Five 2023 workplace predictions
The past several years have led businesses on a wild ride full of twists (COVID-19), turns (supply chain slowdowns), loops (labor shortages), and rolls (inflation). You may be feeling like you can finally catch your breath, but don’t let your guard down for too long. As 2023 approaches, it’s time for employers to think about what might be coming around the bend. Here are five worksite predictions for 2023.
1. Companies will hire more independent workers.An independent worker is self-employed and contracted to perform a job or provide services to a company as a non-employee. With the Great Resignation sweeping our country, the number of independent workers is on the rise: 36% of Americans identify as independent workers, up from just 27% in 2016.1 Hiring independent workers provides several advantages for companies:
- Cost savings: Companies typically don’t provide benefits, office space or equipment to independent workers, and they don’t contribute to their Social Security, Medicare taxes, state unemployment compensation insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.
- Staffing flexibility: Independent workers allow a company to expand its workforce during peak demand and scale back for lower workloads.
- Specialized help: Companies may occasionally need specialized help with a project. Independent workers allow a company to hire this help as needed, rather than bringing someone on full-time.
2. Companies will continue to grapple with remote vs. onsite work.
Concerns about the pandemic may be subsiding, but the majority of employees—81% to be exact—still want to work from home or would prefer a hybrid schedule. 2 This leaves employers who prefer workers onsite in a difficult position. Should they risk losing valuable employees by requiring them to work onsite? Or should they risk the potentially negative effects of remote work on collaboration, innovation, and output?
A hybrid work model is a great compromise for employers who want their teams onsite and employees who enjoy working from home. As you develop a schedule that works for your organization, give employees a say in where and when they work—but set clear expectations of when and how they should be available.
3. A different generation will come into leadership.As Baby Boomers begin to retire, a different generation—Gen X—is moving into upper-level leadership roles. Gen X workers bring great value to leadership roles by being direct communicators, eager leaners, autonomous self-starters and excellent multitaskers. Take care of these leaders by offering them benefits they value. Healthcare benefits are a top priority for this generation, and they also are focused on financial benefits, such as retirement accounts, tax-advantaged benefits, and student loan assistance.
4. A new generation will hit the scene.As Xers move on up, a new generation enters the scene: Gen Z. This youngest generation of professionals tend to be pragmatic, naturally competitive, independent workers who care less about salary and more about things like: flexibility to work remotely, wellness and mental health initiatives, and meaningful work and culture.
5. Benefits must appeal to a diverse workforce.
In addition to Gen X and Gen Z, today’s workforce still includes Baby Boomers and Millennials (currently the largest working generation).3 In 2023, employers of choice will select benefits that appeal to this multigeneration workforce, while also considering cultural diversity, disability inclusion, and neurodiversity inclusion. All employees want their unique experiences and circumstances—whether generational, physical, or cultural—to be recognized in benefits.
Employers can appeal to this diverse workforce through voluntary benefits. Voluntary benefits can help protect employees from certain health and financial risks and enable employees of all generations, cultures, and physical abilities to tailor a package that works for their needs. Types of voluntary benefits include:
- Cancer insurance
- Heart / stroke insurance
- Critical illness insurance
- Hospital indemnity insurance
- Short-term disability
- Life insurance
These products are unique because benefits are paid directly to employees, not doctors or hospitals. With affordable premiums and direct cash benefits that can be used for any purpose, voluntary benefits can be a crowd pleaser at diverse worksites.