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Is 2023 the year of the worker?

Back to work! Here are some workplace trends we might see in 2023:

Back to the office

While working from home became commonplace at the start of the pandemic, experts posit that 2023 may lead people back into the office. Many employees are still partial to working at home and feel unproductive at the office, The Wall Street Journal explains. However, evidence also suggests that some employees are willing to return to the office a few days a week. "There's a little bit of a tug of war going on right now," said David Garfield, global head of industries at consulting firm AlixPartners.

Toss-up on employer leverage

Employees have been gaining a stronger hold on employers for a while now, and evidence suggests that the trend is bound to continue. There is expected to be a tight labor market in 2023, giving workers more power. Also, high rates of job-switching have made it difficult for employers to retain employees, The New York Times reports. For this reason, employers have had to work to keep their employees, forcing more flexibility and workers' rights, explains Forbes. An emphasis on unionization and protests is also likely to increase. 

On the flip side, a potential recession may increase an employer's leverage as the threat of unemployment increases. In 2022, a number of tech companies carried out massive layoffs, however, the job market has continued to remain competitive thus far. So far experts remain cautious but still optimistic about 2023, per CNN.

Four-day work week

The idea of transitioning to a four-day workweek is increasingly enticing for the workforce. A handful of companies experimented with it for six months, resulting in lower stress, fatigue, insomnia, and burnout, as well as better physical and mental health, CNN reports. There was also an increase in revenue and productivity. None of the experimenting companies opted to return to the five-day workweek. 

Coupled with the push towards flexibility, a four-day workweek allows employees to have more personal time. "The goal of a shortened workweek is to find ways to help employees work smarter, not harder," explains Sofia Passova, Ph.D., founder, and CEO of StereoLOGIC.

Pay transparency

Experts predict that wage and salary transparency will play a main role in 2023 workplace dynamics. Harvard Business Review expects "a fifth of all U.S. workers will be covered under pay transparency laws." Currently, Colorado, New York, California, and Washington have laws in place requiring employers to put salary ranges on job listings. The rise of unions also contributes to the push for transparency.