Will workplaces be better in 2024? Here are 5 predictions.

As we bid farewell to 2023, workplaces are navigating a path forward, defining their future. In many ways, it’s been another year of workplaces finding their feet. Some continue to embrace the lessons and ways of working developed during the pandemic, while others are rolling back certain freedoms. As we head into 2024, I share my five predictions that will impact workplace culture. Join us in exploring five key trends for 2024 that will reshape the landscape of workplace culture.

  1. An increased risk of industrial action and employee activism For a while there, employees had the upper hand as the Great Resignation and quiet quitting were at the forefront of the workplace. Fast forward, and the economic downturn has dampened these trends, turning the balance of power back towards employers. However, the stresses of financial difficulties can manifest in activism. A view shared by half of Australian leaders who think the cost-of-living crisis will result in industrial action, according to a report from Herbert Smith Freehills
  2. Continued DEI focus with a spotlight on pay equality. A federal government change to the law means the gender pay gap of every business employing more than 100 people will become public. Some firms could see a substantial gap and potential public fallout. Companies can publish a statement about their situation that provides context alongside the data. I believe this will be an important catalyst that will strongly encourage businesses to be accountable for doing their part to fix a broader problem.
  3. Embedding hybrid-friendly conflict resolution practices
    Despite many businesses mandating a return to the office, most still offer a hybrid way of working. This means WFH-friendly practices around managing conflict are here to stay. I think 2024 will see HR embed these into policies and make online mediation and conflict training the norm, enabling all workers to participate regardless of location. 
  4. Employee Wellbeing Burnout was one of the buzzwords of 2023 workplaces, so I predict a renewed focus on employee mental health and wellbeing next year. Workplaces will embrace technology to help provide solutions, including online resources such as apps or even wearables that help employees track and prevent health issues. I also think we’ll see a strategic shift in some organisations that are seriously considering a 4-day work week and other ideas that foster a supportive workplace culture, such as doona days, improved EAP provisions, and promotion of work-life balance.
  5. Investment in communication skills
    2023 has been the year of technically upskilling employees as they learn to use AI and automation to enhance their work. 2024 will be the year of focusing on employees’ people skills. Employers recognise that more gets done in a harmonious workplace than in one filled with conflict. Empowering employees with the knowledge and skills to effectively communicate and overcome difficult conversations with ease improves efficiency, well-being and profitability. 

If your workplace wants to improve its culture in 2024, I can help. Whether you need workshops that help people communicate better, mediation to resolve conflict, or get to the root cause of a toxic workplace, reach out to me on 02 8036 5558 or email saranne@segalconflictsolutions.com.au
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