Top Eight Workplace Trend Predictions for 2023

The purpose of the office has changed and continues to change. Businesses across the globe are moving to prioritise flexibility and staff well-being. 

As we saw in 2022, and are likely to continue to see this year, the role of the workplace is evolving quicker than ever before. Some companies are encouraging their teams to return to the office at least some of the time and others are shifting to focus more on remote work.  

As the evolution continues, we’ve taken a look at the top eight trend predictions we expect to see in the workplace in 2023.  

1. Commute-worthy workspaces

Going into the office is no longer the daily obligation it once was, with many knowledge workers, able to choose how and where they spend their time.  

 In 2023 we predict a focus on making the office a commute-worthy destination, ensuring the days spent in the office are as valuable as possible. That doesn’t mean the return of the pool table, but rather designing attractive spaces that reinforce the company culture, provide specific amenities individuals can’t recreate elsewhere, and spaces which encourage collaboration and connection.   

Fresh from the ‘Great Resignation’, more and more organisations looked to their workspaces to help with staff retention and securing the best pick of the talent pool. Noting that some remote workers can struggle with loneliness and  may feel disconnected, companies are moving to create destination spaces that encourage community and culture, offering supportive environments, that are a valuable alternative to working from home.  

Check out some of these amazing work spaces here 

2. Home and work

During the pandemic, some newly remote employees reported struggling to maintain the separation between their work and home life. This led to a focus on shifting into hybrid working patterns, affording individuals the autonomy to seek out the benefits of the corporate office when needed, alongside choosing to work remotely when preferred.   

In 2023 we expect to see a focus on purpose affecting what a day at the office looks like. Businesses may choose to encourage more days in the office, but with the understanding that this is no longer the ideal place for desk work. That can be done remotely. The corporate office will become an environment that serves as a hub for creative or cross-team collaboration, socialisation, team building and personal development. 

3. Technology in the workplace

The pandemic saw a rise in the popularity of mobile apps and technology to support newly remote workers. We think this trend will continue into 2023, with greater integrations and perhaps mergers as teams look to tech to stay connected regardless of where they are.

Productivity apps such as Slack and Asana will continue to rise in popularity, allowing communication, engagement, and project management to thrive even when teams are working in various locations and time zones. We also expect to see strides forward in new technology such as the Metaverse, as companies look to innovate the way we communicate.  

This level of app integration has already begun to influence workspace design, with meeting room bookings, desk reservations, and locker allocations becoming increasingly embedded in a company’s ways of working. This level of flexibility enables a truly hybrid workforce to become even more agile.  

4. Productivity alfresco

One of the ways we’re seeing companies encourage greater levels of well-being is through the use of biophilic design and a focus on accessing outdoor spaces. Terraces, balconies, and courtyards not only offer an extra space for employees to socialise and relax, but they encourage greater health and well-being through an increase in access to natural lighting, offering much-needed respite from computer screens and noisy offices.  

This trend has been building throughout 2022, with organisations such as The Office Group opting for neutral, earthy tones throughout the office and even introducing an Oxygen Room to boost employees’ moods whilst connecting with nature. In 2023, we will see a number of businesses seeking outdoor spaces to allow employees access to the much-needed fresh air and calm within their working day.

5. Supporting healthy minds

Well-being and mental health rocketed to the top of the executive agenda over the last couple of years and we predict this trend will continue to be crucial in 2023.  

Increasing awareness into the importance of employee well-being will remain a focus as businesses look to bolster productivity, retain and attract top talent. But businesses will need to go further in 2023, than just paying lip-service, as encouraging healthy habits, identifying and mitigating tech fatigue and burnout, become embedded in company culture and more than just policy.  

In 2022, The Buzz made the Mental Health at Work Commitment curated by Mind. You can read more about the commitment and how we’re putting it into practice here 

6. Ultra-flexibility

As the hybrid way of working becomes more commonplace, ultra-flexibility will be a main driver for employees and employers alike in 2023. With so many unknowns influencing the workplace of the future, remaining agile, fluid and changeable is a priority for employers investing in a physical workspace. The solution for uncertainty is the use of flexible, modular, and customisable designs that allow for multiple configurations in the office.  

Modular sofa systems, flexible partitions and foldable desks that expand and contract according to capacity, can help businesses stay ultra-flexible. Likewise, this level of agility will be key to encouraging workers back into the office, allowing them control over their surroundings. With the number of people in a workplace at any given time unpredictable, dynamic and flexible furniture and fittings accommodate impromptu interactions for large groups and small teams alike.  

7. Digital nomadism

Digital nomads are people who travel freely and work remotely wherever they are, relying on nothing but good Wi-Fi. The pandemic accelerated the trend of remote work, which has led to an increase in the number of people adopting this lifestyle. We predict this trend will continue into 2023. 

For some that means moving around in the country they live in, but for others, it could mean travelling far further afield, and there are a number of countries embracing this new influx of people with policies designed to attract remote workers.  

As we write this, Spain is poised to introduce a digital nomad visa that would give non-EU nationals the chance to live and work there for up to five years. The country is hoping to “attract and retain international and national talents by helping remote workers and digital nomads set up in Spain.  

Currently there are 51 countries offering digital nomad visas and this is set to increase.  

8. More new buzzwords

In 2022, the battle over workplace culture ushered in a new vocabulary, as workers flexed their might in the tightest labour market in years and employers grappled with changes brought on by the pandemic.  

The Great reshuffle, Proximity bias, Productivity paranoia, Quiet quitting, Quiet firing, Desk bombing, Anywhere workers, Remote helicopter manager and Career cushioning were just some of the terms that landed a hashtag and emerged to describe shifts in workplace culture.  

The first week of 2023 already birthed a new workplace trend that may sound familiar – Quiet hiring. Quiet hiring refers to companies who re-skill or up-skill their workforce to fill in vacant positions without bringing on new, full-time employees.  

We imagine there will be more jargon to unpick in 2023. 

As we’ve discussed here, there’s no doubt that the workplace is an ever-evolving picture. Companies are facing greater pressure than ever to be flexible, to be more mindful and inclusive of their employees’ individual needs, and to support the health and well-being of their people.   

 

Photo from The Office Group – Douglas House

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