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6 Predictions for Workplaces in 2024

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*Originally published in Fast Company

We’re embarking on a journey into the uncharted territories of corporate evolution because we’ve been living in a world of constant disruption since 2020, starting with the remote work experiment and flowing to all the “great” and “quiet” workplace trends. So, what’s on the horizon for 2024? Here are six predictions I’m making for workplaces in the coming year.

Humanize Work

It’s time for organizations to adopt “people strategies” because, let’s face it, we’ve been stuck in a love triangle with our jobs, our lives, and our sanity. The solution? Inject more humanity into the mix and watch the sparks fly.

Embrace the Human Aspect of AI

As we begrudgingly share our workspaces with AI, it might seem like technology is staging a slow takeover. However, remember, we still have the upper hand because we still have choices in what we believe in, what we value, and the people we choose to spend time with. We can better understand our place in the world and how AI fits into it. In this peculiar dance, the human spirit remains the lead, with AI as the quirky partner.

Reengage the Disengaged

People are filling the seats and counting the minutes without actively engaging in their work. Instead, they are feeling lost and psychologically disconnected from their work. Employee engagement has dropped to its lowest level in June 2022, according to the APA. Why does this matter? 

Disengagement costs $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. Most companies look at engagement as contentment. But true engagement means people are psychologically present to do their work. It’s about creating workplaces where purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, well-being, and leadership come together like ingredients in a secret sauce.

Human Skills Are The New Technical Skills

In 2024, it’s all about those soft skills—emotional intelligence, communication, interpersonal problem-solving, high-level strategy, and thought leadership.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, a staggering 77% of organizations have shifted their focus to beefing up these soft skills. And to add some credit to this trend, Harvard Business Review analyzed data from Russell Reynolds Associates, an executive search firm, and found when companies are searching for C-suites, they “prioritize one qualification above all others: strong social skills.”

Command-and-Control Structures Will Give Way

Wave goodbye to traditional workplace hierarchies—they’re as antiquated as fax machines and BlackBerries. The era of hoarding power and information at the top is giving way to open channels of communication and collaboration.

Leaders no longer need to agree on everything or pretend to know everything. Instead, they can act as mirrors to reflect instead of the mechanics to fix and embrace healthy tensions to attain tangible results.

Wellbeing Will Evolve

As for well-being, it’s about to evolve into “whole being.” It’s not just about taking care of your body and mind anymore—it’s about nurturing your whole self, which also includes financial, spiritual, and emotional health.  

Dan Schulman, CEO at PayPal, discovered that despite its $80 billion valuation, many employees were living paycheck to paycheck. In response, PayPal created a significant financial wellness program, a multimillion-dollar initiative that included pay raises, stock options, healthcare aid, and financial education. Soon after the program was rolled out, PayPal saw a rise in customer satisfaction, more engaged employees, and soaring stocks.

A common thread that runs through these predictions is a louder call to lead with humanity—not just within the workplace but within our lives as well. As we peek around the door to 2024 with rightful hope and a dash of apprehension, we can embrace and adapt to changes by staying grounded while growing. Wherever we might be in our lives, we can start shaping a future that is less transactional and truly a more fulfilling, purposeful, human experience for all.

The workplace will continue to evolve in 2024 and beyond. Our Greenhouse Method will ensure your teams + organizations can meet the challenges of constant change with resilience + grit.