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The new year is finally here. As always, there are plenty of workplace innovation trends expected to shift and shape the working world. Many of those trends will benefit you as an individual and boost small businesses and large corporations alike. 

It should come as no surprise that multiple technological innovations are changing the face of the American workplace. However, as we continue to adjust to a post-pandemic society, there are several shifts in workplace models that are bound to become more popular this year. 

No matter your role or industry, it’s essential to keep track of these trends to take advantage of the ones that can make a difference in your work. With that in mind, let’s look at ten 2023 workplace innovation trends. 

1. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Greater Flexibility

Remote work saw a massive spike in popularity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, people had to work from home for everyone’s safety. However, businesses and employees began to see the benefits of remote and hybrid work. As a result, 26% of American employees worked remotely as of 2022. 

That trend will likely continue as it allows employees greater flexibility and a healthier work-life balance. Businesses are more likely to offer flexible schedules, hybrid models, and completely remote options as time progresses, and technological advancements make it easier for people to work from anywhere. 

2. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: A Focus on Employee Well-being

The pandemic also helped employers and workers to recognize the importance of well-being. Well-being will continue to become a priority in 2023. 

According to the American Institute of Stress, 83% of U.S. workers struggle with work-related stress. Many people cite their job as being their number one source of stress. That leads to poor productivity and reduced retention. Expect businesses across the country to prioritize employee well-being by: 

  • Increasing mental health awareness;
  • Creating inclusive workplace cultures;
  • Encouraging flexibility;
  • Modeling self-care strategies;
  • Allowing more vacation time;
  • Offering personal and professional development assistance.

Businesses that take care of their employees are more likely to create an environment that excites people to work, reducing job stressors. 

3. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Hiring and Retention Growth

Many businesses are still facing hiring challenges. We’re at the tail end of the “Great Resignation,” but companies across the country are still struggling to find and keep qualified workers. 

In 2023, expect HR departments to try to attract and retain employees. Some of the critical motivational tools that will likely be used by these departments include: 

  • Advancement opportunities;
  • Employee development programs;
  • Upskilling and reskilling.

It will also become more critical than ever for employers and employees alike to utilize networking — especially remotely. In today’s digital world, networking is a fantastic way to build genuine connections. For businesses, that means attracting the right people for the correct positions by being more “human” in approaching potential candidates. 

4. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Upskilling and Soft Skills

We mentioned the trend of upskilling above, but it’s worth diving into, especially in a job shortage. This year, more companies are likely to invest in their employees by offering short courses or certification programs to help close skill gaps. These offerings can be used for both existing employees and new hires. 

Additionally, there will be an increased focus on soft skills. Soft skills include things like: 

  • Leadership;
  • Problem-solving;
  • Innovation;
  • Critical thinking;
  • Creativity.

The American workplace is changing, and people with solid and soft skills are often more likely to succeed in their roles. 

5. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Combatting Economic Uncertainty

Not only is there still a job shortage across the country, but we’re also facing uncertain economic times. As we enter a new year, we face fears of recessions and changing markets. Businesses need to prepare for economic uncertainty by creating new and innovative strategies that will safeguard their finances. 

Crisis management plans reduced inventory, and emergency funds are all effective ways for businesses and solo entrepreneurs to protect themselves during these tumultuous economic times. If you run your own business, make sure you have a financial plan to keep you safe no matter what the markets do. 

6. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Sustainability Initiatives

Sustainability continues to be at the forefront of almost everyone’s mind. Look for a renewed focus on sustainability this year as more businesses shift toward green practices. 

These practices can include both sweeping changes to how a business works, as well as everyday decisions designed to reduce a company’s carbon footprint. 

7. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: AI and Automation

AI and automation have seen continued growth and popularity over the last few years. That’s a trend likely to continue as technology makes it easier for more businesses to utilize them. 

There are currently countless AI opportunities for businesses, including everything from customer service chatbots to fraud detection. Regarding automation, the focus isn’t on “replacing” human jobs but on modernizing things like bill payments and team expense reports to make those tasks more accessible and streamlined for employees. 

8. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Increased DEI efforts will be a top priority for many businesses in 2023. A lack of DEI commitment can lead to turnover issues and foster an environment that doesn’t promote inclusivity. That often leaves employees undervalued and isn’t a good public look for any business focusing on employee growth. 

9. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Tech Advancements and Data Collection

There’s no question that technological advancements play a significant role in 2023 workplace innovation trends. While AI and automation are two of the major players that will end up transforming the average workplace, more departments are utilizing tech to their advantage 

HR and marketing, in particular, will end up relying on data more than ever. Technology has made it easier to collect data. When HR uses people analytics, for example, they can streamline their recruitment efforts and ensure the hiring process is diverse. That means hiring more top-tier talent and experiencing more excellent retention. 

10. 2023 Workplace Innovation Trends: Benefits and Pay Transparency

Likely, salary will always be the most important factor to anyone looking for a job. However, today’s employees are also highly interested in the benefits a business offers. While many want professional development, they’re also interested in personal development, which means working for businesses that focus on whole-person benefits. Some of the top benefits employees want to include: 

  • Flexibility;
  • Mental health support;
  • Childcare and family benefits;
  • Student loan repayments;
  • Retirement planning.

Of course, these are all in addition to more traditional offerings, like medical insurance and paid time off. Look for more businesses to add new benefits to their hiring packages this year and beyond. 

As you can see, tech trends and employee wellness lead the way regarding workplace innovations. Whether you’re currently looking for a job or you own a business, keep these 2023 workplace innovation trends in mind and make sure you’re implementing what’s important to keep yourself and/or your employees happy and healthy. 

By: Amanda Winstead