Work trend 23: Employees eager to return, work and thrive in their offices again

Steen Uno
In the post-covid year 2022, employees began to return to their offices in large numbers - some of the time. In 2023, office workers will start longing eagerly to normalise their working life and cohesion with their colleagues.
Steen Uno

Home and hybrid work has been and is still okay - but in 2023, office workers will begin to yearn for their old working life in the physical offices and the social interaction with colleagues with increasing intensity.

Labour market and lifestyle experts predict that in 2023, the physical office environment will assume an increasingly attractive and central role in companies' new hybrid workflows and options.

This movement will escalate as employers continue prioritizing the quality of their workplaces and areas to make it even more attractive and engaging for their employees to attend.

The measures to create fun, inclusive and sophisticated social and collaborative environments, which the employees cannot easily shape at home, are thought to be supplemented up through 2023 with the latest technologies and a range of new, unexpected perks.

Paradigm shift

At the same time, however, a new survey of 2,000 American office workers of the consulting firm Gensler makes some attention by stating "To focus on my work" as the most important reason for entering their physical offices.   

"Office workers now seem less concerned with connecting, socializing and collaborating than during the pandemic. Now they primarily think, 'How do I get my work done efficiently and competently?'" the Head of Research at Gensler, Janet Pogue McLaurin, says.


According to an American study, office workers currently seem less concerned with
connecting, socializing and collaborating than during the covid. Now, they primarily
want to focus on their daily job tasks.           
                                                Photos: iStock


She believes Gensler's new survey data might indicate a current or imminent paradigm shift among office workers in broader terms.

"Our research shows that employees commute to their physical office workplace because they prioritize surroundings to work effectively individually and in teams. They want to get their work done first and foremost," McLaurin concludes.

Distance check

In 2022, 58% of American knowledge workers - according to McKinsey and Ipsos surveys - were free to work from home or remotely at least a day a week, while 38% were not required to be in the employer's physical offices at all.

In short terms, the flexibility of the hybrid revolution has given rise to happy global reports of increased job satisfaction and higher productivity of the individual office worker, but challenges await the employees in 2023. 


In 2023, remote or home-working office workers should expect the employer will
increasingly try to correspond to the firm´s work discipline and health practices.


With employees scattered in all directions, companies will, ignoring the persistent protests of the trade unions, want to intensify monitoring processes of their remote-working employees.

More intelligent IoT devices and tracking software will, in addition to the employees' general work discipline, ensure that the company's health customs and use of necessary breaks to stretch the legs, etc., will also be followed.

Shorter workweek

2023 may also become the year when the global labour markets on a larger scale skip a long-standing cornerstone and close partner, the five-day working week.

In the wake of the covid lockdowns, new flexible four-day weeks were tested in the past year by companies around the world with mostly positive responses and good promising results.


2023 might also become the year when more and more office companies consider
introducing a four-day workweek permanently with the same workload, salary, and
possibly working time reduced by non-productive activities.


In a British survey, 86% of the companies questioned answered that they would most likely consider introducing the possibility of a four-day working week permanently - with the same workload, salary, and possibly working time reduced by non-productive activities.

Even if the shorter workweek is unlikely to become mandatory within the nearest future, office workers can already this year expect to seek job opportunities at companies ready to offer and also provide this flexibility as an incentive.  ●


Read more: Employees excited about coming back to the office The new reason workers say they come to the office Future of work forecast - 5 trends for 2023 Workspace design and trends in 2023







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