Tertiary work in 2023: HR trends that will shape the coming year

Our professional lives have seen many changes over the past two years: in 2020, the pandemic forced many professionals to work from home; in 2021, The Great Resignation showed that employees weren’t afraid to jump ship to seek better opportunities.

This year, companies are waging a war of nerves with their employees over telecommuting as they struggle to attract top tech talent. In particular, employers are finding creative ways to adapt their hiring strategies to attract and retain talent from a pool that has shrunk over the past two years.

As economic uncertainties loom in 2023, ZDNET examines how these trends could shape the workplace over the next 12 months.

Development of employee skills

In 2023, employees can expect their employers to invest more in training and development programs to equip them with the skills they need. Jamie Kohn, research director at Gartner, explains that companies will have to turn to internal development to compensate for the growing talent shortage.

“Companies are increasingly focusing on their internal labor market and thinking about how they can get top performers and place them in the positions where they are needed most. It is therefore very important to think about development programs as part of an internal mobility strategy,” she told ZDNET.

According to her, employees want to acquire skills that will be useful to them in their current job and further in their career. Opportunities for development and career advancement are an integral part of employee retention. “People want to evolve beyond their simple role. They think about the evolution of their entire career. If you are unable to provide these development opportunities, you are bound to struggle and lose employees. »

The opportunity to learn new skills on the job is so important that 83% of employees make improving their skills their top priority for the coming year, according to a recent survey by Amazon and WorkplaceIntelligence.

The same study reveals that 74% of employees are willing to leave their current job due to a lack of options for skill development and career mobility.

“In the job market, employees feel empowered to seek out an employer who truly supports their career goals and long-term ambitions,” said Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence. “Companies that recognize this and offer a high level of support – whether it’s more time for skills development during the working day or better training programs – will stay ahead in the perpetual war for talent. »

Hybrid and remote work aren’t going away anytime soon

Although many companies are encouraging their employees to return to the office, they are not letting go of hybrid and remote work. And with inflation pushing the cost of living even higher, employees don’t want to spend more on gas, lunch out or coffee in the morning.

Deloitte’s Paul Silverglate believes companies that haven’t fully embraced telecommuting and hybrid work will cite the economic downturn as justification for back-to-office policies next year. Meanwhile, companies that have embraced new ways of working will find ways to continue and improve hybrid and remote work policies.

Conversely, Fram Search’s Simon Roderick argues that not all sectors will be hit hard by the coming recession and suggests that it would be a mistake to write off remote or hybrid working options. “Hybrid has worked very well for most service businesses and given the skills shortage, it is a must for most companies’ retention strategy,” he told ZDNET.

“Not all sectors will experience a severe recession and therefore it is advisable not to alienate teams by taking away their flexibility, but some will, and we all know that the economy as a whole will slow down in 2023.

For Simon Roderick, one of the key topics in the workplace in 2023 will be the regulation of employees working from home. According to him, they can be monitored more closely to keep an eye on their productivity, and managers can then apply back-office policies in response to business downturns.

“The three ‘Rs’ of 2023 could return to jobs, recession and readjustment,” he says. “The world of work has seen huge changes since the pandemic and it would be nice not to see the positive aspects of this change undone by a recession. »

Silverglate believes that technology, office redesign and sustainability will all be factors driving hybrid and remote work in 2023. Video conferencing has become a staple of remote work practices, but virtual reality is emerging to make the experience more immersive and productive.

“When many people attending a meeting are physically there and one team member is remote, virtual reality (VR) technologies can bridge the perceived gap between the two, which is one of the biggest complaints about video conferencing when it comes to hybrid teams,” he says.

Hype Partners’ James Ross agrees that VR will become more integrated into hybrid work to meet the needs of workers who feel disconnected from their peers. “As more and more of us choose the flexibility of working from home, virtual experiences will be key to improving workplace cohesion and helping employees feel more connected to one another,” he explains to ZDNET.

“A virtual tour of the office on the first day? A mixed reality fencing game on your lunch break? A Roblox team outing? We all feel the need to have fun with our colleagues, and I’m curious to see how it will develop virtually. »

James Ross believes that as the metaverse becomes more tangible, big tech companies will find ways to take market share in the professional world. With companies like Microsoft, Google and Samsung investing heavily in the VR, mixed reality and augmented reality market, he expects a huge boom in VR for hybrid work.

“Microsoft has also made progress in this area, integrating virtual avatars into its Teams remote work tool,” he explains. “Competition with Google is expected to peak in 2023, so I expect massive changes in this area. »

Many offices are also ditching the traditional structure now that people can commute. Silverglate suggests that office redesigns in the coming years will foster collaborative work and further reimagine the office experience.

“We’re already seeing and hearing design companies starting to look at how to renovate and repurpose all kinds of corporate spaces. In particular, we find that office spaces are more about teamwork and collaboration and less about independent work that can be done remotely. »

Full telecommuting has declined slightly over the past year, but telecommuting cannot be completely ruled out in a post-pandemic work environment. More companies are making commitments to reduce their carbon emissions, and Silverglate believes these commitments will encourage companies to maintain their remote work options in the future.

“I think with remote work, we’re never going to completely go back to what we did in the past,” he believes. “We should not underestimate the sustainability factor here. As more companies commit to being carbon neutral by 2040 or 2050, reducing the carbon footprint of daily travel and business travel is an important lever. »

Work-life balance is more important than ever

Hybrid and remote work offered something employees didn’t have long before the pandemic: more work-life balance. This is usually the first benefit employees cite when asked why they like working from home.

Working from home allows employees to set aside certain hours for uninterrupted work while still being able to fulfill personal obligations. And as back office becomes more common, Jamie Kohn thinks employees don’t care where they work, but telling them when and how to work is essential.

In 2023, Jamie Kohn thinks that employees will be more attentive to the flexibility that their work offers and that flexibility will be a condition of work. Companies that don’t have flexible working hours risk losing top talent.

“It’s not that people want to work from home. What is essential for them is to have the possibility of shaping their work according to their lives”, she argues. “If you want to keep your employees for the long term, you have to think about how you’re going to offer this flexibility. »

Source: ZDNet.com

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