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The Future of Work: HR Trends and Insights for 2023

The Future of Work: HR Trends and Insights for 2023

Exploring the Future of Work

What does the future of work look like? This question has been at the forefront of discussions in the HR and work domains, especially in recent times.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, various theories speculated on the transformation of workplaces, people, and hiring practices. The pandemic accelerated these changes, notably increasing the adoption of remote work across global companies. Post-2020, many traditional companies transitioned to hybrid working conditions, some maintained fully remote setups, particularly for distributed teams, while a few reinstated on-site work.

Last year saw significant layoffs globally, particularly in the technology sector. Many companies also implemented hiring freezes into 2023, creating uncertainty and burdening HR professionals with the task of ensuring smooth transitions for outgoing employees and improving conditions for remaining team members.

While experts attribute the massive layoffs to the global economic downturn, this situation raises other critical questions. Are current skills insufficient to secure jobs, or is there a global shortage of necessary skills? Are young talents not meeting expectations? Regardless of the answers, one thing is clear: HR professionals have a significant role to play.

Shaping the Future of Work in 2023

In 2023, HR experts face decisions that will likely influence talent retention as they balance investments in people and technology while fostering a positive workplace culture. Here, we present insights from top HR managers, Heads of People and Culture, Chiefs of Staff, C-Suite Executives, and CEOs on the HR trends that industry leaders should watch for in 2023.

Key Trends to Watch

Leul Girma, COO at Gebeya: “As 2022 concludes, it’s evident that the future of work is online and on-demand. The recent layoffs at major tech firms indicate that organizations are scaling down their teams and reducing costs. Businesses need to shorten hiring timelines and augment their teams flexibly to leverage resources as needed. The traditional 2-3 month hiring cycle, which involves sifting through hundreds of resumes, doesn’t suit immediate hiring needs and short-term projects. Flexible, agile team structures are an organization’s superpower.”

Jemima Karugu, Head of Talent & Human Capital, GrowthAfrica Foundation: “Employee well-being will be paramount in 2023. Post-pandemic, employees demand well-being as a minimum from their employers. Well-being encompasses three aspects: mental health, financial security, and physical health. Employers need to provide mental health support, emphasize work-life balance, ensure competitive compensation amid global inflation, and create inclusive workspaces that promote healthy habits.”

Folasele Vincent Akinloose, Team Lead, Faculty Management, FCMB: “Two key trends will shape the HR landscape: reshaping workplace learning and development, and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). With increased workforce mobility and a depleted talent pool in Africa, HR must focus on strategic hiring and continuous training. Additionally, developing and executing a robust DEI policy is crucial for boosting engagement and reducing turnover.”

Adesola Awofeso, HR Lead at Axxela Group: “Quiet quitting might become more prevalent, as skilled talents seek better opportunities abroad for improved quality of life and economic gains. To counter this, nurturing the domestic market to elevate local executives and encourage foreign investment is essential for expanding domestic employment opportunities.”

Dominic Ryan, Managing Director, DWR Expatriate & Executive Search: “Nurturing the domestic market to elevate local executives, thereby reducing reliance on expatriates, and encouraging foreign investment will promote growth in domestic employment opportunities.”

Preparing for the Future of Work

Leul Girma, COO Gebeya: “A healthy feedback culture is critical. Understanding global trends in compensation, benefits, and remote work is essential to remain competitive. However, staying attuned to the specific needs of your workforce is crucial. Consider personal and lifecycle factors like age, education, and parental status, which may mean your employees value benefits like tuition/daycare assistance or salary advances for home purchases. Invest in perks that your team members want and can utilize.”

Tosin Ajayi, HRBP at Reelfruit: “Regardless of how long employees stay, ensure they have a positive experience that enhances your brand. Training interventions should be seen as contributions that enrich the professional market with skilled hands. While people will always seek better opportunities, you can retain them as experienced veterans.”


The future of work is evolving rapidly, influenced by technological advancements, economic challenges, and shifting employee expectations. HR professionals must stay ahead by adopting flexible strategies, prioritizing employee well-being, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and inclusivity. By doing so, organizations can navigate the uncertainties of 2023 and beyond, building resilient, engaged, and high-performing teams.


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