Top 3 Workplace Trends for 2023

by Yvonne Harris

Going into 2023, it feels more important than ever to be prepared and ready to tackle challenges head-on. The 2020s have been far from easy, and the new year will be no different, especially in the workplace. To help confront these challenges, we asked the Powell Software community to give us their views on what happened in 2022 and what workplace trends to expect from 2023.

A global overview of 2022 workplace trends

Before diving in, let’s take a holistic view of the modern workplace in 2022 and the trends that appeared this year.

2022 started with the struggle of employee retention and the Great Resignation, where disillusioned employees left their jobs for better opportunities. During this “Big Quit” over 40% of employees considered quitting their roles.

After the initial wave of resignations came the “Quiet quitting” trend, where employees who stayed did the bare minimum. Workers fought against the “hustle culture” and prioritized doing their job but nothing more. People have debated whether this was a new trend or if people were taking back control of their 9-5s.

Unsurprisingly, once “quiet quitting” caught the attention of employers, so did “quiet firing.” This harsh trend saw employers and managers slowly reducing an employee’s task load, somewhat encouraging the person to leave.

The firing didn’t stay quiet for long, once big tech companies announced mass layoffs. Rushed hiring during the pandemic, over-optimism of future trends, and various other reasons saw global giants like Meta, Twitter, Amazon, and more lay off up to 50% of their staff.

While 2022 began as an employee market, it ended uncertainly. The rising cost of living is putting pressure on businesses globally. War and unrest rage on in many countries. Big tech and social media giants appear unsteady.

Workplace Trend 1: Cutting costs

Considering the economic situation, a stand-out theme for 2023 will be reducing our expenses as employees and employers.

For employees, this might be working from home to save on transport and fuel costs.

For employers, there will be many ways to slash spending. However, it need not be as dramatic as laying off 50% of staff like the tech giants.

Retaining employees & ensuring flexibility: The HR perspective

Marine Fournier, Head of HR at Powell Software, has a more reasoned approach. According to Marine, from an HR perspective, employee retention and reducing staff turnover will be the number one way to cut costs.

Why? Replacing good staff is expensive and time-consuming. Did you know it costs 1.5x an employee’s salary to replace them? Or that new employees take up to 8 months to be as productive as the person they are replacing?

The bottom line is when you have good people – hold onto them. But that is often easier said than done.

For employee retention in 2023, there are two stand-out factors: Salary or benefits and flexibility.

Salary and benefits are fundamental ones. As inflation rises, employees need to feel secure and pay rising bills. Where an employer can’t increase salaries, other benefits become important. For example, if an employer provides health insurance, covers transport, or contributes towards costs like Wi-Fi for remote workers.

Flexible working is also crucial. Employees who prove they are as productive at home won’t be happy returning to the office. Hybrid and remote working will remain popular in 2023.Even those who come back or always work in person will want flexibility in their work day.

Better ROI on tech & tools: The Marketing & Comms perspective

Cutting costs in 2023 will also rely on greater efficiency, especially regarding technology. Technology exists to help us improve or streamline nearly every task we do. Digital tools have made life easier for every department. But in 2023, we’ll be looking to streamline our tech stacks, only keeping the essentials and ensuring they have a positive ROI.

Esther Daga, Head of Marketing at Powell Software, considers that managers will be looking to control costs and demonstrate the ROI of the tools they use in this intense economic context.

How can they achieve this?

– Prioritize tools that respond to the needs of every department
– Ensure the technology simplifies tasks
– Look for technology that works with what you have
– Make sure the tool is easy to use and has high adoption rates

How do we ensure Powell Software solutions answer these needs?

Powell Intranet is a complete employee experience platform that adds benefits to every department. Built on Microsoft 365, it leverages your existing Microsoft investment while improving SharePoint. Our customers see double the adoption rates of legacy intranets.
Powell Teams tackles Microsoft Teams challenges like Teams sprawl and lifecycle management. Teams sprawl has hurt many organizations that say Teams governance is a top concern. Offering simplified governance, you can regain control over your Teams environment and ensure a streamlined user experience.

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Workplace Trend 2: Improved use of Microsoft 365

With businesses increasing their focus on technology ROI, organizations using Microsoft 365 will want to ensure tools are used.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has exploded in use and, in 2022, reached over 270 million daily active users. The exponential growth will cause headaches for IT in 2023. Why? Because the average Teams user creates 1.5 teams a year. If you’re a large organization, that’s a lot of teams very quickly. Solutions, like Powell Teams, will be key to regaining control of this essential collaboration tool.

Compliance and information protection remain a top concern.

In 2022, Powell Software and Redmond Mag surveyed over 500 IT experts who confirmed the importance of good governance in Microsoft Teams. Microsoft Teams’ governance matters to IT professionals because it allows them to determine how their organization uses teams. Governance affects how you manage and access your data. It will help ensure data access and security comply with your organization’s business standards. 55%  of respondents to the survey said they see a need for governance within their organization.

For those that have mastered Microsoft Teams, according to Matthieu Silbermann, in 2023, they will be ready to deploy advanced collaborative use cases, such as project management.

SharePoint Online

In 2023, SharePoint’s 2013 end-of-life will push organizations still running an on-premise intranet to finally move to the cloud. This migration will also force businesses to re-evaluate their SharePoint intranet and try to improve it. That may include moving pages to the modern experience. Is SharePoint obsolete in 2023? No, we think it’s still relevant.

Workplace Trend 3: Employee engagement & inclusivity

Workplace success in 2023 will involve a lot more than just cutting costs. In fact, one of the challenges will be to re-motivate and reassure employees. If the global work environment is unsettling, it’s up to individual businesses to shield staff to create an engaged and committed workforce.

Employee engagement

Matthieu Silberman, Chief Product Officer at Powell Software, is convinced that employee engagement and inclusivity took off in 2022 and will stay for the years ahead. Matthieu has seen how more Powell Intranet customers include employee engagement features in their intranet deployment. HR and Communications managers are pushing to roll out intranet engagement features like gamification quickly after their go-live. Why? They rely on their digital workplace to connect with employees.

Inclusivity

Matthieu also expects inclusivity in the digital workplace to be top-of-mind in 2023. Many frontline or field workers lack access to a digital workplace because they don’t have a desktop or work phone. While a mobile intranet app is readily available, employers and unions have concerns:

– Employers are reluctant to give field staff work phones or computers because it’s costly.
– In countries like France and Germany, unions do not want employees to have professional work apps on their personal devices.

CSR & Sustainability

Last, but by no means least, employees are holding businesses to a higher standard in their personal and professional lives. As consumers, they expect more from the companies they buy from. As employees, they want to work for organizations that take their business CSR obligations seriously.

Sustainability and environmentally friendly practices are top of the list for many workplaces. While organizations may have implemented these and promoted them internally, in 2023, it’s time to promote sustainability in the workplace. For example, through a sustainability corner in your intranet, carpooling, or even second-hand swapping.

Conclusion

The underlying theme of these workplace trends is that the employee experience is vital. When employees are engaged, have the right tools, and are aligned with the missions of the business, the chances of business success increase.

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