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Predictions for the future… What will 2023 hold for the sector?

Predictions for the future... What will 2023 hold for the sector

We have been receiving comments predicting what might happen within the Sector in 2023.

The comments range from predictions about learning and development, digital tools, Remote vs Office and collaboration… Read this article to find out more!

Janice Burns, CPO of Degreed, on her predictions for L&D teams in 2023:

“Learning and development (L&D) teams have certainly had a busy year in 2022 and that will continue in 2023. With the hybrid workforce seemingly here to stay, more learning professionals are turning to digital learning as a way to keep the entire workforce up-to-date. That can only be a good thing for accessibility (anyone can access learning at a time and place that suits them), and also data.

“L&D leaders have an unparalleled opportunity to gather data through digital learning, to give a dynamic overview of the skills being built in their workforce. Overlaid with HR and recruitment data, this can be used to determine skill supply versus skill gaps and spot opportunities when L&D can help the business deliver its goals (by ensuring the right people have the right skills). Like when the rise of the Internet created unrivaled opportunities to become more targeted with marketing and sales, thanks to consumer data, the same thing is now happening with the employee experience in workplaces.

“As L&D becomes more data-driven thanks to the wealth of data created by digital learning systems, it changes the skill set for L&D itself. In 2023, I expect to see more L&D teams introduce data analysts, data scientists, and business intelligence to their teams. This might be a dedicated person, or depending on resources, they might upskill existing L&D team members. It’s an exciting opportunity for L&D, because having access to data and the people to analyze it will give them more of a voice in strategic conversations. This might finally be the year where L&D doesn’t just get a seat at the boardroom table but drives it, with tangible skill data and business value results.”

Noel Loughrin, Strategic Solutions Manager at Laserfiche, on how education providers will embrace digital tools and cybersecurity measures:

“In recent years, the education sector has had no choice but to adopt technology to ensure continuity and the impact of technology has proven to be integral. As higher education moves into a post-pandemic world, the sector will invest in new student success systems that will help students progress through their various stages by leveraging real-time information and feedback.” 

“Simultaneously, investments will also be made in cybersecurity to ensure that this wealth of sensitive student information is kept secure at all times.”

Larry Gadea, CEO and Founder, Envoy, on the return to office working:

“Those promoting a return to the office have been vilified, yet 76% of employees believe that going into the workplace is good for their mental well-being. It makes sense because we’re social beings who build better relationships face-to-face. Most people don’t work well in isolation nor do they have the discipline to do so.’

Next year, companies are going to have to make a clear decision regarding office policies – whether in-office versus versus remote. This limbo that everyone’s in isn’t working. For the past year, employers have told their people they need to be in the office X amount of days, and then walked back that decision weeks or months later. This time, they’ll be more certain about their policies and stick to them. This means that leaders will be stressing collective success over individual convenience.

The challenge for workplaces and their leaders will be to make office life as easy as possible. A big trend you’ll see more of is worktech that helps people interact with the physical office, helping them plan their days, and connect with coworkers on-site.”

Pip White, Senior Vice President & General Manager, EMEA, Slack, on the Remote vs Office debate:

“The “remote versus office” debate is over and hybrid is not just the future, it is the now. People have reorientated their lives with the expectation that they will no longer be in the office five days a week, and firms that don’t recognise that will haemorrhage talent. Yet most businesses are still navigating how they can realise the alignment and productivity boost needed to thrive in an economic downturn, whilst also delivering flexibility and connection.

In 2023, the companies that get it right will be thinking digital-first and prioritising their digital HQ over the physical one. Workplaces now aren’t defined by where people gather, but how they feel included in the collective shared mission and culture of a company.

But it’s not just about culture. Our survey of 1,000 UK knowledge workers found 53% of people are more productive at home, and this is only possible when businesses adopt a truly digital-first approach and connect their people, tools, and workflows in one place. This digital HQ makes work more transparent, equitable and results-driven – all of which will become more critical in what will be a challenging economic environment in the year ahead.”

Rebecca Hinds, Head of The Work Innovation Labs, Asana, on collaboration and new forms of measurement:

2023 will see the rise of new forms of measurement that more accurately reflect the state of work today—which is more siloed than it’s ever been before and takes place in different physical and virtual spaces, and through different workflows and technologies. In a world where collaboration is more important than ever, too many leaders are clinging to productivity and output measures to assess work effectiveness—measures that give an incomplete picture of how work is happening. Leveraging machine learning and AI, Collaborative Intelligence will unlock a new competitive advantage for businesses, empowering leaders to adopt a data-driven approach to understand how work is happening. It can also provide a deep understanding of how collaboration is happening in business—through actual behavioural data (rather than subjective survey data)—and identify hidden inefficiencies and untapped opportunities to maximise employee and business potential.”

James Mensforth, Head of UK at Aircall, on empowerment and collaboration:

“Customer-facing teams are facing increased burnout levels and attrition, and a continuation of what some coined ‘pandemic rage’ has meant teams are dealing with more pressure than ever before. This is especially important to address as businesses grapple with retaining teams that are increasingly hybrid and international.

On this theme, I think 2023 will be the year of empowerment. Business leaders who prioritise simplifying the daily work by automating manual tasks will benefit from happier and more productive teams who can ultimately focus on what matters most: delivering great experiences to customers and prospects.

It will allow teams to benefit from better coaching and learning from peers if they are less focused on delivering the basics, and more geared towards collaborating with their teams, understanding their customers and uplevelling performance.”

Joe Militello, Chief People Officer, PagerDuty

“Employees in technology and IT have seen their value to companies increase dramatically since the pandemic changed the way in which modern business works. Hybrid and remote working have put further emphasis on the need for both highly collaborative teams and solutions that enable real-time collaboration, especially in time-sensitive, mission-critical moments. Employees are working more hours, and technical teams are left to bear the weight of the increased dependency on IT systems.

Burnout has been a reality as a result of the fragmentation and growth of workplace applications being too noisy to manage. The burden of running complex IT systems 24/7 has never been higher, with the need for important upgrades in automation and efficiency a necessity for helping employees feel valued and appreciated at work in 2023.

Businesses must prioritise digital operations investment at the forefront of their 2023 planning. They’ll also need to look for ways to automate routine work, and orchestrate the interrupt work that affects impact operational efficiency + resiliency, as well as customer experience. The conversation about the future of work is no longer about “where”; it’s about what kind of work will be most important to the business, and how it will be managed.”

Jack Kennedy, UK Economist at Indeed, on the recruitment challenges:

“We know that the recruitment challenges many employers have been experiencing will persist into 2023. Indeed & Glassdoor’s Hiring and Workplace Trends Report 2023 shows that the UK workforce will struggle to grow, as rising rates of economic inactivity and long-term sickness (partly due to Long COVID) deplete the available talent pool.

In large part due to the shrinking UK workforce, we’re hopeful that despite a recession, we won’t experience the lay-offs seen in the 2008 financial crisis — where unemployment reached 8.5%. In fact, we may even see “labour hoarding” as employers try to hold onto staff amid talent gaps in many industries. Employers have learned how difficult post-pandemic hiring has become and will take action to evade the effect of staff shortages.”

2023 technology & business predictions from Will Hale, European Leader at

“1. 2023 will be the year where we look to not only be efficient but also more effective

In 2023 businesses will be looking to make the most of every opportunity they can extract. We have gone through a period when organisations looked to be as efficient as possible, but as we move forward, the focus is going to be on extracting every opportunity and enabling companies to be effective.This means finding the opportunities that, in a time of plenty, remain hidden away, empowering employees and looking to add as much value as possible.

Automation can help enable this, removing the need to conduct laborious and time-consuming admin tasks that are unrewarding and impact how effective we can be for businesses and their clients.It will help nurture more motivated, productive and creative teams that can invest their energy into result-driven activities instead. The businesses that look to do this and shift their mindset towards being effective and not just efficient, will have more success than those just cutting costs..

2. The democratisation of enterprise software will unlock the power of knowledge for more roles

Previously, work management software has been thought of as a tool that is only relevant to project managers. But, this is changing. Consumerisation of software means it’s becoming visually appealing and easy for people to use with no tech background or experience. Working from home culture has acted as a catalyst in proving its ability to unlock greater knowledge across businesses – enhancing the ability to combat new challenges and customise solutions.

As such, the use of this technology will continue to diversify in 2023. Whether you are in HR, content marketing, finance, brand consulting, or even manufacturing and engineering, businesses are seeing that the right tech tools can be more than just KPI trackers. They are innovation enablers, allowing businesses to do more with the resources they already have.

3. Employers will look at better ways to provide opportunities for their employees; from greater flexibility, through to connectedness and trust as teams become more distributed

Flexibility has already become a non-negotiable for many people, with this only set to intensify following the recent Government announcement. The rise of hybrid working – despite starting as a short-term solution amid lockdowns – has proven that it can promote greater productivity and a better work-life balance. Since flexibility like this continues to be one of the key benefits in job descriptions, next year will see companies looking to provide more opportunities for their employees to grow and work better. Leaders must ask themselves key questions such as – What do my teams endure? How can I help? What frameworks can the business put in place to support these changes?

Tackling these questions takes a deeper understanding of how things like hybrid working, and streamlining processes can achieve a greater feeling of connectedness, trust and communication. With distributed teams, this approach will facilitate better collaboration and access to information across the whole organisation so that people can find what they need, when they need it, no matter when they log on and from where. “

Sarah Gilchriest, President of Circus Street, explores the top skills businesses should consider acquiring in 2023: 

“Data is everything, and businesses desperately need the analytical skills required to effectively turn information into profit. At the root of this is the critical evaluation of data. The willingness not to take convenient shortcuts to insights, but instead work with the rigor necessary to come to the correct conclusions. Success lies in considering the tasks that you want to perform, the data that you will need, how you will safeguard information, and how you will leverage it to build business cases and inform decisions. The more data expertise you can require the more future-proof and attractive your skill set becomes. At the very least, you need to have a basic understanding of statistics to thoughtfully apply data insights to your daily work.

“In 2022 alone, we’ve had waves of hype about everything from NFTs to the metaverse. It is incredibly complicated for businesses to decide which trend is worth dedicating attention and resources to. There’s therefore a real need for digital experts who can separate the signal from the noise. To do this you need to be able to understand technology fundamentals, recognise valid use cases, and be able to consider alternative solutions. Practically speaking this means broadening your knowledge base across the entire marketing piste to have a solid grounding of existing and emerging martech solutions.

“More and more users are becoming aware of products, making purchasing decisions, and consuming brand media via social media. At the same time, the space is constantly evolving in terms of the relative popularity of platforms and how they are being used. These channels can not be fully understood simply by reading research or blogs – they need to be experienced. This means becoming an active user. Younger marketers who use high-growth sites like TikTok, Reddit and Instagram have a clear advantage over their older colleagues who may have restricted their online presence to the likes of Twitter or Facebook. Being a well-rounded digital expert means understanding every available social channel – even if you are not the target demographic. 

“Remote and flexible working is here to stay and this has brought about fundamental changes to the management experience. To be an effective team leader it’s necessary to be able to adjust to these new circumstances. Understanding how to best use technology to manage tasks, monitor productivity and engage team members is critical. As is determining the best way to structure workflows, assess results and enable the equal development of remote and in-office workers. In short, to be a modern manager you need to be able to lead both in the office and digitally. 

“With the sheer volume of monumental news over the past few years, it can be easy to forget that we’re also in a major climate emergency. Environmental concerns are not going to go away and will continue to rise up the corporate agenda. In all likelihood, a combination of social and legislative pressure will eventually compel all businesses to act more sustainably. As a result, understanding factors such as sustainable sourcing, ethical supply chains, and carbon neutrality will be important for every marketer if they want to effectively protect their brand’s reputation. The more knowledge and practical experience you have of running green-focused marketing campaigns the better. “

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