The last few years have been a wild ride when thinking about how, when, and even why we work. As we look to 2023, we are offering predictions on how the workplace will evolve.
- We’re moving from work-life balance to work-life integration. The concept of work-life balance has long been a goal for millions of professionals. But the last few years of remote work have made it even more difficult to tune out the daily demands of the job when off the clock. Many employees have started taking a new approach, foregoing the traditional 9-to-5 in favor of a more fluid schedule. In 2023, more candidates will look for companies that promote work-life integration: being able to put in hours when it’s most convenient to take care of personal responsibilities when needed (think working a few hours in the morning, taking an afternoon break for an appointment or to pick up kids, then back to work in the evening). Watching the clock will become less important, as managers assess success by the output of employees, and not the timeframe of their workday.
- Bouncing back: boomerang employees inbound. It sounded like a good idea at the time. When business was booming and nest eggs were growing, many professionals decided to retire early. Others took the big leap to switch jobs—or even professions. Now, with an uncertain economy and shrinking retirement accounts, many retirees are knocking at their former employer’s door, as are professionals who realize the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. This can actually be a bonus for companies as they welcome back former workers who have institutional knowledge and proven skill sets.
- Moving around – but not out. Thanks to an uncertain job market, professionals are no longer thinking of career growth in the traditional terms. Instead, they are ditching the ladder for the lattice, making moves to other areas within their current organization, signaling a growing internal mobility trend. In many cases, companies will use talent analytics and workforce planning to determine which new roles are needed to futureproof the business and which employees might be a good fit for those roles. Going forward, employers should focus more on developing their current workforce, offering regular trainings and certification programs to reskill or upskill internal candidates. Increasingly, companies will use artificial intelligence (AI) platforms that use predictive analytics to shortlist promising internal candidates, provide tailored career development content, and develop personalized career paths based on goals and interest areas.
- Executives and professionals for (short-term) hire. Instead of relying only on full-time employee (FTE) hires, companies will increasingly look to interim executives and professionals to meet scaling workforce needs. And there are several benefits to employing an interim employee approach. People who choose interim or contract work are often highly skilled, mission-oriented and project-based individuals who assimilate quickly into new environments. They can bring unique skill sets and experiences needed for finite projects, during mergers and acquisitions, or to temporarily fill roles during a leave of absence or while the company searches for a permanent employee.
- Productivity? Check. Now, what about culture? The past three years have proven that workers can be just as, if not more, productive working from home. The problem is, how can organizations maintain—or even improve—their culture if everyone is still working at their kitchen table? In 2023, companies will get the best of both worlds by making hybrid workplaces the norm. Experts say hybrid work models will allow employees to enjoy the freedom of remote work while reaping the benefits of being in the office (think better access to training and development or impromptu brainstorming sessions). This, of course, is not one size fits all: the hybrid environment will depend on an organization’s needs, roles, and people, and should be based on data, employee sentiment, and individual cases
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