As 2023 approaches, a new IWG white paper looks at the biggest trends we’re likely to see dominating the business world in the year ahead – from neighbourhood offices to four-day working weeks.
It’s said that forewarned is forearmed, and it’s certainly true that being prepared is key to navigating periods of change in the business world. As we head into the new year, IWG is looking ahead to the trends that look set to take the New Year by storm, giving your business time to prepare. Four key themes emerge, starting with one that may not come as too much of a surprise…
With turbulent economic times on-going, hybrid will only continue to grow as an effective solution for companies looking to lower their overheads by reducing facilities spend. Saving as much as $11,000 per employee per year, hybrid also ties up with some other key trends for 2023, in particular a growing demand from employees to work near to where they live.
With this in mind, the ‘neighbourhood office’ trend looks set to reinvigorate local high streets by providing people with office spaces close to home. Meanwhile, some are embracing the ‘have laptop, will travel’ ethos and looking to try out digital nomad life, taking advantage of their newfound ability to work from anywhere.
Little wonder, then, that the hybrid manager is having to evolve to meet the new challenges of managing employees in diverse locations. In 2023, we’ll see more managers move from worrying about employees’ productivity to learning how to best support them remotely – and we’ll see a rise in so-called ‘curated meetings’ as a way to ensure that time spent together is productive and meaningful, even if held virtually.
Underpinning the growing shift to hybrid is the emergence of new technologies to help support it. In 2023, we’ll see AI increasingly powering hybrid solutions in a range of clever ways, from office space optimisation to automatic translation and gesture recognition in virtual meetings.
We’ll also see more of the so-called ‘Enterprise Metaverse’, pioneered by the likes of Accenture, allowing hybrid and office-based workers alike to meet and collaborate in a virtual world.
Sustainability is expected to dominate boardroom conversations across the globe in 2023, as the urgency of the climate crisis continues to hit home. With buildings responsible for as much as 40% of society’s energy use, we’re likely to see a rise in the ‘green lease’ – a contract in which landlord and tenant agree to run a building sustainably and reduce emissions, waste and energy consumption.
That will be good news for Gen Z employees, who are entering the workforce on the lookout for businesses with a sense of purpose. For companies to attract top young talent, showing willingness to put purpose before profits will be key.
Ways of working
In 2023, companies will continue to experiment and innovate with new ways of working. The much-heralded ‘four-day work week’ has long been talked about, but in 2023, it looks set to arrive at last. With trials having shown increased productivity in many companies who’ve adopted it, the four-day week will be embraced more widely in the year ahead.
This will likely form one of the growing number of benefits employers will begin using to attract the best new workers in an increasingly competitive market. As well as flexible ways of working that break free of the traditional ‘9 to 5’ model, businesses will likely add further health, fitness and lifestyle benefits into their employee value proposition.
And, with many now eschewing the idea of a single job with one employer in favour of a ‘portfolio career’ or side hustles, it’s clear that employers will need to be able to up their benefits packages to fill full-time roles. Workers now pursue their professional endeavours more fluidly than ever before, and the onus is on businesses to keep up with their behaviours and expectations.
Download our 2023 trends white paper to find out more about each of the trends we’ve talked about here and what they mean for your business in the year ahead.