It’s a new year, and that means there is a new set of rules and guidelines to follow when it comes to our careers, or when we’re looking for a job.
2022 was a challenging 12 months for employees and employers alike. It was the year we properly came to grips with hybrid working, and for many, the perfect workplace solution has yet to materialize.
Workers tend to prefer hybrid working more than their managers do, which can lead to friction, but the data is in employees’ favor: A recent piece of research from Gartner found that employees who are allowed to decide when they work are 2.3 times more likely to achieve higher performance than employees without that freedom.
Additionally, having autonomy reduces worker fatigue by 1.9 times — critical for sustaining performance and helping to fight burnout — and it makes people 2.3 times more likely to stay with their organization too.
But that wasn’t the only workplace dilemma American workers faced last year. Cost-of-living squeezes impacted pay packets, and tech layoffs hit hard. Now, as we enter the first weeks of a new year, it’s a good time to look at how 2022’s seismic shifts will shape 2023’s workplace.
Hybrid might have been the buzzword of 2022, but this year we’ll be looking at even more flexibility at work. A recent four-day-week, six-month pilot program, coordinated by the nonprofit 4 Day Week Global, included more than 30 companies and almost 1,000 employees in countries including the U.S., Ireland and Australia.
And the results have been eye-opening. Post-trial, the participating companies rated their experience a nine out of 10, with none returning to a five-day week. Revenue rose an average of 38% when compared with the same period in the previous year, and employees said the extra day was so valuable to them that 70% said they’d need a 10-50% pay increase to return to a 40-hour working week.
The pandemic changed for the better much about how we work, but one negative consequence has been the lack of access to colleagues, especially for those who now work fully remotely. In 2023, we can expect to hear more about the importance of social connections in our jobs, and how in-person work and socializing at the office can offer that.
In fact, Gallup data shows that having a “best friend” at work is a big driver of employee happiness at work. Having a work BFF contributes to communication and commitment, and it has become more important since the start of the pandemic too, with 49% of employees who don’t have a work friend saying they were currently looking for a new job.
Pay was a huge driver of job movement in 2022, thanks to inflation and rising prices. According to the Pew Research Center, from January to March 2022, about nine million workers separated from their place of employment each month, on average. During the period April 2021 to March 2022, 60% of those switching jobs saw an increase in their real earnings over the same month the previous year.
This year, benefits are in the spotlight. According to Indeed and Glassdoor’s Hiring and Workplace Trends Report 2023, among U.S. workers aged 25-54, higher pay was the most often selected reason they searched for a new job, but benefits are becoming more and more crucial as part of an overall package.
The report also found that searches for health insurance were up 44% for higher-wage workers, paid time off searches topped 74%, and retirement plan benefit searches increased by 56%.
Gallup recently asked more than 13,000 employees what was most important to them when deciding whether to accept a new job offered by a new employer, and 42% of the respondents said that “the organization is diverse and inclusive of all types of people.”
Where once the focus of such interest might have been around gender, much of the recent employee interest in diversity and inclusion measures in the workplace can be seen as a result of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis two years ago, and the international Black Lives Matter protests that followed. Both shone a spotlight for workers on the importance of these issues.
Additionally, the World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 billion people, or 17% of the global population, live with disability. In this context, the World Economic Forum says it is the private sector which is increasingly becoming a key agent in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion action, and companies must prioritize D&I initiatives on the CEO agenda and embed them into core business.
Despite the rocky year it has experienced, with a drop in valuation and layoffs, Klarna, the Swedish fintech unicorn that provides online financial services, has also gained a reputation for its ambitious D&I goals.
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