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Top 10 Work Trends for 2023

Managing a Hybrid Workforce Is a Defining Feature of SIOP’s 10th Annual Top 10 Work Trends

SIOP is excited to announce the 10th annual Top 10 Work Trends list. These trends have been identified by SIOP members and are expected to have the most impact on work in 2023. 

Some of the trends have been on prior years’ lists. Organizations are still trying to transition from the pandemic and find new ways to manage their employees. Rethinking the employee experience of remote workers, best practices for managing a hybrid workforce, and managing the transition into a post pandemic world are three trends that remain at the forefront of our list.

Others are new and touch on higher level macro conditions such as the economy. How can organizations best support their employees as they navigate inflation, unexpected layoffs, and fears of a recession?

This year’s trends also reflect the growing focus on psychological safety, an integral feature of well-functioning work environments. Psychological safety, a construct reflecting an employee’s perception that they can speak up, ask questions, and voice concerns without negative consequences, contributes to employee performance and wellbeing. Because it impacts worker wellbeing, creating psychological safety can also be understood in conjunction with the sixth trend: reshaping work to address employees’ mental health. Although it’s important for organizations to treat the symptoms of work-related stress, it’s better to structure work in ways that prevent stress in the first place.

2023 Top 10 Work Trends

Trend #10: Integrating work, life, and family      
Although work–life balance has been a point of contention between employees and employers for many years, it seems to have skyrocketed in priority for talent since the beginning of the pandemic. A perfect balance may not exist, but how can organizations examine their work practices to determine if they are enabling their employees to find balance? What strategies have been successfully deployed that other organizations can consider adopting to support their employees?

Trend #9: Leadership development and coaching
In order to successfully lead a modern, diverse workforce, leaders need more developmental opportunities and to receive continuous coaching. From research, we now know that effective leadership requires different skills, traits, and competencies than previously believed. Are organizations properly developing their leaders?

Trend #8: Psychological safety in the workplace 
Psychological safety, a component of employee wellbeing, can be seen as a key ingredient to successful team outcomes like collaboration and innovation. However, some organizations struggle to understand what this term means and how to incorporate it into their culture. What factors are required to create a psychologically safe environment? How can an organization evaluate where they currently are and further enhance this across their employee population?

Trend #7: Revisiting people strategies in times of economic uncertainty          
The last couple of years have challenged many works economically. Given the stress of economic uncertainty, how can organizations best support their employees as they face inflation, unexpected layoffs, and fears of a recession?

Trend #6: Reshaping work to address employee’s mental health          
Solely focusing on treating the symptoms of employees' mental health is not effective.
Organizations need to also reconstruct work in ways that decrease the demands placed on employees and promote long-lasting mental health. How can organizations best address mental health from a work design perspective?

Trend #5: Talent attraction and retention in a candidate-driven market         
What factors drive candidates to leave their current employers in search of new opportunities? As the fight for talent becomes more strategic, how can organizations rethink their selection processes and long-term employee development to ensure a good fit between their employees and the organization?

Trend #4: Ensuring inclusive environments and cultures           
Organizations need to move beyond simply focusing on creating a diverse workforce. What work practices can they adopt to make environments more inclusive and demonstrate commitment to greater accessibility, belonging, and justice?

Trend #3: Managing the transition into the post pandemic world         
Remote, in-office, or hybrid, many organizations are still figuring out what will serve their workforce and customers/clients best. As companies contemplate their options, what data should they look for to determine their best option? What talent-related practices and structures would need to be updated if a company switched to a new way of working? What have we learned from past experiences?

Trend #2: Best practices for managing a hybrid workforce       
Employers have started to shift away from 100% remote policies while avoiding 100% onsite requirements. They seem to be settling with a hybrid approach, which has expectations of being in the office while still offering employees flexibility for work-from-home days. Now organizations ask themselves: What work activities should be prioritized in the office versus at home? Collaboration is often cited as a reason to return to the office, but what does good collaboration in a hybrid environment look like? How can leaders equally support those who want to be in office and those who value their remote time? These are just a few of the questions being tossed around when establishing a successful hybrid workforce.

Trend #1: Rethinking the employee experience of remote workers       
Some people prefer remote work and find that they do their best work outside of traditional office spaces. This preference may be due to specific traits, needs, or expectations. How can organizations not only better understand these workers but also offer them the experience that they desire?

This year’s Top 10 Work Trends list was based on an analysis of results from two online surveys sent to approximately 7,000 SIOP members in October and November of 2022.

To create this year’s Top 10 Work Trends list, SIOP asked its members to predict trends based on their recent experiences as well as their recent interactions with clients and colleagues. Themes were compiled, and then members prioritized the top 10 issues facing organizations in 2023.

Many thanks to Visibility Committee Chair Chris Rotolo and Media Subcommittee Members Tyler Cahill, Rebecca Storey, and Ellen Peeters for planning and execution, and to the 2023 Top 10 Work Trend Champions who’ll be monitoring and curating these trends throughout the year. You can see the 2022 Top 10 Work Trend Champions' 4th quarter round-ups here. Visit the Top 10 Work Trends page throughout the year to see the champions’ updates.

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