Predictions for 2023

The Top Five Workplace Predictions for 2023

With 2023 now in full swing, it’s time to kick into gear and begin preparing your organization for the year ahead.

As talks of an imminent recession continue to spread, both employers and employees are bracing themselves for an uncertain future. The insecurity this creates within organizations will be one of the biggest challenges that HR leaders are likely to face this year. Keeping a good pulse on market predictions, rising inflation, and how these factors may impact your workforce is key to ensuring your organization is well-equipped to handle these uncertain times and the challenges that come with them.

While the new year will no doubt present new and unexpected hurdles, it’s important to understand the current labor market and its predictions to set your organization up for success. We’ve rounded up the top five predictions HR leaders should consider when planning their talent strategy for 2023 and beyond.

1. Continuous commitment to remote and hybrid work will be key

The post-pandemic world has seen many organizations embrace remote and hybrid working arrangements, giving employees more autonomy in how they choose to work. Forrester’s Future of Work Survey reveals that 68% of employees who work remotely say they hope to work from home more often than they did pre-pandemic.

However, with economic uncertainty on the horizon, it’s predicted that 40% of hybrid-working companies will try to undo their remote work policies this year, forcing employees to come into the office more often. Forbes Council Member, Shawn Farshchi, says while it may be tempting to pull back on workplace flexibility in today’s current economic environment, doing so would be a major mistake.

Despite uncertainties, now is not the time to demand employees return to the office. Taking away that autonomy can have adverse effects on employee engagement, productivity, and motivation. According to Forbes, that’s a risk no company can afford to take – so don’t be one of the 40% of companies that make that oversight.

Instead, listen to your people. Farshchi explains, “providing your employees with the workplace flexibility they want and empowering them with the autonomy they need to do their best work is one of the best ways to position your company to weather whatever the economic future holds.”

Offering workplace flexibility is a no-cost benefit that can deliver advantages for both employees and employers. That means now is the time to prepare for the coming year with clear policies, strong compliance and the tools to manage workplace flexibility as a standard operating procedure. – Shawn Farshchi, Forbes

2. Non-traditional candidates will diversify talent pipelines

With non-linear career paths now becoming the norm, it’s critical for organizations to change how they attract and source talent. Gartner predicts that employers will need to start diversifying talent pipelines by sourcing non-traditional candidates. “To fill critical roles in 2023, organizations will need to become more comfortable assessing candidates solely on their ability to perform in the role, rather than their credentials and prior experience.”

This requires a shift in mindset for HR leaders and a new approach to their recruitment strategies. Gone are the days when employment gaps, unusual career backgrounds, and deviations from linear career paths are considered red flags in candidates. Hiring in 2023 is all about assessing candidates on whether they have the skills and ability to perform in the role at hand, rather than having the ‘perfect’ set of experiences and credentials.

Embracing a hiring strategy that includes non-traditional workers fosters a healthy workplace that has diverse and fresh perspectives, where employees are valued for their knowledge and skills – not their academic experiences.

“Being open to candidates who appear not to be a ‘fit’ at first glance and more closely assessing candidates who’ve had untraditional successes in their field, would be a great way of sourcing talent that will take your organization to the next level.” – Donna Schilder, CEO of Glacier Point Solutions

Predictions for 2023

3. Employee retention will remain a high priority

This one comes as no surprise with employee retention already being a core focus for many organizations, especially after the pandemic. Johannes Larsson, CEO and founder of, says retention should be deeply considered within a company’s HR policies. “With the economy slowly recovering from the pandemic, companies will be more worried about losing their top talent to competitors. Companies will increasingly recognize that it is more cost-effective to invest in retaining existing employees than to constantly recruit and train new ones.”

This will see more companies investing in employee development and engagement programs. Nonetheless, these initiatives need to be well-planned and deliberate, ensuring they align with both employee and organizational needs. Larsson says he is preparing for this “by ensuring that our HR policies and practices are aligned with our company’s strategy and goals. We’ll also need to focus on creating a positive work environment and offering competitive benefits packages.”

LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report found that 94% of employees would remain with their current employer if they invested in their development, proving just how crucial it is for retention. There are many other factors that can help lower staff turnover and boost employee engagement according to Fuel50’s Capability Trends Report, including strong organizational culture, open communication, collaboration, flexibility, remote working, career mobility, learning agility, and overall agility in various areas of an organization.

Gartner predicts that progressive leaders will take a proactive approach through “quiet hiring” to acquire new skills and capabilities without the cost of acquiring new employees. They will deploy existing employees to other roles across the business, providing them with reskilling programs to take on new opportunities and fulfill their career aspirations.

4. Mental health will be top of mind

Mental health and wellness will be a big focus in 2023, with organizations implementing initiatives to help counter or avoid employee burnout.  According to APA, over 88% of today’s workforce have experienced burnout, with 60% reporting high levels of burnout.

Debbie Meeuws, Owner and CEO of Nature’s Arc Organic says “employee wellness will be emphasized more [in 2023] because it’s one of the factors that applicants prioritize when looking for a job. If you want to hire quality talent, you must attract them with quality compensation, which is why wellness programs that prioritize employee health, happiness, and contentment will be a big deal in the future.”

Further research from APA’s 2022 Work and Well-Being Survey confirms that employee expectations around mental health support have shifted, with more than 80% saying that support for mental health is an important consideration for them when looking for a job, and 71% reporting that their employers are more concerned about their mental health than they were in the past.

With stress, anxiety, and burnout all contributing to low productivity levels and unhappiness in the workplace, it’s imperative for organizations to prioritize mental health to keep their people happy and healthy. That is when you will start to see a positive ripple effect in retention, workplace happiness, productivity, and ROI.

Predictions for 2023

5. Data-driven decisions will be essential

According to Forbes, with so much economic uncertainty going into 2023, what companies need now more than ever is the “certainty of clear data to make strategic decisions.” We’re in the age of digital transformation, where data is essential to simplifying business processes and future-proofing an organization.

HR leaders are starting to embrace a data-driven culture to gain more powerful insights into their workforce and fuel their decision-making. Industry expert Ravinder Goyal, says data is so important because “it’s directly tied to the rise of automation in HR. Human Resources is a field that is often driven by gut feelings and guesswork. As the data-driven culture grows, it’s likely that the role of automation in HR will increase. This is a good thing for employees, as it will allow HR departments to shift focus to more strategic areas.”

Having validated dynamic insights into their workforce’s skills, capabilities, and more allows HR leaders to plan effective, agile talent strategies and measure their impact on bottom-line business metrics.

“Businesses that will truly thrive this year are those who develop a data-driven culture throughout the whole organization… they will be able to retain talent, make data-driven decisions, maximize their investments in technology and processes, as well as achieve their digital transformation objectives. – Nicky Kirshen, Managing Director at Decoded

It’s all about investing in your people

As we try to look into our crystal ball to see what the new year may hold, it’s clear that there is one piece to the puzzle that is crucial in every element – your people. An engaged, productive, and motivated workforce fuels the success and prosperity of your business.

While it may be tempting to pull back on employee initiatives during economic uncertainty, that mistake will cost you in the long term. Continuing to invest in your people and their career development, caring for mental wellbeing, and truly valuing employee needs and skills will enable your people to do their best work and ultimately lead your organization to new heights in 2023.