Aside from analysis around the impact that the rail disruption has had on workplaces and January productivity, the new year has already brought with it a fresh batch of surveys and predictions about our working lives for the year ahead.

Take the study that a typical week in the office now runs from Tuesday to Thursday, according to a study of mobile phone activity.

Despite economic uncertainty, the trend of quiet quitting is here to stay in 2023. In fact, it may become even more prevalent with employees taking on more work in the wake of a tough economic climate. And look out too in 2023 for ‘quiet hiring’, when an organisation acquires new skills without actually hiring new full-time employees.

And here’s another new term – on the back of mounting economic pressures, comes the ‘Great Unretirement’. Data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics suggests tens of thousands who retired during the pandemic have returned to work this year, likely driven by the cost-of-living crisis.

Flexibility will remain key in 2023; more employees will look for companies that promote work-life integration: being able to put in hours when it suits to take care of personal responsibilities when needed. Many UK workers believe that remote work is the new normal. Quite simply, the benefits to their life (no commuting time, for instance) far outweigh the negative aspects, such as a lack of connection with colleagues. With a recession threatening to further increase the cost of living, workers don’t want to spend extra money on fuel and their morning lattes.

This desire for flexibility was highlighted by a survey of young working Brits which caught our eyes. Forget a pension pot or a company car – generation Z’s top job demands include flexible hours, getting birthdays off work and plant-based milks for coffee. Friday afternoons off and being allowed to bring a dog to work also make it in the priorities list for young employees, the survey showed.

Unsurprisingly given that the research was conducted by office delivery and catering company, Feedr, there was a lot of emphasis on food in the story, in terms of where, what and who to eat with. But the insight did also shine a light on the importance of mental health and wellbeing support provision, showing that access to a life coach, psychotherapist or career mentor were crucial. Complimentary yoga sessions and a meditation room were also highly important.

The HR leaders we work with appreciate that it is one of their biggest responsibilities to ensure they have the right package of health and wellbeing care in place for their teams, whether they are Gen Z, Y or X. The key is to understand exactly what matters to the workforce, to build a strong and informed wellbeing strategy. Only then can a relevant and productive portfolio of benefits and initiatives be created.  It’s about analysing staff feedback, creating working groups to identify gaps and gauge mood/morale, looking at themes emerging from exit interviews, assessing productivity levels, absenteeism data and engaging, engaging, engaging with your people!

Wishing everyone much success in the delivery of your 2023 Wellbeing Programmes.