Work trends in 2022 and what to expect in 2023

office trends

The way people work is constantly changing – and that’s even more true in recent years. Understanding work trends helps businesses stay successful. Here’s a look back at the work trends we observed in 2022, and what to expect in 2023.

work meeting

5 Work trends we saw in 2022

1 | Covid changed everything

The impact of covid and remote working is still being seen.
It may sound redundant, but it’s still worth repeating – Covid has completely upended the way people work, the way people think, and the way people choose how and where they spend their time. 

The quality of hybrid work still hasn’t caught up.

Many people are still uncertain about the benefits of coming to the office – choosing where they work from on a day-to-day basis. The hybrid work ratio stayed right around 50/50. But there’s still a lot to do to make hybrid work better for everyone.

woman on a phone

2 | There’s still no new normal

2022 was a year of confusion – a year of flux. With so much uncertainty at the beginning of the year, everybody was forced to adjust their expectations. This confusion shaped the office in many ways.

2022 was a year of learning.

Offices around the world struggled to find answers to questions about new work trends. Who’s coming to the office? Which spaces are still needed? How much flexibility should employees have? And how do we get people to come back?

The only answer that most people found was – there is no clear answer.

3 | Home became the new benchmark

People stopped being willing to settle for less. The two years since the pandemic have given people plenty of time to adjust to remote and hybrid working. During this time, they’ve been able to experiment with things – learning how they work best, and customizing their spaces according to their preferences.

It’s been harder than anticipated to convince people to leave their home offices.

Being able to personalize home office setups, combined with increased privacy and fewer distractions, has made working from home more appealing than ever.

office pod meeting

4 | The office became a choice

Employers had a hard time competing with home offices. As such, people have started to expect more from their office – only coming in when they have a reason to. On the days they did choose to come in, they came to get something that they can’t get at home.

An average office is no longer enough.

Employers recognize that working from the office provides social connection – but it also brings about distractions. And with a lack of dedicated personalized working spaces, offices still have a lot to figure out.

5 | Dynamics have shifted

The individual became the unit of decision making. Employees have gained a sense of empowerment – wanting flexibility and support wherever they work. Employers have struggled to manage everything – wanting people back at the office, or to cut unused office space.

Employees and offices want different things.

Working from home is now seen less as a privilege, and more of a right. This flux has created a power struggle that didn’t exist before the pandemic – and seems to be the only work trend poised to carry on into next year.

5 Work trends we expect in 2023

company office pod meeting

1 | Offices don’t win every time

But they can still make an impact in 2023. The dynamic flux that occurred in 2022 created a struggle for both offices and workers. Employers are going to have to pay attention to work trends if they’re going to sort out the mess. And offices won’t win in certain areas.

The office shouldn’t try to compete with homes.

Both the employees and organizations want the office to serve a purpose and have an impact going forward. In order to make the biggest impact, offices need to understand what employees find valuable, and improve workplaces so that they empower and support employees in hybrid work.

2 | Offices will have to make it worth it

The “worth it” equation will come into play more than ever. Working from home is still great – and not everything is going to be better at the office. So employers have to figure out how to maximize their value in certain areas and deliver an impact to their employees.

The expectation for offices has risen.

Work at the office has to surpass what can be achieved at home – for certain tasks. This means balancing the benefits that offices bring against all of the costs of leaving your customized home setup and hauling yourself to the office.

man sleeping in an office pod

3 | Offices will impact employees

People have power – and offices provide people. The office is still a great place to be social – and that’s the primary reason people come to the office. This doesn’t just mean getting together, but working together as well. Spontaneous encounters, creative collaboration, and 1-to-1 meetings are all better face-to-face.

The team will be the unit of decision making.

But people can’t meet each other if nobody comes to the office. So creating spaces where creative work can be done alone or together is going to be more important than ever.

4 | Offices will impact success

People still need offices – and offices still need people. The office is great at engaging people and inspiring people. Direction setting, feedback and learning are also easier from the office. But offices need to make adjustments to keep it that way.

The office needs to do the work.

People use the office as a pit stop – a place to connect with people, get new ideas, and re-energize themselves. Employers need to recognize the shifting trends in work, and lean into the areas where offices excel.

5 | Offices will impact business

Companies expect to see evidence that changes work. Employees aren’t the only people that need to be kept happy. Running an office is a business – and businesses need to know why they’re paying their leases. Companies want to see hard data showing them that investing in the office makes financial sense.

Office space is still expensive.

Economic and environmental resources are in short supply. And with an ongoing energy crisis in much of the world, offices need to be more sustainable than ever. That’s why they need proof that their people work better with the right support from the office.

Long live the office.

The office isn’t dead. But it will never be the same. Employees are still going to feel empowered in 2023. And working from home is still a great option for most. But there is still value in offices in 2023 – and beyond. Companies will have to make adjustments to their spaces that make it worth it for employees to come in.

Easy parking. People to meet. And private places to connect with each other.

If 2022 was a year of learning for everyone, then 2023 is our chance to take what we learned and grow from it.

This article was originally posted by Framery

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