Ten workplace trends in 2023

Fewer meetings, more people on site: the workplace trends of 2023.

Fewer meetings, more people on site: the workplace trends of 2023. Photo: Getty

Workplaces are always evolving and in 2023, changing economic conditions are forcing organisations to tighten their belts while also keeping up to date with technology.

This comes as Australia continues to face a post-pandemic talent shortage across key industries such as health, education, construction and IT.

It spells out a year of new challenges for workers everywhere.

Here are 10 trends experts see as the major trends for the year ahead:

Less meetings

Work became more flexible during the pandemic, but it also increased the meeting count. That’s all about to change, said Tammy Tansley, workplace culture and leadership expert.

“There’s now good research around how being targeted around what meetings are actually needed, reducing superfluous meetings, and being really considered in how those meetings are run can result in significant improvements in productivity and also employee engagement and motivation,” she said.

More people working on site

Although they may allow one or two days working from home, employers have largely lost their appetite for it, said Elise Margow, workplace negotiator and mediator.

“My sense is that working from home will not be as widely embraced over time where employees work in the same cities or towns as their office locations and that most people will be required to, or insist on, working from the office the majority of time,” she said.

Workplace experts predict there will be more people working on site in 2023. Photo: Getty

Increased focus on mental health

Organisations are increasingly aware of their responsibilities towards their staff when it comes to mental health.

“There’s some new legislation requirements organisations are going to have to fulfill to treat mental health in the same way as physical health,” said Kim Seeling Smith, future work expert.

More Artificial intelligence

Programs such as ChatGP3, which prepare papers based on just a handful of key words, have forced organisations to think about the pros and cons of AI.

“It [ChatGP3] was probably the wakeup call that organisations needed to be thinking seriously about AI – how it can be used for good, and the possible negative implications of it, said Tansley.

Cost cutting

Higher interest rates and low immigration numbers will see a lot of businesses, particularly small businesses, hunting for savings.

“There are a lot of companies tightening their belts and a lot of focus on fiscal responsibility, but at the same time we’re still in a very talent short market and so companies still need to spend on talent acquisition and talent training,” said Seeling Smith.

Climate change job losses

Jobs in traditional industries such as mining and forestry may be at risk with government-led changes to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Elise Margow says climate change action will threaten traditional industries.

“There is insufficient will on the part of governments and industry to work with blue collar workers to upskill them for this change, therefore more and more blue-collar jobs will be lost without commensurate opportunities for re-deployment in other industries,” said Margow.

Continuing to celebrate difference

“Diversity and inclusion have been on the agenda for a long time and there’s still lots of work to be done in this space, but increasingly I am seeing organisations getting their heads around celebrating difference,” said Tansley.

Less micro-managing

Managers need to change the way they need to retain staff amid Australia’s ongoing skills shortage, said Seeling Smith.

“That means trusting them more, allowing them to be effective and add value without micro-managing and that means it will lessen people’s workload and stress,” she said.

More sustainability initiatives

Worldwide, more companies are winning over staff and consumers with environmental, social and corporate (ESG) measures. Based on analysis from Bloomberg, ESG assets are predicted to reach $53 trillion by 2025. This means more corporate programs to benefit First Nations people, the LGBTQI community, people with disabilities and people from migrant backgrounds.

The ‘great resignation’ continues

A survey of 1300 employers and employees in Australia and New Zealand consulting firm Bastian found 78 per cent of respondents reported a higher turnover rate in the previous 12 months, and 61 per cent expect this to continue or get worse in the year to come.

Topics: Workplace
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