The future of work: predictions for 2023

What might the world of work look like this year?

As we enter 2023, we speak with leaders at GoodShape about their predictions and insights for the future of employee wellbeing within the public and private sectors.

Employers must continue to protect employees from the 'Twindemic'

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“Although there are things we can all do to prepare for the ‘Twindemic’ of flu and COVID as we navigate the winter months, such as getting vaccinated and being sensible with our social activities to minimise spread, employers are also being held responsible for putting measures in place to look after their employees.

“Since COVID, business leaders have all become accustomed to ensuring work environments are clean and safe – such as installing hand sanitiser stations, no-touch doors, and other safety measures – but there are always more steps leaders can take to keep their people happy and healthy. For example, reviewing sick leave and work-from-home policies or offering subsidised flu vouchers.”

Suzanne Marshall - Head of Clinical Strategy



Leadership teams will come under scrutiny from employees

Profile photo of Jonathan Best"As the cost-of-living crisis continues to place strain on the mental health of employees, investment in wellbeing will continue, as employees now clearly expect employers to play a meaningful role in managing their health. However, such investments will increasingly come under scrutiny to demonstrate they are effective and measurable."

Wage disputes, especially in the public sector, will continue to strain relationships between employers and staff. This will make absence from work more likely, and increase employees’ reluctance to cover absence of colleagues.

“Working from home and hybrid working will continue to evolve, with employers needing to pay a premium to incentivise colleagues to work from offices. HR practices and policies will have to fully evolve to treat home-based colleagues equally.”

Jonathan Best - Chief Customer Officer


The NHS health epidemic will worsen unless leaders address key issues

Profile photo of Amanda Manser

“The ongoing financial crisis is affecting the mental and physical health of so many people across the UK, even more so as we enter the winter months. The mental health pandemic we hear so much about, that was firmly rooted in the NHS long before COVID arrived, is being further compounded by the financial crisis, the state of the nation’s health and wellbeing, and the additional pressure of the winter period. Everyone is vulnerable, but who is caring for our carers?

“It’s imperative that NHS leaders ensure they have the right strategy in place to best support their employees. A clear understanding of the real wellbeing issues in the workplace, implementing a strategy that determines the right support at the right time, and measuring the impact of your actions provides leaders with the assurance that they are taking care of their employees.”

Amanda Manser - Chief Experience Officer


NHS Integrated Care Systems will see major improvements

5-2“By far the biggest NHS priorities to come out of last year’s Integrated Care Systems (ICS) Summit were data and workforce improvements. In particular, looking at how data can be reliably measured and managed across all NHS services within England’s 42 newly-formed ICSs.

“With some ICSs having over a dozen NHS Trusts under their jurisdiction, leaders are beginning to look towards ways to streamline processes, such as implementing shared systems for efficient data control and workforce management across Trusts. This will enable a truly joined-up approach and help the NHS turn staff data into actionable plans for the future. 

“Some ICSs are also starting to implement their own bank staff network to work across a number of NHS Trusts, covering absence and vacancies where needed. This is a fantastic initiative to curb the costs associated with last-minute agency spend, as well as reducing the risk of mistakes from deploying cover workers who are less familiar with systems and processes.

“My advice for NHS leaders would be to follow in the footsteps of the ICSs who are already displaying best practice in these areas, with an aim towards improving recruitment, retention, and most importantly, ensuring employee wellbeing remains a top priority.”

Chris Burman-Fourie - Business Development Enterprise Director


Interested in learning more about the future of employee wellbeing?

Read our flagship IPSOS report: Why employee wellbeing isn't working. And what you need to do about it.


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