No one has a crystal ball to tell us what 2024 has in store for us. But we’re here to make our best guesses! These six future of work predictions can help you remain agile and ahead of the curve as we head into a new year.
Where We Are Now
The last few years have been challenging and have brought about a lot of change. Work trends of recent years have, of course, included things like the move to remote and hybrid work. But the last year has also been volatile, with many rounds of layoffs and many unions striking.
It seems like everyone feels like they’re getting the short end of the stick. Some companies want a return to the office (RTO), but their employees dig their heels in and say it doesn’t make sense for them. Companies, like health systems, are facing financial strain, but their employees also feel like they aren’t being paid fairly.
This positions us in a difficult position as 2023 comes to a close.
Our Future of Work Predictions
The future of work predictions we’re going to share in this blog aren’t just about the hardship we’ll face in a new year, but also the tremendous amount of opportunities ahead.
Let’s dive in!
1. Flexibility Will Come for the Front Lines
During the COVID-19 pandemic, flexibility became the norm for deskbound workers. And although the number of people who work fully remote has dwindled, hybrid and flexible arrangements have remained the norm.
Well, this disparity is about to change. With industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and hospitality struggling to fill open positions, they have to find ways to attract and retain talent. And one great way to do it is by offering far more flexibility.
2. DEX Best Practices Will Change the Tech Stack
DEX is all the digital touchpoints an employee has. This is all the apps and websites they need access to, your internal comms channels, your payroll system, and all digital tools at their disposal.
Like any part of the employee experience, it’s a delicate balance. And your employees might feel differently based on their level of tech savviness and role. But if you have too much tech, the wrong tech, or too little and you might create a negative digital experience.
The key to creating a positive digital employee experience is to:
- Ask your employees about the experience. Do they feel like they have the right tools? Are there too many passwords to remember? Is that technology outdated?
- Audit your existing tech stack. Are you using all your tools to their full potential? Do other solutions exist on the market that will allow you to consolidate channels or systems? Is the cost of those tools yielding the right return?
- Train your employees on the technology you use. Often, one of the biggest issues with the digital experience is that employees have never really been trained on how to use the tech. Training or retraining your teams on the technology you have is a great way to improve the DEX.
3. Up- and Re-Skilling Will Be Key to Retention
People want to feel invested in.
If you can’t invest in your people with raises or promotions (as is often the case with certain frontline roles), then you have to invest in their continued training and development.
We’ve seen a huge increase in companies looking for e-learning or microlearning content for their teams. You have also seen a huge spike in companies investing in tuition reimbursement programs as an employee benefit.
How companies upskill or reskill their people is going to continue to evolve and be a major focus in 2024.
4. Labor Relations Will Remain Strained
Despite our focus on giving employees more flexibility or reasons to stay at our companies, the economic environment is still really tough. With high inflation and soaring cost of living, employees are going to feel the strain—and you might not be able to easily fix that.
So, continue to invest in what you can: more transparent communication, better experiences, and as many benefits as you can offer your teams to ease tensions.
5. AI Disruption
2023 was a huge year for artificial intelligence in the workplace. That is only going to continue in the years to come as companies figure out what role AI is going to play in their companies.
Not only will AI change how work gets done, but it is going to change the nature of online search and how people find information.
It’s important to stay on top of how AI will change how your company is found online, how your employees find out information about your business, and how employees use AI to get their work done.
6. Wellness Programs Aren’t Enough (You Need Empathy)
Post-pandemic, companies focused their attention on their employee wellness programs. This was in effort to combat rising stress levels and burnout as a result of the pandemic and economy.
Many of those wellness programs didn’t really fix the root issues. That’s partly because we put a lot of the burden of wellbeing on our employees. We suggest stress management activities and healthy diet or exercise routines. But the truth is, the secret to truly supporting your employees isn’t a wellness program with a gym stipend: it’s empathy.
That’s often what employee wellbeing programs lack, isn’t it? A true and deep understanding of what our colleagues are going through. Without that empathy, these programs are forced or surface level. Half the time, all people need is some understanding and proper support.
In 2024, we hope that empathy becomes a cornerstone of how we treat our employees and do business.
Future-Proof Your Workplace Communication Strategy
Internal communication is at the heart of everything your company does.
It’s how you train employees, update them on important information, and convey the strategy and purpose. That’s why we think the secret to being ready for anything the new year throws your way is to focus on your communication strategy. Can you be more agile? More prepared?
By conducting audits, creating content calendars, and preparing crisis plans well in advance, you set yourself up to be ready for anything. Not to mention, this foresight and preparedness sets you apart as an advisor and moves you out of a reactionary mindset to a proactive one.
Subscribe To The theEMPLOYEEapp Newsletter
Comments are closed.