The future of work and the changing world of work
The COVID-19 pandemic emptied offices overnight and instantly transformed how we work. Coming into 2023, companies – and their employees – now face a destabilizing war in Ukraine, rising inflation and supply chain difficulties. This has led to large-scale job cuts already, with many employees now extremely concerned about their futures.
Essentially, the world of work has fundamentally changed. The rules of engagement between companies and employees have been rewritten. Adding to this, the rise of new technologies such as artificial intelligence are creating new possibilities, while reshaping many people’s roles.
There are no shortages of future of work research reports or future of work statistics available to business leaders. But understanding what they mean to your business is more difficult. In our Future of Work Report 2023, we focus on what matters in these uncertain times, how HR teams should function today, and how companies can succeed over the long term, by understanding future workplace trends.
What is the Future of Work?
Previously the “Future of Work” concept focused primarily on digital transformation and the resulting changes this brought to the world of work – for companies, employees, HR teams and leaders. 2023 brings additional challenges that will require different approaches. However, all of these trends have one thing in common. They all focus on people – as individuals, not just as workers.
In 2021 and 2022, the pandemic turned the world of work upside down and demanded new approaches. Leaders had to quickly learn to view people as individuals with unique experiences and expectations. 9-to-5, office-based work models have been replaced, and workplace health and well-being have become increasingly important. In 2023, all of these trends remain and, grow in importance as we move into the future world of work.
What will be the future of work?
The new, hybrid world of work
The pandemic has increased employee’s desire for greater independence over where they work – and the hours they follow. Even now that conditions have improved, many people either no longer want to work in the office at all, or only part of the time. They enjoy working undisturbed in a home office and are happy to save the time (and expense) of commuting. For them, work from home is the future. Others, however, long for the good old days, miss their colleagues or find it challenging to balance family and work commitments in the home office. All of this has implications on the future of office work, the future of remote work, and the future of office space.
Companies that insist on all employees returning to the office will face resistance. Instead, they need to understand how to successfully manage the return to the office – and view all of this as a change project. Future work design is something that all organizations need to understand and incorporate into their cultures.
The digital transformation and the digital employee experience
In this hybrid work environment, more and more employees are relying on smart technologies – and that means the digital employee experience (DEX) is becoming increasingly important. This goes beyond traditional EX to focus on the experiences that employees have every day with the technologies they need to do their jobs.
As they embrace a future way of working, companies need a holistic strategy in 2023 to improve their DEX. Only by listening to each individual, using the right technologies, and making IT accessible will they be able to retain top talent in an increasingly digital world.
Changing employee needs
The days when employees were motivated solely by material benefits are over. Wants and needs have changed fundamentally. Today, employees want a voice. They want their concerns and issues addressed faster and they want personalized responses to their requirements.
The challenge going forward will be to find a way to address the individual needs of your employees and reconcile them with the needs of the business.
The changing role of managers
Managers need empathy
These uncertain times and future of work trends are also changing the role of managers: moving forward, they will need to better understand the emotions of individual team members – whether they are inside or outside the office. Now and in the future, empathy will become an indispensable leadership skill.
This means that companies must help their managers become more empathetic. That’s because, contrary to what many think, empathy is not an innate ability, but can be learned. Only with empathic leadership can you create productive, inclusive, and innovative workplaces. So, make empathy a central component of your leadership development programs.
Managers must embrace transformation leadership
Especially in current times, employees need someone who can convince them that change will have a positive impact – for them and for the entire company. The keyword is transformational leadership.
Companies need strong, effective leaders who motivate, engage and guide employees. Such leaders step out of their comfort zone, listen to their team, respond to feedback, and thus manage to change their employees’ expectations and perceptions. They are role models, motivators, and sources of inspiration.
The role of HR in the age of AI
HR teams need to understand what employees really want. That means being able to collect and analyze huge amounts of data from a wide range of sources in real-time. This enables HR to learn about the problems faced by individual employees and the entire company. HR needs to be able to provide management with data and information on employee engagement to retain talent in 2023.
With advanced analytics and cutting-edge AI technology, listening to your employees and gathering feedback has never been easier. But what matters most in 2023 is taking action on this feedback.
What’s more, companies need to understand that optimizing the employee experience requires a wider range of skills. It goes far beyond HR teams, bringing together Customer Experience, IT and operations – they all need to pull together to create the future of work.
Optimized workplaces that meet the needs of employees
Changing working practices impact how an organization is structured. For some, the future of work is hybrid, while others embrace a fully remote work future. This all impacts the physical workplace, which now needs to meet changed requirements and needs. The working environment of the future must be redesigned so that employees enjoy coming back to the office. They need places that encourage interaction, as well as places where they can work undisturbed.
In 2023, it’s no longer enough to communicate company wide. Just as you view your employees as individuals in their day-to-day work, communication must be equally personalized. Companies must address every individual personally, offer individual solutions and answers, and provide tailored communication. This is the only way to ensure that all your employees are engaged and motivated – leading to long-term employee loyalty.
What are the most important future-of-work trends?
With the Future of Work Trends report, we want to help companies take the right path in these uncertain times – because the world of work has already changed fundamentally and will continue to change in the future.
The five most important Future of Work Trends in 2023:
- Hybrid work is here to stay, meaning the (partial) return to the office must be made acceptable to all employees.
- Transformational leadership is essential to successfully leading employees.
- Empathy is now central to leadership development.
- AI-powered feedback collection becomes crucial for HR teams.
- The need to attract, motivate and retain top talent requires businesses to optimize the digital employee experience and personalize communications.
How Tivian’s Employee Experience Software Suite will help you in 2023
Tivian’s Employee Experience Suite is designed to support a better experience for your people. It helps you keep your employees engaged, motivated, and inspired. To do this, Tivian combines cutting-edge data analytics and AI technology with comprehensive internal communications software solutions to plan and execute compelling campaigns.
Tivian’s Employee Experience Software Suite gives employers a holistic view and control of the information and levers that impact employee satisfaction and retention of top talent.
Book a free product tour to see for yourself how Tivian helps organizations gain insights and create compelling workplaces for all.