20 Key Work Themes for 2023





What changes will occur in the workplace environment in the next year? "The World of Work in 2023,"

a report published by WORKTECH, explores 20 key themes related to global office trends in 2023.

These themes focus on areas such as human resources, workplace dynamics, and new technologies.

Some of these themes are already well-established, while others are emerging, and a few still

possess an experimental nature.





We will create a summary version of these 20 key themes for you to easily and conveniently

understand the cutting-edge trends in the world of work.





In 2023, data-driven decision-making will make significant breakthroughs in the workplace. Company

leaders are recognizing that office buildings can generate valuable actionable data, leading to the

adoption of data analytics, space intelligence, and measurement technologies to gain insights into

workplace performance and behavior. This approach is referred to as "workplace science."


With the proliferation of sensors and cameras, offices will capture every action, and facial recognition

will contribute to understanding employee engagement. Dashboards will enable managers to fine-tune

resources, and the usage of applications will become central to a growing ecosystem of workplace data.

Understanding energy usage and carbon footprint will support greener buildings and more sustainable

work patterns.The expansion of artificial intelligence and machine learning will increasingly shape

everything we do in the workplace, including reducing food waste. This will result in real-time "precision

workplaces" that cut costs, optimize resources, and enhance experiences.





The four-day workweek has gained unprecedented momentum due to the impact of the pandemic.


People are prioritizing the need for a better work-life balance, reducing commuting time, and

increasing time spent with family. Studies have shown that a four-day workweek can improve

employee satisfaction and happiness without compromising company productivity.Last year, a

six-month pilot program was organized by the Autonomy think tank in the UK, the Four Day Week

Campaign, and researchers from Cambridge University, Boston College, and Oxford University.

Among the participating companies, 86% expressed willingness to continue the program long-term.

Research by Qualtrics showed that 92% of employees desire their employers to adopt this model.

Additionally, Microsoft reported a 40% increase in productivity in a pilot program conducted in one

of its subsidiaries in Japan.2023 may be the year of the ultimate breakthrough in implementing a

shortened workweek.





According to lighting expert Dr. Shelley James from Age of Light Innovations, our brains and bodies

are designed to respond to natural light, and the lack of it can have a significant impact on our sleep,

mood, and overall health.


James compares bright lighting to a "brain coffee" because it has an activating effect. People should

be exposed to light close to 1000 lux rather than the minimum of 500 lux in order to feel good. There

is a growing emphasis on dynamic lighting, which changes throughout the day in sync with the natural

circadian rhythm. This allows workers to customize the lighting according to their needs, promoting

comfort both physically and mentally.Architects can also play a role in maximizing natural light by

incorporating sun shading and positioning buildings in the landscape to optimize exposure to natural

light. This helps to avoid the negative effects of being away from windows and landscapes, ensuring

a revitalizing environment.





In 2023, audiovisual technology in the workplace is rapidly advancing. According to Nigel Miller, a

technology expert from Cordless Consultants, the layout of video conferences will become smarter

and more natural. Artificial intelligence combined with facial recognition can assist cameras in zooming

in on the focal point of a meeting, capturing who is speaking, as well as the reactions of those who

are not speaking, and automatically adjusting the camera's focus.


The use of facial recognition and audio technology is more effective in eliminating background noise.

The scope of video conferencing will expand from traditional conference rooms to open and social

areas within the office, promoting digital egalitarianism for remote participants in hybrid work






The pandemic has empowered millions of people with newfound autonomy and freedom, leading

many who have resigned to question whether their decisions were right.


Economic uncertainty has caused employees to reconsider their priorities, and many have experienced

regrets about quitting their jobs. The crisis of affordability is further fueling regrets about career

decisions as people face cost-of-living challenges. Layoffs and hiring freezes in the tech industry,

in particular, have heightened widespread job insecurity, making people yearn for greater stability.

The significant sense of regret is expected to continue into 2023.





The Disney-style experience has made its way into the workplace.


Last year, there was an unprecedented focus on employee experience as a crucial factor in shaping

the future of work. 2023 may be the year when organizations start translating their understanding

of the impact of experience into actionable steps. Employers may begin to pay more attention to

storytelling rather than just spatial planning. Utilizing sensors and other technologies to map occupancy

patterns within office buildings will help provide insights for the development of storytelling, outlining

individual experiential journeys.


Large companies will be eager to cultivate a more vibrant culture to attract people back to the workplace.

As employees continue to return to the office with some reluctance, the demand for a fulfilling workplace

experience will continue to increase in the coming year.





ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot that can mimic human interactions, write code, engage

with people, ask follow-up questions to clarify queries, and even generate copies and devise business

ideas with prompts.


ChatGPT can also decline to answer questions it deems inappropriate, provide support to customers,

and interact with them, freeing up human employees to focus on other aspects of work. There are

concerns that AI chatbots mimicking human interactions might be too realistic and potentially deceive

people with false information. Similarly, they are not perfect and can sometimes provide confusing

answers if they haven't encountered a particular question before. However, there is no denying that

ChatGPT has opened a window to the future with its advanced capabilities. This technology is worth

keeping an eye on in the coming year.





Given the political, economic, and social turbulence experienced in 2022, it is understandable why

companies are eager to get their business strategies back on track, build resilience, and withstand

any threats that hinder them.


Threat forecasting and assessment is a discipline inspired by science fiction that helps predict and

control future risks. It involves understanding how innovative technologies, such as new artificial

intelligence models, may create potential risks in the future and impact people's lives. It can assist

companies in predicting risks over the next decade and understanding their vulnerabilities to

mitigate those risks.


As large companies face increasingly frequent cyberattacks, they are taking their security and the

threats they face more seriously than ever before. Threat forecasting enables them to identify their

weaknesses and address issues before their profitability is impacted. They are taking their security

and threats seriously and collaborating with organizations like Cisco's Hyper Innovation Living Labs

(CHILL) to address the threats faced in their work and workplace environments.





One of the major impacts of the global pandemic is that in many cities, single-use spaces such as

central business districts or business parks now resemble abandoned factories from a bygone era.


2023 could be the year of mixed-use development, which combines office spaces, hotels, retail,

entertainment, or residential areas together. It aims to bring new vitality to the "no man's land"

of many cities.


James Calder, the Global Strategy Director of ERA-Co, coined the term "mixed-use" and describes

it as "finer grain, with delightful and surprising anomalies that don't conform to normal commercial

real estate investment rules, such as small cafes hidden down alleys, retail spaces within coffee

shops, high-quality restaurants embedded in office buildings, and more semi-public meeting spaces."

Mixed-use relies on planning to bring together various types of communities, with the idea of rotating

work, retail, and entertainment in non-specialized spaces, creating a fresh social experience.


The mix of spaces and gatherings caters to human needs, providing a certain level of delight and

serendipity that makes the office an attractive place rather than a dull work container.





"Workations" refer to the combination of work and leisure, allowing employees to relax and increase



After experiencing the pandemic, people are once again boarding airplanes and embarking on business

and leisure trips. Simultaneously, companies are formulating agreements and policies that allow for

greater flexibility in work locations and work arrangements. The emerging trend of "workations" permits

employees to work in another country or location while enjoying a holiday. This takes the concept of

"work from anywhere" to a new level.


However, this trend also brings some challenges, such as tax implications, team cohesion, and office

space density. Changing environments and exposure to different cultures can help generate valuable

new organizational perspectives, ultimately fostering innovation within companies.