If you're looking for 2023 remote work trends, you've come to the right place. Over the last few years, the number of people working remotely has increased dramatically. In fact, in our 2022 remote work statistics roundup, we found that remote workers have increased by 159%, and it doesn't look like the trend will be slowing down anytime soon.
Last year, we watched businesses continue to navigate the transition to remote work while simultaneously working through inflation, resignations, layoffs, recession fears, skill shortages and more. It's been a rollercoaster, to say the least.
In 2023, we can expect more adaptation, more remote work and new priorities as the way we work shifts. So, what does the future hold for remote working? We're exploring the top ten remote work trends to be aware of in 2023.
1. Remote work is here to stay.
First, it's safe to say that remote work will not be going anywhere in 2023. Just because the spread of COVID-19 has slowed and people can work together in an office again doesn't mean they're interested in changing their current work setup.
A 2022 Lending Tree survey revealed that the share of employees working from has stabilized at about 29%. However, plenty of people are still looking for remote job opportunities.
According to an article by CNBC, nearly 10% of online job searches in the fall of 2022 included the keyword "remote work." That's a nearly six-fold increase compared to the fall of 2019.
2. Employee well-being and work-life balance will be top priorities for companies.
Remote work provides plenty of benefits, from increased flexibility to improved productivity. However, it also comes with some potential downsides — including the potential to throw off one's work-life balance.
A study by OwlLabs found that 55% of employees report working more hours at home than at the office. While this is good news from a productivity standpoint, it can also harm employees' well-being and increase their risk of burnout in some cases. Additionally, remote work can lead to feelings of isolation and have some adverse mental health effects as well.
As a result, many employers will emphasize employee well-being and work-life balance in the new year.
3. A bigger investment in upskilling and retention initiatives
In 2023, many remote employers will start placing a greater emphasis on upskilling and employee retention.
Upskilling involves teaching employees new skills that build upon and help them advance their existing skill sets. In a remote context, it could look like paying for employees to participate in online courses and attend virtual conferences where they can learn from experts in their field.
Investing in upskilling initiatives can give employers an advantage over competitors by reducing employee turnover rates. It also reduces the amount employers have to spend on recruiting and finding replacements.
It's not just a benefit for employers, either. Employees value upskilling opportunities, too. In fact, one Gallup study showed that 48% of American employees would switch jobs if the new position offered additional learning and skills training opportunities. Furthermore, 65% of workers said they believe employer-provided upskilling opportunities are critical when evaluating potential jobs.
4. Freelancing platforms will continue to gain steam.
Nearly half (47%) of the world's workforce is self-employed. Freelancing has become a popular option over the last couple of years, especially as many people faced layoffs, furloughs, and other career interruptions in the wake of the pandemic.
In 2023, freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr will continue to gain steam. Many professionals like the freedom and flexibility that freelancing provides, and they appreciate platforms that help them connect with clients from all over the world.
The popularity of freelancing platforms (and increased business for freelancers) likely has to do with the increase in outsourcing worldwide. Many industries have plans to ramp up outsourcing efforts to cut costs and improve efficiency. For example, IT outsourcing spending is expected to reach $519 billion in 2023, and business process outsourcing spending is expected to reach $212 billion.
Economic uncertainty could lead to more opportunities for freelancers, too. As more companies look to save money as a recession looms, they may choose to work with freelancers and outsource individual projects rather than continuing to pay full-time employees.
5. A rise in employee surveillance to track productivity
The Wall Street Journal revealed in the summer of 2022 that 67.6% of large North American employers (those with 500-plus employees) rely on some kind of employee monitoring software.
These tools use features like phone and video surveillance, GPS monitoring, time tracking and changeable employee statuses to track when and how often employees are working. In 2023, more employers will likely start utilizing these tools to keep track of remote employee productivity.
It's easy for remote employees to feel frustrated by the idea of being tracked by their employers. However, there are also some benefits to remote employee surveillance. A spring 2022 survey of employers that relied on workplace surveillance revealed the following:
- 39% said it provides more insight into daily business operations
- 38% said it can ensure staff are paid correctly
- 37% said it allowed mistakes to be caught sooner
Employees may be more amenable to using surveillance tools if their employer is transparent about utilizing them (even though only a few areas impose strict regulations on employee monitoring).
6. A heightened focus on cybersecurity
Speaking of regulation, in 2023, remote employers will also place a greater emphasis on cybersecurity. A March 2022 report created by Alliance Virtual Offices showed that remote work during the height of the pandemic contributed to a 238% increase in cyber attacks.
Not only do cyber attacks lead to a loss of valuable data, but they also damage a company's reputation and create unexpected expenses. Remote workers can easily use unapproved technology or forget to utilize tools like firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
As a result, for remote work to remain the norm (and continue to grow in popularity) without sacrificing company safety and data security, employers will need to invest more into cybersecurity initiatives, like managed devices, in the new year.
7. An emphasis on culture and collaboration
A 2021 survey revealed that 67% of employees aged 18-34 found it harder to make friends and maintain relationships with their colleagues since they started working from home. Seventy-one percent also felt their colleagues had become distant, and 54% said remote working was the leading cause for drifting apart.
Employees who don't feel connected to their coworkers may struggle to collaborate on group projects. This lack of connection could also lead to increased distrust among team members and decreased productivity.
To combat these issues, improve company culture and build trust in their remote teams, more employers will be focusing on improving teamwork and strengthening relationships among team members in 2023.
8. Virtual interviews are here to stay.
For a while, virtual job interviews were necessary because employers and job seekers couldn't meet face to face without worrying about spreading a virus to each other. Now, even though fears of COVID-19 have decreased significantly, virtual interviews will remain a popular option for many employers.
Seventy percent of LinkedIn survey respondents said they plan to adopt a remote hiring process that combines in-person and virtual interviews. According to SHRM, 23% of employers also plan to move to exclusively virtual recruitment.
Virtual interviews are beneficial and growing in popularity because they save employers time and money. In addition, they're easier to schedule and are often more efficient than their in-person counterparts. These interviews also provide more flexibility for job seekers who don't live in the same area as their potential employer and can't make it to their office for an in-person interview.
9. Embracing flexible hours and four-day work weeks
A Workable Worker survey showed that 57.9% of employees currently work on flexible schedules, and most want to continue with that arrangement. Over one-third (34.3%) also said that schedule flexibility was very important to them.
The demand for flexibility will continue to grow in 2023, and many remote employers will embrace it — especially now that research confirms the benefits of flexibility. For example, a recent Gartner survey revealed that 43% of respondents found they were more productive when they had flexibility in their working hours. Thirty percent also said they were more productive when they didn't have to commute.
One way that employers can offer more flexibility to their remote employees is to allow four-day work weeks. A study of a New Zealand real estate company that adopted a four-day workweek showed the following results:
- The number of employees who felt a sense of balance between their work and personal lives increased from 54 to 78%.
- The number of employees who felt stressed at work decreased from 45 to 38%.
- Employees felt more satisfied in many aspects of their lives (five percent saw a rise in satisfaction in life in general, seven percent saw an improvement in personal health, and 11 percent saw an increase in leisure time)
10. Salary transparency will continue to gain popularity.
In the past, discussing your salary with a colleague was unheard of. These days, it's much more common — and it will become more common in 2023.
A Bankrate survey showed that 42% of Gen Z employees and 40% of Millennials had shared salary information with a coworker or professional contact. The same was true of just 31% of Gen X employees and 19% of Baby Boomers.
The primary goal behind increased salary transparency is increased equality in the workplace. Those who share their salary details hope that doing so will ensure all employees are paid fairly and receive what they deserve.
Increased salary transparency can also improve the recruitment process for remote employers and help them attract top-tier talent. After all, a Glassdoor survey showed that 63% of employees prefer working for a company that discloses pay details.
Stay ahead of the remote work trends with Outstaffer
Many exciting remote work trends are on the horizon this year. From increased productivity monitoring to a heavier emphasis on upskilling and employee well-being, there's plenty for remote workers to look forward to in 2023.
It's also going to be a big year for employers. As more companies switch and invest in remote workers, the state of work will continue to evolve for the better. Do you have plans to expand your remote workforce in 2023? We can help.
At Outstaffer, we can help you hire, pay and equip the best remote employees from around the world. Plus, we provide everything employers and employees need to #WorkFromAnywhere, including Managed Devices, Workforce Monitoring, and VR Workplaces.
Want to learn more? Schedule your free demo today.