own lives, so they should be understanding.
Being flexible is key to today’s benefits structure. The definition of flexibility is expanding to include flexible workdays, flexible work times within the day, flexible workplace options and flexible benefits themselves. This is becoming a standard for employee desires. Companies are reaping the benefits of offering flexible work for their employees. They see improved behavior and work, and they see positive chain reactions. This trend is predicted to grow in 2023. As employees, you can seek out flexible work with more companies beginning to offer it.
Career development training offers the opportunity to check and plan employment future. It also offers the opportunity to expand job-related skills and knowledge. Many state and federal government agencies provide employees with career development training opportunities. This will continue to happen in 2023. Career development training will focus on impactful learning experiences for work today. From developing more effective leaders to connecting learning to career pathways, learning leaders can leverage training to build a stronger, higher-performing workforce that can thrive in this new world of work. Career development training classes build upon employees' existing knowledge and abilities. They introduce new skills which enrich their work experience. This type of training is thoughtful and intentional. Employers want you to use what you know, grow, and work to the best of your ability. This type of training pushes you as employees to be better and recognize your potential.
Technology is ever changing and evolving. Access to new technology helps with employee onboarding and training. Simple learning resources help employees learn job skills as fast as possible.
Technology can deliver the resources needed for skill learning. The use of artificial intelligence for job coaching and task aide is also up incoming. It’s predicted that artificial intelligence will become more prevalent in 2023. This tool will allow employees to work alongside AI and focus on other important job tasks.
Alongside this, virtual workspaces and meeting capabilities will continue to grow. Work technology will grow as hybrid positions continue to be the new standard. As we look to 2023, we must rely on technologies that help organizations emphasize employee engagement and wellness, and help prepare the workforce for the challenges that lie ahead.
While these HR trends are only predictions, 2023 is sure to bring a lot of changes. The workforce and office life will continue to transform this year, much like every year. We’re never going back to work life before COVID-19, instead we’re entering the new normal. We’re growing and overcoming a global pandemic. A global pandemic which has affected both employers and employees the past few years. A global pandemic which still has lasting effects on employers and employees to this day. That said, be gentle on yourself as you witness and experience the changes 2023 brings to you and your work. Most of all, remember you’re not alone.
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