Five hybrid work trends to watch out for in 2023
The uncertainties thrust upon workplaces due to the pandemic resulted in rapid changes in business needs and operations. One of the most striking impacts was the transformation of the traditional workplace, where people had to connect remotely from home, instead of working together from an office space. Even as most organisations have started the return-to-office process, employees’ preference for hybrid working has compelled them to opt for a more agile approach. The aim now is to fulfill the diverse demands of businesses in record time, as well as look after the needs of the employees.
In addition to this, organisations are also having to adapt to significant demographic shifts in the workforce. With “Gen Z” entering the workplace, the workforce is now not only demographically diverse and global in reach, but it is also largely virtual New approaches and philosophies are needed to change the ways in which we work. Let’s look at five interesting trends that are likely to emerge in the year.
The pandemic emphasised greatly not just the physical, but also the mental health and well-being of employees. While steps are already being taken to enable employees to balance their work-life, organizations will be looking at ways to invest in employee-preferred activities and benefits to provide a more holistic life experience that encompasses work. This will include creating a motivating atmosphere at the workplace through intelligent design and an empathetic culture that expands to their overall well-being and needs to include those working remotely. With Millennials and Gen Zs prioritizing workplace culture, it has only served to emphasize the importance of a solid employee value proposition (EVP) in the last two years. Making the company a great place to work will not only help with employee retention but also with attracting talented new hires.
After having worked in a remote set-up for almost two years, employees prefer to have flexibility in terms of where they can work and continue to have a good work-life balance. Trends such as hybrid work, working near home, and going to the office 2-3 days a week on a flexible schedule have gained popularity amongst both employees and employers. This could perhaps fuel the trend of employers looking to rent co-working spaces, to help employees save time on commuting and increase productivity.
We have already seen that the amalgamation of a physical workplace with a digital space can do wonders for employees by increasing their efficiency. The ongoing advantages of real-time collaboration, file sharing, automated workflow, app/desktop virtualization, and more will continue into the next year, as most employees favor a hybrid mode of working. Digital dexterity of employees will be key to maximizing the value of collaboration.
For the last two years, employees have largely been connecting with their teams online. With several companies tapping into the hybrid model or even a complete return to office in some cases, easing employees into and helping them build or even rebuild in-person connections is the challenge ahead. While most people are now adept with virtual operations, to facilitate greater creativity and learning among employees, employers must find ways to encourage human interaction so that it is not replaced entirely with technology. Promoting an inclusive workplace environment, managing workplace interactions more intentionally has become essential now more than ever.
As the younger lot of employees prepare themselves to move towards leadership roles, organizations will be cognizant of the need for emphasizing the importance of skills such as active listening, and empathy, among others. With increased emphasis on human-centric experiences in the workplace post pandemic, organizations are looking to build more rounded and holistic teams.
As we transition into 2023, organizations will be even more human-centric than they have been in the last two years. Even as productivity, and efficiency continues to be on the cards, ensuring employee satisfaction, interaction and optimal use of technology for enabling flexibility will be the two of the biggest priorities in the modern work structure.