The pandemic has caused a lot of shifts in business in 2022 and we will still see its repercussions in 2023

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What a year we’ve had- 2022 has been a roller coaster ride and we’ve seen everything from a shift to remote/hybrid work, supply chain disruptions and logistics issues and even a shift towards employee prioritization. So, what does this mean for employees and employers in 2023?

Let’s examine a few workplace trends to look out for in the new year:

Flexibility is still key

With the shift to hybrid and remote work, employees are enjoying the flexibility and are reluctant to let go of it. In a survey by McKinsey, 87% of employees who were offered at least some flexible work option took advantage of it and spent an average of three days per week working remotely. In addition, companies are starting to implement a 4-day work week. A recent study showed that the implementation of the 4-day work week resulted in increased sales, reduced absences, and lower burnout. Based on the results, almost all the employers who tried it plan to continue. So, for 2023 providing employees with the flexibility they need is a key to success.

Prevalence of workplace surveillance

Many companies are concerned with productivity decline given the rise in remote/hybrid work, even though there are studies to show that remote/hybrid work has proved to be more productive than working 9-5 in an office. As this new model of work becomes the norm, an increasing number of companies are looking to workplace surveillance tools to ensure employee productivity. A survey found that 60% of companies with remote workers are already using employee monitoring software to track their employees’ activity, while another 17% are considering it. Employers should take care when implementing such tools to prevent privacy concerns.

Employees are in control

The pandemic has changed the job market. This will continue into 2023, with a tight labour market and employers competing for top talent. This means that employees have more leverage and can demand higher pay, better/more benefits, remote work options and other perks. For employers this means potentially having to spend more on labour and staffing if they would like to recruit top talent. For employees – there is no better time than the present to consider other opportunities.

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Pay transparency gathers momentum

Pay transparency will take center stage in 2023. The US will be implementing pay transparency laws that are bound to have an effect in Canada. Employees have a lot of tools at their disposal and can easily find information around compensation and benefits. So, it is important for employers to be transparent about their compensation and benefit schemes. For example, companies are taking the effort to recognize employees for their work and show them how their efforts are rewarded, as well as show them how their role contributes to the company’s success. Organizations that prioritize an ongoing open, and honest conversations will attract the best talent.

Mental health is a priority

Millions of people have struggled with burnout and mental health issues, even before the pandemic.  The pandemic, current economic uncertainty and recession concerns have only intensified it. A study found that nearly half of employees who were surveyed (48%) say their well-being declined in 2022 and 28% say they are miserable at work. As a result, it is predicted that the demand for mental healthcare services will increase in 2023. It is important for employers to provide the mental health tools and resources necessary to help keep their employees happy and prevent burnout – a top reason why employees leave their jobs.

2023: The year of HR

Most of the trends mentioned above are in relation to the HR function. The overall theme is keeping the employee happy. In order to implement these trends successfully HR executives will need to master the basics of the employer-employee relationship.

Many, if not all the trends we are seeing were initiated by or accelerated by the pandemic. The shift toward remote and hybrid work isn’t surprising, considering the power is in the hands of employees and will remain there in 2023. It will be interesting to see the organizations that excel at putting employees first – leading to success in 2023.