The ‘working world’, the ‘big hustle’, and ‘the rat race’—whatever your preferred term—have all undergone some manicuring in the past few years. Or, they should.
And, as blossoming young employees lace up their sneakers to enter the race, many of them find themselves drowning in advice.
The office culture their parents talked about looks a little different. Then there’s TikTok and its plethora of ‘things I wish I’d known sooner in my career.” The Millennials keep talking about ‘respecting boundaries’ and the Boomers keep telling them to go the extra mile. Which answer is the right one? Where’s the line between boundaries and what’s expected?
On the other side of the coin, more seasoned employees have changed their way of thinking. From ‘The Great Resignation’ to ‘Soft Quitting’, movements, the past two years have shown us that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
Companies from every industry have had to restructure and rethink a lot of their ‘business as usual practices’, which leaves us with new workplace trends that’ll make or break 2023.
Here are some of the biggest trends that’ll sweep the water cooler this year:
1. Retention overtakes recruitment
Glassdoor and Indeed’s 2023 report on workplace trends shares that workers have woken up to “the fact that they have the leverage to demand change in the workplace—and left many employers at a loss about how to deal with this new dynamic.”
This means retention remains at the forefront of many managers’ minds, shaking the structure from “this is how we do things” to “how can we do things better?”
According to The Business of Fashion, ‘The Great Resignation’ highlighted that employee loyalty was not a given. Especially in industries like fashion, the last two years were spent sourcing talent in new territories like tech. Going through the strain of the skill-sourcing period over and over again—especially as skills become more advanced—isn’t ideal, so retention quickly zoomed to number one on the priorities list for many.
2. Flexibility is hot
As Forbes noted, “Employees enjoy flexibility in the workplace and aren’t willing to let go of it.”
‘The Great Resignation’ was largely inspired by the thinking that if alternative means proved fruitful for business, going back to tradition just didn’t make sense.
Especially in terms of remote work, many employees found themselves to be far more productive than their office-based counterparts, as BusinessNewsDaily shared.
They say no man is an island, but for many employees being an island stuck after the pandemic. While a packed office may have one feeling giddy, it’s a sensory-overloaded nightmare for another. Hybrid options, fully remote options and flexible hours all remained steadfast for workplace trends for 2023.
3. The fabulous four-day workweek
A four-day workweek became a reality for many last year as the push-back between all things work-life balance was heard loud and clear.
Deemed a ‘Resounding Success’ by 4 Day Week Global, None of the 27 participating companies planned to return to their 5-day routines of old. And, almost 100% of employees were sold on the four day work week.
In South Africa, an initiative headed by Andrew Barnes and Charlotte Lockhart, aims to support the model of a 4 day work week internationally, launching a campaign petition and pilot program that allowed companies to join and participate in globally.
4. Workplace fashion will also take a hybrid swing
It goes without saying that workplace fashion has been in an experimental place over the past two years. In some industries, office chic turned from strictly plain heels and blazers to louder patterns, brighter shades and more pronounced silhouettes. Workplace fashion stripped down dramatically in other fields, with sneakers triumphing over heels and comfort sitting firmly in the driver’s seat of fashion choices.
In 2023, fashion trend predictions will likely meet somewhere in the middle between comfort and ‘done up’ looks.
One way to incorporate this trend is via the 1/3 ugly (read comfortable) rule, as adapted by fashion influencer Zeopatra.
According to her, any look can be deemed stylish if two of the pieces are comfortable and one is uncomfortable but looks aesthetic.
5. Smile you’re on camera
Alright, your employers likely aren’t actually going to sit there watching you work via your webcam. However, workplace surveillance will be a hotter take in 2023, according to Forbes, as more and more software is developed to track employee productivity.
Forbes cites Microsoft Corp’s Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who shares that ‘productivity paranoia’ is a huge stress for employers and that action is being taken to combat this.
Especially for jobs that pay by the hour, time and other work trackers will come as the pricetag of working remotely.
Feature Image: Pexels