What to Look For in 2023: Workforce Predictions

What will happen in the workforce in 2023? With technology advancing at an alarming rate, the way we work is changing faster than ever before. Let’s dive into the predictions we’ve made about the Future of Work, and try to answer the question: what do businesses need to do now to be ready for 2023?

Economic uncertainty will shape many workforce decisions

If you’re like us, you’ve been hearing plenty about predictions of a recession in 2023. While the exact timing and causes are uncertain, the ripple effects of any economic downturn will likely be felt in many sectors. Businesses need to be prepared for how their workforce will respond to potential layoffs or reductions in hours – whether it’s through developing a strategy for maintaining employee morale or implementing cost-cutting measures like switching from hiring employees to contractors.

Flexible work will grow and evolve

Thanks to the Great Resignation, companies are under pressure to make themselves as appealing as possible to talent. Remote work, hybrid work, flexible hours, and four-day weeks are all strategies companies will use in 2023 in order to improve their business functioning, retention, and talent acquisition. What’s more, with remote work taking off since 2020, companies will need to invest in digital tools for collaboration, communication, and data sharing. They’ll also need to focus on culture building across distributed teams.

Workers’ desire for flexibility is a huge driver of the booming gig economy, too. Upwork’s Freelance Forward 2022 reports that: “While financial gain is a primary motivator for freelancing, flexibility and seeking a better sense of purpose in their careers were other driving factors. When asked about the reasons for freelancing, ‘to earn extra money’ (83%) and ‘to have flexibility in my schedule’ (73%) top the list.”

We’ll see a more diverse workforce

A UK-based Cloverpop study showed that during business decision-making processes, diverse teams outperform individuals 87% of the time. The study covered 600 decisions made by 200 teams from different industries.

Culture Amp’s 2022 Workplace DEI Report states: “nearly 60% of companies reported not having any DEI specialist role, 40% said they are investing in building out the specialized expertise needed to build successful equity & inclusion programs. These roles also tend to be new: 80% of DEI roles have been hired in the last 18 months, meaning that most companies are at the beginning of their change journeys and we may yet see additional progress.”

In 2023, companies will be looking for ways to diversify their workforce by hiring people of different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, genders, and cultures. We predict seeing companies devote more time and resources to diversity-centric hiring, equal pay initiatives, and candid discussions regarding DEI.

The rise of automation and AI

We’ve already seen how automation and AI are changing the workforce – from robotic process automation (RPA) to mitigating worker misclassification risks using the world’s first AI-driven classification engine. As these technologies become more widely adopted, businesses will need to think about how they can use them in conjunction with the human workforce, in order to optimize efficiency.

Companies will hire more independent workers

The gig economy is growing exponentially, and companies are using a mix of full-time, part-time and freelance workers to get the job done. Companies and freelancers alike are predicting a bright future for the gig economy. TeamStage’s Gig Economy Statistics in 2022 states: “90% of freelancers believe the industry has much more to offer in the future.”

Companies invested way more heavily in independent workers in 2022 than 2021, and we predict this trend will continue to increase in 2023. Upwork’s Freelance Forward 2022 reports: “Freelancing remains a significant part of the U.S. labor market and economy: Freelancers contributed $1.35 trillion to the U.S. economy in annual earnings in 2022, up $50 billion from 2021.”

What can businesses do now to prepare for the Future of Work in 2023?

The challenges that the Future of Work will present in 2023 are not insurmountable. By being thoughtful about how they approach the new world of work, businesses can ensure that they are prepared for the future. Putting a plan in place now for managing an independent workforce will help to make the transition smoother in 2023.

Thanks to our platform’s extensive integrations, GreenLight makes it easy for leading brands and talent marketplaces to compliantly onboard, manage, and pay contract and freelance talent. Book a demo with GreenLight so you can hire and onboard your workers from anywhere in minutes.

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Jason Posel

Jason Posel

Founder and CEO of GreenLight.ai, Jason Posel is a sought-after expert in issues related to technology innovation in contingent workforce management, the gig economy, and the Future of Work. London > Atlanta > Miami > Palo Alto > Miami

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