Poly-Work and 3 Other Workforce Trends to Watch for in 2023

Poly-Work and 3 Other Workforce Trends to Watch for in 2023

January 18, 2023
Sally Smithwick
Human Resources

Changed forever by an unprecedented global pandemic that forced many Americans to adapt to remote or hybrid work schedules and set up home offices fit for video meeting and teamwork, the 2023 workforce now finds itself in a new headspace. Whether you are managing a team, hiring employees, or looking at your own career path and ideal work space benefits, here are some important trends to consider as we enter the new year.

Last November, we talked about “quiet quitting” and how employees are disengaging and losing steam when it comes to their jobs. Frustrated with feeling a lack of recognition, dealing with isolation and burnout from feeling overworked and under paid, workers have been exploring ways to secure jobs that aren’t necessarily their “dream job,” but a means to maintain their dreams and passions. And there’s a deep connection between workforce trends and mental wellbeing as we’ve seen a rise in depression and anxiety in the US. The new workforce is taking control of their own personal needs and fulfillment when it comes to getting a paycheck.

Poly-work is a modern concept that defines the employee looking for more flexibility, and rather than quitting jobs that don’t satisfy them in a holistic way, workers are engaging in inspiring side projects and jobs. Leaders and managers in businesses often times don’t even know about their employee’s side hustle, and while they may be losing exhausted and bored employees to quiet quitting, poly work could actually be a helpful remedy. Remember, great employees, and even you in your own career path, can be highly productive and valuable assets when they feel fulfilled. What if employers were to embrace this concept and encourage their employees to pursue side interests they felt passion for? Beyond tapping into a happier team, there’s an opportunity to uncover valuable skills you or your employees may have kept under wraps. In addition, it sends a message that you are a human-centered business — a dynamic approach to promoting purpose, growth and acceptance within your team.

Another trend that Human Resources should consider for 2023 is focusing on promoting within the company. And if you are someone that is looking to be promoted within, it’s important to feel confidence in letting supervisors know that’s a path you are interested in following. When we pass up current employees that have put in the hours and the grunt work, and have gone above and beyond, we send a message that their needs and work are not being noticed, which can ultimately lead to lower drive to excel in their positions or potentially losing a great employee.

Workplace wellbeing couldn’t be more relevant in 2023! In fact, recent studies have shown that when companies embrace workplace wellbeing practices, employees are more productive and more likely to be highly engaged.

For example, one study last year showed that companies following workplace wellbeing best practices also report that employees are more productive (18%), prospective employees are easier to recruit (nearly 14%), and their workforce is more likely to be highly engaged (nearly 8% greater engagement). Are you offering benefits to your employees that nurture inclusion, a positive work environment, and flexibility on an individual basis, such as accommodating working mothers? Are you offering perks that support a positive work climate, such as stress reducing programs, exercise activities, weight and healthy eating management initiatives, and creative team-building activities? Pay close attention to your employees and their energy levels and stay connected by checking in regularly with them.

Lastly, hybrid work is more than likely here to stay. While in-person involvement with co-workers is great to keep around in whatever capacity works for your company, supporting hybrid opportunities opens up the talent pool! Frustrating commutes, complicated family schedules, and demanding logistics of life can take a toll on productivity. When Human Resources opens the opportunity to accommodate hybrid work environments, the potential for motivated and successful employees increases.

What workforce changes are you experiencing at your company? And how do the latest trends fit your ideal work life? We would love to hear your thoughts! Send your feedback to Stephanie Schultz, ARC’s RD Ambassador to the RDBA.