The Reality of Work: Trends Come and Go, Where Are We Now?

The Reality of Work: Trends Come and Go, Where Are We Now?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the workplace has continued to evolve in rapid and unexpected ways. For example, the move to working from home at the time seemed monumental, and the sudden shifts were destabilizing to many. Fast forward three years and working remotely is a mainstream model that many people prefer. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, people have taken the opportunity to reassess their career paths, priorities, and futures- resulting in an entirely different work landscape than previously existed.
That leads us to…what is the reality of work right now? Wiley Workplace Intelligence has taken the time to reflect on the trends of the last year and dive into some new research to help understand what is happening in organizations now, so you can start 2023 in the know.

Workplace Trends of 2022

The Great Resignation kicked off the year. This was a historical moment in time where tens of millions of people quit or were thinking about quitting their jobs in search of something new. The standard aspects of a job like career advancement, compensation, and benefits played a role, but it was the human aspects of work (or more accurately, the lack thereof) that were (and are) pushing people to make a change. Wiley Workplace Intelligence did a series on The Great Resignation and how organizations can work, even now, to keep your people amidst great change.

Late summer and fall of 2022, we saw the rise of Quiet Quitting. Burned out employees declared that they were no longer going to go to above and beyond for organizations that have not prioritized people in the years since the pandemic and subsequently, The Great Resignation. Quiet Quitting was a bit of a misnomer, as individuals were not quitting their jobs, but instead were embracing more healthy boundaries around their work lives as a result of burnout.

On the flip side of Quiet Quitting, we have Quiet Firing. In this case, leaders do not adequately support their people, whether it’s a lack of support or career development which result in employees feeling pushed out of an organization.

Where Are We Now?
Organizations today are in the midst of transformation. Many have also permanently integrated hybrid or remote work arrangements, moving away from an office-only structure. Employees who work in these environments, where there is constant change and poor communication, are experiencing high stress levels and burnout. The importance of effective onboarding after team reorganizations and for new-hires has never been greater – learn top ways to Deliver Effective Onboarding to set your people up for success.
Amidst the resignations, negotiations, and opportunities for self-reflection, many people are taking big risks and completely changing their careers.

Throughout all of the upheaval, some people have had a tough time resisting the call to return to companies they previously worked for – leading to a segment of the workforce called “Boomerang Employees.” Wiley Workplace Intelligence surveyed 5,003 people and the findings highlight the fact that employee wellness and balance continue to rank high on the list of employee priorities motivating them to return to their previous employer.

Employee Priorities Have Evolved

While flexibility and work/life balance are important, salaries still rank high amongst employee priorities and many organizations are responding. Our research showed that 64.52% of those surveyed said that their base compensation increased within the last year.

In addition to salary increases, company-wide perks and incentives are on the rise. Whether it is to lure new employees or to keep their current people, organizations are putting a renewed effort into wellness which is producing impressive results.

In 2019 most workers went to an office five days per week. In 2020, with the pandemic, we saw a huge shift to working from home. Once the worst of the pandemic was behind us, many organizations asked their employees to come back to the office part time, in a hybrid arrangement. So how does it look now by the numbers?

According to our research people are currently working:

  • 20% Remote

  • 41% On-site/Co-working office

  • 39% Hybrid

Employee Benefits Organizations Can Start Today

If 2022 taught us anything it’s that things in the workplace can, and will, change quickly. With many employees weathering the storm of these changes, there is an increased sense of burnout. A whopping 86% of employees surveyed report feeling a sense of burnout, likely as a result of these changes. It’s important that you reflect on what your organization is doing to engage and maintain wellness amongst your employees as we go into 2023.

The best part? The initiatives that are the easiest to implement can have the biggest impact. For example, we've found that enhancing the employee experience in simple ways like delivering clear communication, offering opportunities for feedback, and recognizing great work go a long way.

With communication, support, and a positive culture your organization can position itself to take on whatever may come in 2023 while supporting your people and driving results.

When organizations leverage powerful solutions like Wiley’s own Everything DiSC®The Five Behaviors®, or The Leadership Challenge® brands, they have the power to create engaged, collaborative, and adaptive cultures that stay connected no matter where they are working.

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