Think back to what your working life was like in 2019. If you’re like most people, what you’re doing now is strikingly different from what you were doing back then.
The last few years have taught us that we live in unpredictable times—but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to predict what may be coming in the next few months or years.
At Rowben, our career experts keep their fingers on the pulse of the working world and the tech industry in ANZ in particular. Here are 5 of their predictions for what is coming later this year, in 2023, and beyond.
Remote and flexible jobs will continue to rise
Though work-from-home was already gaining popularity prior to the 2020 pandemic, the Coronavirus epidemic helped us hit “fast forward” on this trend—and it looks like for many, there’s no going back.
A study from the Melbourne Institute found that as of January 2022, 82% of Australian workers are already doing some of their work from home, and a full 89% would like to continue doing at least part of their job remotely going forward.
It’s not just workers who have realised the advantages of more flexible work options. Many businesses have also discovered that giving workers more freedom results in more productivity and greater retention, while also improving their bottom line by eliminating the need for large office spaces.
Of course, there will still be plenty of people who can’t work from home due to the nature of their job, as well as those who prefer an office or hybrid experience. But for workers who dream of having a job that allows them to work from anywhere, the forecast looks sunny.
More contractors, freelancers, and nomads in the tech space
Though some workers in Australia will be happy with a full-time remote job, many others realised they have the tools and capability to work for themselves in some capacity.
As a result, we expect to see more freelancers and contractors here in Australia and New Zealand—and we also anticipate there will be more competition coming from international contract workers as well.
The tech space will not be exempt from this shift in the way we work. Though there are some big names in tech coming to the APAC region who will hire in-office staff, there are many professions in the tech industry that can be performed on a contract or freelance basis.
Australians and Kiwis are natural-born world travellers, and after several years of lockdowns, we know many are itching to get back out there. This will lead to an increase in people who subscribe to the digital nomad life, taking their work with them around the globe.
Virtual meetings are taking on a new (and weird?) form
If 2020 was the year of Zoom, will 2023 be the year of Meta? We aren’t sure if Mark Zuckerberg’s big investment in the virtual space known as Metaverse will pay off for him, but we do know this. In the next few months and years, the way we meet in virtual spaces is going to change.
It may be some time before you’re wearing a VR set to meet your colleagues, but you can expect greater diversity in the options you have to connect with others working in the same space as you.
Currently, workers already use things like email, chat platforms like Slack, and a myriad of video calling apps to connect. Going forward, we may see more forum-like spaces for communication or new platforms and inventions that will make it even easier to speak with someone no matter where they are on the planet.
If you loathe virtual meetings, here’s another prediction you may prefer. Now that restrictions are loosening around the world, we’re also expecting 2023 to be the year that in-person networking events come back to life.
Four-day work weeks are coming soon
If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ll know some big companies like Microsoft Japan and Panasonic have already started offering a four-day workweek to their employees—and in most cases, the results seem promising.
In the case of Microsoft Japan, the company said it saw a 40% increase in productivity, and a long-term study out of Iceland saw workers overwhelmingly report better work-life balance and a decrease in feelings of burnout, according to WeForum.
It won’t take long for countries in the APAC region to notice this, and use a four-day workweek to retain their talent and even cut back on costs like electricity and office space.
In fact, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Arden has already stepped forward to suggest companies roll out four-day workweeks as a way to get back on their feet following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ethical companies will win the retention game
Though things are improving now that borders are reopening, many companies are still struggling to fill their workforce with qualified candidates. Workers in 2022 have more options on where and how they want to work, and they have higher standards for what they demand from their employers.
It’s no longer enough to offer competitive pay and basic benefits. Employees want to know that the company they are working for respects them and the community at large.
This means that companies who want to hire and retain the best talent need to focus on increasing employee benefits in a meaningful way (no more pizza parties), and they need to be vocal and transparent about their company’s ethics and mission. Businesses that have skeletons in their closet should address them now, because employees won’t hesitate to do their own research and factor that into their decision on where to work.
If you’re looking for new job opportunities in the coming months, or want to grow your workforce with the best talent, Rowben is here to help. Book a consultation with one of our career experts today, and we’ll help take a big step forward into the future of work.