Workplace & culture

Navigating workplace trends in 2024 & beyond: How to stay competitive

Explore workplace trends in 2024 & beyond, including work-life balance, AI opportunities, & DEI advancements. Stay competitive by leveraging these insights


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Navigating workplace trends in 2024 and beyond
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It's hardly news that the world of work is changing—constantly and rapidly.  

According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report findings, 44% of workers' core skills will be disrupted by 2027. Additionally, almost 23% will see "churn"—constituting a mix of emerging jobs added and declining jobs eliminated.  

The reality is that technology is moving faster than companies can design and scale up their training programs. 

While AI is certainly a key disrupter, other work and HR trends are also contributing to the continual climate of upheaval—climate change, inflation, and geopolitical turmoil, to name just a few. 

In short, it's a lot. 

While it may not be easy, HR leaders who stay up-to-date with the trends shaping the workforce in 2024 and beyond—and who proactively develop strategies to leverage these market trends—are, to put it mildly, giving their organizations a leg up. In today's world of business growth and competitiveness, setting your company apart is everything. Talent outcomes and organization-wide strategic goals stand to benefit from leadership with its finger on the proverbial pulse. 

Let's take a closer look at some of these work-changing, world-changing trends, shall we? 

 

6 workplace trends in 2024 that are shaping the future of work and how to leverage them 

 

1. A pushback against "workism."

Workism is when people build their entire lives around their jobs. Work-life balance quickly becomes a distant, laughable fantasy. Employees are increasingly advocating for better work-life balance and prioritizing personal wellbeing over excessive hours and productivity. A 2023 Gartner survey revealed that 63% of candidates rated "four-day workweek for the same pay" as the top benefit that would attract them to a job. Before you react, know that four-day workweek pilots have demonstrated tangible benefits for productivity and employee wellbeing alike

 

How to leverage:

Foster a supportive work culture that emphasizes work-life balance, offers flexible working arrangements, and actively promotes employee wellbeing. In 2024, this is how you attract and retain top talent while enhancing overall productivity. And while many execs don't believe that a four-day workweek is feasible, it was just yesterday that the idea of remote work elicited a similar response. Consider proposing a gradual shift to a four-day workweek. If you anticipate resistance, frame it as a move that aligns with company goals and as an investment in human capital because it does. 

 

 

2. Benefits that cover the cost of work.

Employees used to remote or hybrid work are highly attuned to all the costs associated with in-person work. 60% of employees say the cost (money, energy, time) of commuting to an office outweighs the benefits—a post-pandemic realization, yes, but not untrue. Unsurprisingly, 48% of employees say RTO mandates prioritize what leaders want over what employees need to do good work. And there's proof: Gartner research has found that in-office requirements do not impact employee performance. 

 

How to leverage:

  1. Start by honestly and thoroughly assessing the actual necessity of RTO mandates.
  2. In cases where it's unnecessary, allow remote work to continue.
  3. In cases where it's partly necessary, negotiate hybrid arrangements.
  4. If necessary, consider offering travel and/or housing subsidies, caregiver benefits like onsite childcare, and financial planning services.

All of the above can and will address the real cost of work for your employees, boost job satisfaction, and attract a more diverse and talented workforce. 

 

 

3. AI-based opportunities.

A 2023 Gartner survey found that 22% of employees expected generative AI to replace their jobs in the next five years. In spite of this anxiety, the general consensus is that in the short to medium term, AI won't quite replace many jobs, but it will lead to job redesign. Gartner predicts that AI will play a role in 70% of text and data-oriented tasks by 2025—up from less than 10% in 2023. 

 

How to leverage:

Leadership should be ready to partner with HR professionals to assess how artificial intelligence investments might positively shift team roles and workflows and identify potential internal candidates for newly created or redesigned roles. The HR team should also assess AI's impact on hiring strategies, identifying which technical requirements, work experience, and assessments are now unnecessary versus necessary for upcoming roles. Determining exactly how to assess new talent will also be an essential consideration. 

 

 

 

4. Skill requirements over degree requirements.

College degrees were a prized requirement of yesteryear. Today, organizations are increasingly embracing skills-based hiring. Many major companies have already removed many degree requirements from job postings to hire from a broader talent pool, including internal talent and employees—skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs): underrepresented talent without college degrees. STARs represent more than 70 million workers in the US alone

 

How to leverage:

Consider focusing on skill-based development programs. Target and Amazon are increasingly touting their in-house universities and business schools — and expanding apprenticeship programs. These hyper-tailored credential programs prepare talent with the skills to advance in those companies and develop their career paths. This just in: you can do the same. 

 

 

5. Climate change protections.

From extreme heat to massive wildfires that compromise air quality to unprecedented storms, it became extraordinarily clear in 2023 just how deeply climate change is impacting workforces globally. As these climate events go from occasional incidents to widespread and persistent realities, climate change disaster response plans up your value proposition—by a lot. 

 

How to leverage:

Include climate change protections in your benefit offerings. This might include proactive plans to offer shelter, energy, and provisions when natural disasters hit; PTO for those who experience hardship due to a climate-related event; relocation assistance, or stipends for specialized safety equipment. Offering mental health support to help employees cope with the impacts can go a long way. 

 

 

6. A more holistic approach to DEI.

For a long time, people have grown increasingly disillusioned with DEI programs due to their overall lack of accountability and ownership from business leaders, ineffective decision-making power, and disorganized cross-company efforts. It's no wonder that unfair expectations and disappointment in DEI outcomes ensue. Still, diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforces remain an essential need.  

 

How to leverage:

While it is necessary to deeply integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into all processes and practices, consider changing your how. Companies are moving toward a more embedded approach to DEI, framing it not as what they do but as how they achieve high performance. Follow their lead. Ultimately, this new perspective will help your organization integrate DEI values into business objectives and company culture. 

 

 

There's no denying that we're living in unprecedented times. The sheer speed of advancement in the tech sphere is enough to put even the most future-forward companies in a tailspin. The good news is that while staying on top of the latest advancements is always a boon, prioritizing employee experience and human relationships is just as important—if not more so. 

 

At PurelyHR, we provide insightful analytics and tools to track your workplace, optimize workforce management, and enhance employee productivity. 

 

For more information on how to best leverage our tools to enhance your workplace and keep up with the trends shaping the future of work, explore our site or contact us

 

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