Top Workplace Trends for 2023 [Survey & Expert Insights]

Nina Paczka by Nina Paczka, Career Advice Contributor Published On: November 25, 2022

From huge factories in the 19th century, and depressing cubicles in the 1980s, to modern workspaces or home offices. 

From electric typewriters in the 1960s to sleek contemporary laptops. 

From 6 working days a week, 10 hours each until the 20th century, to a 4-day workweek in 2022.

Smoking bans at offices, wireless communication, pay equality, awareness of sexual harassment, and no long-term employer loyalty.

These are just some examples of how the world of work has changed and evolved. 

And the biggest revolution is that in the 2020s, workplace trends are no longer evolving over decades. Now, it’s rather a matter of years or months. Sometimes changes happen overnight. 

Common remote work? Let’s start tomorrow. 

4-day work week? Great, let’s do this.

Workation? Get that flight booked. 

As we’re saying goodbye to 2022 and hello to 2023, let’s check out what’s coming. 

We analyzed various work-related aspects to provide the best insight and offer quality forecasts. 1000+ workers, managers, and HR professionals got our backs answering:

  • What will be the condition of the labor market?
  • How will HR departments surprise us?
  • Can we expect more fancy perks and benefits?
  • Will workers become millionaires?
  • Is dusk of remote work coming?
  • Will robots and AI replace humans?
  • Generally, will 2023 be good or bad?

Keep scrolling to find out.

Market condition

An infographic about predictions on general market conditions in 2023

Inflation and recession have dominated the conversation about the labor market and negatively influenced overall economic moods. With this in mind, we asked our respondents what the economy will look like in 2023. 

What we’ve learned raises an eyebrow.

According to 48% of respondents, finding a job will be easier in 2023. Also, 19% are convinced that the chances will be the same as now.

That gives us 67% of respondents being optimistic or somewhat optimistic about finding new job opportunities.

In turn, 33% predict it will be harder to change employers. 

Of course, it all depends on workers’ experience, education, and industry. But still, those pessimistic ones may have some information leaks. 

But here’s where recession fears come to the surface.

65% of respondents (almost 7 in 10) expect to lose a job in the upcoming year. 

And we have something to support that.

According to Insight Global, the number is even higher. The company’s survey showed that 78% of US workers are worried about losing their jobs during the next recession. In turn, 87% of managers wouldn’t hesitate to reduce the number of workers if the economic condition deteriorates. Similarly, PwC anticipates a reduction in overall headcount in the next six to 12 months.

No matter how that sounds, we must acknowledge respondents have a realistic view of upcoming trends and changes. 

In the next stage of the study, we presented our contributors with a series of ideas regarding the market condition in the coming year. The numbers below show the percentage of respondents who agreed with each of them. Take a look at this valuable collection of opinions. 

  • The gig economy will continue to expand in 2023 – 71%
  • There will be more gig workers than traditionally employed people in 2023 – 71%
  • Employee retention will be more important than ever before in 2023 – 69%

But…

  • We need to prepare for a recession in 2023 – 71%
  • The unemployment rate will rise in 2023 – 68%
  • Many people will lose their jobs in 2023 – 61%

Expect good, be prepared for bad – this is how we can summarize people’s general attitude to changing market conditions. 

Gig workers may expect new opportunities, while essential employees can count on appreciation from their employer. At the same time, it is worth remembering the damaging potential of a recession or job losses. 

For 2023, I think the “gig economy” will continue to grow. We’ll see many more people working as freelancers and independent contractors in the coming years.

This is largely because technology has made it easier for people to work remotely and from anywhere, which means that companies can get more done with fewer employees. 

I also see this trend continuing because companies realize that they don’t need as many full-time employees anymore—and if they do hire someone new, they’re often looking for someone who can wear multiple hats and fill in where needed. This means less training time and less money spent on full-time salaries, which makes hiring freelancers even more appealing. —Bonnie Whitfield, Human Resources Director at Family Destinations Guide

Recruitment trends

An infographic about recruitment trends in 2023

The conversation about recruitment trends has to be accompanied by information about job opportunities awaiting the workforce in 2023. That’s why we asked our respondents whether there’ll be more or fewer job openings in 2023.

To provide some basis, let us remind you that the number of job openings increased to 10.7 million on the last business day of September, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

So, the answer to the above is as follows…

63% of respondents say there will be more job openings in 2023, while 24% say there’ll be fewer offers. The remaining 13% say the number will stay the same. 

Let’s give some credit to the optimists, as it is expected that in the US, at least 8 million new jobs will be added by 2023.

What other trends in recruitment processes can we expect in 2023? 

  • Online interviews will be more popular than in-person interviews – 78%
  • Competition, i.e., the number of people applying for the same position, will increase – 75%
  • There will be a higher demand for qualified workers or specialists – 74%
  • In 2023, LinkedIn will be used more often for job searches than dedicated job search websites – 73%
  • Recruitment processes will be shorter – 72%
  • The majority of employers will include a salary range in job listings – 66%

The numbers presented show the percentage of respondents who agree with the trend. Putting the negative aspect of increased competition aside, respondents are hoping for many good changes.

What else is there to come? According to Allan M. Siegel, Partner at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata Siegel P.C., we can expect a greater focus on the people-oriented professional world.

We will see more employee-oriented operational changes. Companies need to be in tune with what their employees are thinking and feeling and enter HR analytics. Some people-oriented changes include implementing extensive, complete onboarding processes and encouraging advancement within the company.

Our respondents are also mostly optimistic about the coming year. 72% say that changes in recruitment processes will positively influence workers in 2023.

Well-being & perks

After gaining these fundamental insights, let’s move on to something more uplifting – well-being and employee benefits.

An infographic about trends in well-being and employee benefits in 2023

General well-being and satisfaction with employees’ benefits are crucial factors in overall work satisfaction. They determine whether we’ll decide to change jobs or whether we’ll struggle with burnout. What’s in store for workers in 2023?

65% of workers think their well-being and mental health will improve in the next 12 months. In turn, 20% is of the opposite view, expecting a deterioration in the quality of work-life. 15% predict that their situation remains unchanged.

Here, employer-provided benefits may bring hope to those expecting a deterioration in overall well-being.

7 in 10 respondents (71%) believe they will be more satisfied with the benefits provided by employers in 2023.

Dear employers, don’t let your workers down.

To give you the complete picture of well-being and work culture in 2023, here are some more opinions and the percentage of respondents who agreed.

  • Workers will pay more attention to their work-life balance – 76%
  • Employers will pay more attention to workers’ work-life balance – 74%
  • More and more employers will offer flexible work schedules – 74%
  • More employers will introduce a 4-day workweek – 70%
  • In 2023 more importance will be placed on positive work culture – 70%
  • Employers will prioritize employees’ well-being  – 68%

But…

  • The labor market in 2023 will bring us more stress than in previous years – 75%
  • More people will experience job burnout in 2023 than in previous years – 72%

According to respondents, there is much good to come. People will be even more aware of their well-being, which will undoubtedly influence the need for employers to address the topic. The effect of that might be a 4-day work week or flexible schedules. 

In 2023, the four-day workweek will be the new normal for many American workers. The traditional five-day workweek is no longer feasible for most Americans. With the ever-growing list of responsibilities that come with modern life, it’s impossible to get everything done in a 9-5 work day. —Dylan Kaplan, EnjoyMachineLearning

However, we won’t be spared inconveniences like more job-related stress or an increasing number of people suffering from job burnout.

With this in mind, the survey takers also summarized what influence the coming changes or evolving trends would have. 

77% believe well-being and work culture changes in 2023 will positively affect employees.

We didn’t expect otherwise.

We are in the midst of seismic shifts that are fundamentally altering how and why we work. The workforce in 2023 will be demanding a connection to purpose, a sense of belonging, and an ability to make an impact beyond just the self.

In this environment, traditional tactics of “perks” will not remain effective for too long. We need to disrupt how we think of employee experiences. We need to focus our efforts on mental well-being, workplace flexibility, and mindfulness of work. The greatest companies of tomorrow will pay attention to the “human” behind the “employee.” Instead of asking, “how do we grow?” leaders will ask, “how do we create inclusive growth,” realizing that growing their people will be the only way to grow their business. Leaders need to inspire people to connect and contribute in this new world, not just provide job perks. —Pankaj Srivastava, CEO of MentorCloud

Salary & financial expectations

American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie once said, “People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards.” 

He was right in both parts of his statement. People work for money, to pay their bills, or buy something nice. Lack of satisfaction with the monthly paycheck is one of the top reasons to quit. The same goes for lack of financial or material acknowledgment. 

Thus, the question must be: What will 2023 look like financially?

An infographic about salary trends and financial expectations for 2023

First things first. As a part of our research, we asked if employers will offer pay raises in 2023.

54% believe that we can expect pay raises. Conversely, 46% conclude that there won’t be any uprating. 

WorldatWork’s Salary Budget Survey, based on 2,445 responses, forecasts that salary increase budgets will stay at an average of 4.1%. However, a quarter of surveyed employers plan to give increases in the range of 5%–7% in 2023.

So employees’ financial situation next year won’t be bad. At least in theory.

64% of respondents believe the general salary-related situation in 2023 will improve for workers. 20% say it will stay the same. While a pessimistic 16% are convinced that many workers’ material status may worsen. 

And what about gender pay equality? 

  • 42% of respondents think women will earn more than men in similar positions in 2023. 
  • In turn, 36% say that men will earn more than women.
  • 21% agree that both genders will earn the same in similar positions. 

Except for the above, we have a few more 2023 forecasts for you. 

  • There will be better pay transparency – 74%
  • The wage gap between men and women will close – 74%
  • Employers will need to pay more to retain workers – 69%

But…

  • More people will quit in 2023 if they don’t consider their salary rewarding – 74%
  • Due to a potential recession, there will be fewer bonuses or other financial rewards in 2023 – 71%

And again, 2023 financial trends won’t score ten out of ten. 

The chances are that we will witness more and more companies introducing pay transparency laws, accompanied by closing the gender wage gap.

Salary transparency will become a must. As more and more Gen Z are entering the workplaces, the demand for salary transparency at every stage of recruitment is growing. Businesses might have different attitudes toward this trend. However, it seems that it will only become bigger. For instance, New York has already passed a law requiring employers to share their pay ranges in every job posting. So, it doesn’t make sense to oppose this. It’s high time to accept that you can attract great talent only when you are transparent with people from the start. —Nina Krol, Outreach Manager at Tidio

Moreover, while some may experience small pay raises to keep them in current positions, others may undergo benefits cuts or fewer financial rewards due to the recession. 

All things considered, 2023 may financially surprise with trick or treat.

Work models

Home office or on-site work? Or both? 

Regardless of your preferences (and employers’ expectations), remote work is here to say with us in 2023. 

However, it doesn’t mean the absence of other trends in work models. Let’s check them out.

An infographic about work models (remote, hybrid, or on-site work) in 2023

Our respondents’ job wasn’t easy. This time we confronted them with next year’s predictions regarding work models and asked them to indicate whether they agreed that specific trends appear. As a result, we discovered the following:

  • There will be more remote work opportunities in 2023 – 76%
  • Companies will encourage a hybrid model instead of full remote work in 2023 – 75%
  • Remote workers’ productivity will be higher than on-site workers in 2023 – 75%
  • Employees will prefer remote work over a higher salary in 2023 – 75%
  • Employers will more carefully monitor remote employees’ work in 2023 – 74%
  • There won’t be a massive return to full-time on-site work in 2023 – 74%
  • There will be a boom in workations in 2023 – 72%
  • The importance of remote work will strengthen in 2023 – 72%
  • Employees will not be willing to work from the office full-time in 2023 – 71%

Remote work seems stable. No massive return to offices; however, on the part of employers (depending on the industry and the nature of the work), we can expect pressure to move to a hybrid model.

The end of the remote-hybrid-office war 

2023 will stand witness to employees and employers finally meeting halfway on the work environment debate that has been making headlines for some time now. With employees making their stand clear and employers reiterating theirs, 2022 was a challenging year for both. Companies and employees are finally making headway, and 2023 will witness both parties reaching amicable solutions that work for everyone in every industry. It will be a win for remote work, but employees in specific industries will also give in and accept that some roles are best played out in an office environment. —Riley Beam, Managing Attorney at Douglas R. Beam, P.A.

One exciting trend is that more and more people expect to go on workation (72% believe there will be a boom in workation-goers). The term simply means combining work and leisure. It was already quite popular this year, so we can’t wait to see how it will evolve in 2023.

According to a Passport Photo Online study, in 2022, 67% of Americans went on workation to “recharge their mental and emotional batteries.” Another 94% plan to workation again in 2022 and beyond.

We can sleep peacefully without worrying about our remote work and dreaming about workations.

Especially if we keep in mind that 83% of respondents believe that remote or hybrid work changes will positively influence workers in 2023.

Personal development & technology

There is no successful career without personal development. There is also no job advancement without new technologies. Let’s check out what we can expect in 2023 in these two areas.

An infographic about trends in personal development and technological advancement in 2023

Personal growth and technological development are something we cannot avoid in the coming year. Sometimes these aspects are combined as technology demands further improvement in employees. Sometimes the two are entirely independent of each other. But here, the biggest question is how respondents feel about the issues.

  • Work experience will matter more than education in 2023 – 76%
  • There will be more AI in our work-life in 2023 – 76%
  • Employers will encourage or even force employees to pursue further training and development in 2023 – 71%

But…

  • Digitalization and improvement of technologies will make us re-skill in 2023 – 75%
  • Technology will cause more job losses in 2023 – 68%

No robots replacing humans in 2023, luckily. However, the jobs of some employees may be jeopardized by evolving technologies and rapid digitalization (68%). Similarly, we won’t escape the need for re-skilling and keeping our knowledge up to date (75%).

On a good note, people forecast experience matters more than education (76%), which will benefit many workers. And for sure, training and development needs will be supported by employers in 2023 (71%).

Overall, what influence will technological and development trends have?

 77% say that changes in technology will positively influence employees in 2023.

A slightly higher percentage, 82%, report that changes in personal development will positively influence employees in 2023.

How? For example, by increased employer focus on upskilling, re-skilling, and internal mobility.

Currently, more companies are focusing on training their current employees instead of finding new high-performing ones. Therefore, more companies are willing to upskill their employees as a retention and internal mobility strategy. Companies are also recognizing the importance of retaining employees, and they recognize that if they don’t offer these growth opportunities, they will lose people.  —Adrienne Couch, Human Resources Analyst at LLC.services

2023 outlook

We’ve already discussed some major trends and forecasts. But before we go, let’s check some final thoughts that we prepared for you.

An infographic about the overall outlook on 2023 and workers’ work-related priorities

2023, please be good. And indeed forecasts are that it will be good. 

78% predict that general labor market conditions will improve in 2023. 

Moreover, 8 in 10 respondents (82%) believe that more positive work-related changes will occur in 2023. 

And that’s not all. 

  • Do you plan to change your job? 75% believe that 2023 will be a good time for that move. 
  • 2022 didn’t spoil you? According to 72% of respondents, 2023 will generally be better for workers than 2022, so hang in there. 
  • Planning to start your own business in 2023? Thought about it seriously, as 70% believe that the upcoming year is positioning itself as a good time to go for their own.

The new year is also a time for reflection, new resolutions, and setting priorities. To give you an overview of what employees will focus on in 2023, we asked our respondents to indicate their top work-related priorities. Take a look at the ranking below.

  • Earning more (in the same position or by finding a side job)
  • Focusing more on well-being and mental health
  • Getting a new job
  • Development, education
  • Starting own business
  • Getting work independence (e.g., flexible schedules, freelance job)
  • Engage more and be more productive
  • Get a promotion

Money first, followed by focusing on well-being and mental health. 

The choice of these two aspects in the first positions is not at all surprising. With the recession and inflation, it’s evident that people want to improve their financial status. In turn, with an increase in self-awareness and self-care, we wish to pay more and more attention to work-life balance and well-being. 

Third in our ranking, getting a new job, combines both aspects described. The desire for change can be related to the willingness to earn more, the need to break out of a toxic work environment, or both things at once.

In addition, among the other work priorities our respondents pointed to during the survey were:

  • Achieving better work management
  • Improving retention rate among employees
  • Striving for better employee-provided healthcare
  • Adopt a People-First Culture
  • Build relationships with colleagues
  • Promote multiculturalism at work

People speaking

What else is there to come? We asked CEOs, managers, and HR professionals to share their predictions and forecasts.

  • Social accountability

Giving back to the community is a long-standing trend in human resources. However, today’s workers anticipate their companies to create a positive social influence and incorporate this philosophy into all aspects of the company. Companies with a bad track record on ethics and D&I will see a significant exodus of employees, particularly Gen Z and other younger groups, who make up an increasing share of the workforce. Almost 80% of millennials say that a company’s commitment to social responsibility is an important factor in their decision to work for them. The year 2023 will see a rise in the search for meaningful employment. Workers prefer meaningful occupations. Employers may increase employee commitment and loyalty, as well as reduce the risk of a social media backlash, by helping workers make connections between the company’s goals and their own beliefs and ethics. —Don Evans, CEO of Crewe Foundation

  • The shift in management style

One trend I predict for 2023 is a shift in management style, in particular, a move away from micromanaging to letting your employees take ownership of their work. With the rise of the popularity of remote or hybrid workplaces, this change seems inevitable. The managers often won’t be able to watch over every task you perform, even if they want to. More importantly, they shouldn’t want to do that anyway. Micromanaging is a great way to drive leaders and employees to burn out. Moreover, it can’t be scalable and frustrates the workers. It causes the office to be filled with uninspired staff who can’t even remember the company’s bigger vision. After all, if we aim to hire intelligent problem solvers, why wouldn’t we want to use their full potential and let them make their own choices and strategies? —Piotrek Sosnowski, Chief People & Culture Officer at hiJunior

  • Gen Z entering the labor market

We have already started to feel the benefits and challenges of welcoming a new generation, Generation Z, to the workforce. Companies and their HR teams have had to adapt their ways of working, thinking, and behaving to attract and retain this growing pool of talent. This will only intensify as time goes on, and we see more of the new generation in our workplaces. With that, I predict that companies and their people will need to continuously evolve their approaches to focus more on social causes, flexibility, nontraditional views of gender identity, and the importance of mental health, to name a few. 

This generation is more open and creative, which has challenged other generations to question things from a different perspective – all necessary to keep pace with a more modern world. —Christina Ioannou, Human Resources Vice President at TEAM LEWIS

  • Globalization of labor market

As companies increasingly look to recruit top personnel from all over the world, they will be focusing less on niche domestic markets. Location is less of a hindrance to finding work than it used to be. Now more than ever, businesses can hire people from anywhere in the world, and they have good reasons to do so.

The advent of a global talent marketplace greatly expands the availability of knowledge and abilities. It paves the way for companies to “keep open” 24/7 and continue working. It’s a great foundation for entering other markets down the road. Because of this, human resources and internal communications departments will have to adopt new methods of leadership communication, onboarding, engagement, and management. Since the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, international cooperation will increase in 2023. —Michael Hess, eCommerce Strategy Lead at Code Signing Store

  • More women in executive positions

The global phenomenon of gender equality is rapidly gaining popularity. It seems likely that we will see an increase in women in high executive positions within companies in the next few years. —Luke Fitzpatrick, Marketing Officer at Drsono

  • Prioritizing individual goals

Whether it’s a cause or a result of the Great Resignation, careers are becoming increasingly crucial in seeking self-fulfillment. They’re also a means of self-expression as personal goals, now more than ever, align with professional goals. As a result, we’re seeing frequent job changes, career breaks, and longer gaps between employment. This shift in the professional mindset is also causing conventional workplace models to become more flexible, cross-functional, and autonomous.

For this reason, leaders must learn how to redesign work processes prioritizing individual team members rather than the organization. They will have to act as bosses and coaches, keeping each team member focused on their objectives while allowing them the freedom to self-direct- and even self-lead. It’s leadership that empowers employees to create a better work/life balance for themselves while, at the same time, developing loyalty to retain top talent. —Shaunak Amin, co-founder, and CEO of SwagMagic

  • Exactness and Unambiguity

Workers will want more precise goals and objectives from their companies, or they will look elsewhere. The last few years have been fraught with doubt in businesses and their employees. The staff is understandably worried due to the lack of clarity about the future. Workers today want their employers to provide them with more specific long-term projections. They are interested in the company’s plans and how they will fit into those plans. In other words, they need to know that the company is financially and publicly secure. Additionally, they seek out possibilities to advance in their careers. In 2023, businesses will have to show their dedication to their employees’ health and advancement in addition to having an open dialogue with them about the future. —Adam Fard, Founder & Head of Design at Adam Fard’ UX Agency

Key takeaways

Hope now you’re better prepared for what is coming in 2023. But before we go, let’s look at those predictions once again.

  • According to 48% of respondents, finding a job will be easier in 2023.
  • 71% agree that the gig economy will continue to expand in 2023.
  • 71% predict preparing for a recession will be necessary.
  • According to 63% of respondents, there will be more job openings.
  • Workers (76%) and their employers (74%) will pay more attention to well-being, mental health, and work culture.
  • But still, the labor market in 2023 will bring us more stress than in previous years, 75%.
  • 54% believe that we can expect pay raises in 2023.
  • Expect flexible schedules, a 4-day work week, and the death o the 9–5 work model (more than 70% of respondents agree with such trends).
  • According to 76%, work experience will matter more than education in 2023.
  • Technology (according to 77%) and the need for personal development and re-skilling (82%) will positively influence workers.
  • 8 in 10 respondents (82%) believe that more positive work-related changes will occur in 2023.

Methodology

The findings presented were obtained by surveying 1033 American respondents. They were asked questions relating to what work-related changes and trends may await us in 2023. These included yes/no questions, open-ended questions, scale-based questions relating to levels of agreement with a statement, and questions that permitted the selection of multiple options from a list of answers.

Limitations

The data we are presenting relies on self-reports from respondents. Each person who took our survey read and responded to each question without any research administration or interference. There are many potential issues with self-reported data like selective memory, telescoping, attribution, or exaggeration.

Some questions and responses have been rephrased or condensed for readers’ clarity and ease of understanding. In some cases, the percentages presented may not add up to 100 percent; depending on the case, this can be due to rounding, due to being part of a larger statistic, or due to responses of “neither/uncertain/unknown” not being presented.

Fair Use Statement

Make your 2023 even better, and share our findings. If you think your audience will be interested in this information, you can share it for noncommercial reuse. In return, all we ask is that you link back to this page so that your readers can view the full study.

Sources