ActivTrak released its top 10 future of work predictions for 2023 to help business leaders, HR and IT organizations anticipate key workforce trends in productivity, data privacy and technology in 2023 and set the stage for business success.
“In 2022 organizations dealt with challenging economic, labor and workforce dynamics, but also gained new lessons and insights that improve digital work,” said Rita Selvaggi, CEO of ActivTrak. “I’m confident that in 2023 these insights will lead us to new best practices that help employers and employees work better together to realize their full potential.”
ActivTrak’s predictions for 2023 include:
- Tight labor markets will remain – Nearly 2 million fewer professionals immigrated to the United States as a result of the pandemic. Combined with overall demographic shifts, that means today’s tight labor markets aren’t going away.
- Sustainable productivity will become the shared goal – This is the Goldilocks compromise between employee work-life harmonization and employers’ need for high output to achieve business outcomes. One measure of success will be defined by women returning to the workforce after dropping out during the pandemic.
- Focus and collaboration will emerge as key productivity metrics – New metrics for success will help companies survive and thrive in the new year. Focus time and collaboration time will emerge as the new foundational measures of productive work for knowledge workers — replacing total hours worked, pure outcomes measures and “presence” in offices — and will be the primary metrics contributing to outcomes-based performance goals.
- The ‘9 to 5, Monday-Friday’ work week will be the exception, not the norm – Employee preferences will drive labor market trends resulting in increased flexibility well beyond work location, and organizations will adopt more creative and innovative ways to employ employees on a part-and full-time basis. Employers will get less hung up on getting everyone to work at the same time and will start adapting to preferences as a trade-off for getting the skills they need.
- Workforce analytics will become as ubiquitous as LinkedIn – In 2003, early adopters of LinkedIn worried employers would see their resumes online, and it would influence their job or position. Today, LinkedIn is ubiquitous, transparent and trusted by individuals and employers alike. Workforce analytics will become as ubiquitous as companies seek to understand how work is done and better support employees by streamlining processes, ensuring new tools are helpful and more.
- Regulations will hold employers more accountable – Regulations will establish a common ground for trust and transparency and help create balance between employees and employers. Heavy-handed approaches to employee monitoring and lack of consideration for employee privacy will backfire, with punitive fines for companies that do not comply.
- Workforce data privacy will mirror health care data privacy – Being transparent about what data are captured and how they are secured and revealed, is similar to HIPAA data, which are confidential to a patient, but shared in detail with doctors and health care providers as needed to treat an individual. Just as patterns of treatment and trends are necessary for a hospital or facility to provision resources and capacity, in the workforce, employee data should be revealed only at aggregate levels to respect employee privacy and to understand and make decisions based on broader trends.
- Technology that elevates the human experience will be high in demand – A new crop of companies will create AI tools that complement and extend the abilities of human workers. Also, all technology that supports wellness and mental health will be in high demand.
- AI will augment every function of work – Employees from marketing to sales to support to finance will have AI tools to complete daily tasks while the human role will be to build on, enhance, polish or focus AI output. Routine minutiae will be stripped out of the workday, allowing people to spend more time applying judgment and insight to their projects.
- VR is dead on arrival, but AR will accelerate learning and skilling – There’s been much hype around virtual reality and the metaverse as Meta/Facebook invests billions to create virtual environments for an increasingly remote and distributed working world. But VR goggles will always be an insurmountable obstacle to widespread adoption. Augmented reality is more likely with the rise of improvements in AR glasses, which provide heads-up informational displays to guide and provide information, navigation and translation, and to help those with disabilities. Using such technologies to accelerate learning and skill acquisition also will contribute to the future of work.
To learn more about ActivTrak’s predictions for the new year, click here to listen to the on-demand webinar “What’s Next for the Future of Work?”.