Workplace Trends for 2024

business people drawing a graph on glass

Strategies for a Dynamic Workforce

Trends for 2024

2024 is shaping up to be a positive year. Economic indicators have resisted the gloom and doom of naysayers. The predicted recession did not materialize in 2023 and it is impacting workplace trends.

Employment levels have continued to be strong, and exceed pre-pandemic levels. What are workplace trends for 2024 that we should be aware of?

The US Federal Reserve forecasts a jobless rate of 4.1% for 2024 and 2025. That’s a positive signal from earlier projections of 4.4%.

Interest rate increases appear to be over. The Fed has signaled for multiple interest rate cuts in 2024.

Shifting workplace landscape

Because of the pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, there has been a significant shift in the workplace landscape.

The pandemic and its aftermath sparked profound changes in how people work, where they work and how organizations operate. The move to remote work during the pandemic highlighted the viability of flexible work arrangements.

Technology, remote work trends, and even organizational structures have proven that they can adapt to this new hybrid working landscape.

But many organizations are attempting to force workers back into the office. Where people work are one of the most important factors in determining employee satisfaction.

Employers should be aware of employee preferences

How many employees are actually working remotely?

As of fall of 2023 – full-time employees that are: 

Fully Remote
Full-Time on Site
Data: Barrero, Jose Maria, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis, 2021. “Why working from home will stick,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 28731

Less than half of employees who prefer hybrid or fulltime remote work in their desired arrangement.

4Q 2023 – employees that work in their desired arrangement: 

Prefer Fully on Site
Prefer Hybrid
Prefer Fully Remote
Data: Barrero, Jose Maria, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis, 2021. “Why working from home will stick,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 28731

For employees that can work remotely, hybrid is the most common practice.

4Q 2023 – of employees that can work remotely, those that are: 

Fully on Site
Full Work Remotely
Data: Barrero, Jose Maria, Nicholas Bloom, and Steven J. Davis, 2021. “Why working from home will stick,” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 28731

What does this mean for workplace trends in 2024?

In the midst of a widespread push for a return to the office, the journey back to the workplace has encountered its fair share of hurdles. Employees are not universally enthusiastic about the prospect of a full-time, in-office routine.

But hybrid work, a blend of in-office and remote arrangements, is on the rise and finding favor particularly among the workforce.

Hybrid work is gaining broader appeal for job functions that the pandemic demonstrated can be successfully conducted remotely, at least partially.

people running towards job arrow

A strong job market means competition for talent

A strong job market means continued difficulty finding and retaining top talent.

There are obvious elements that management and HR in particular should pay attention to.

HR must continue to focus on policies for:

  • Compensation
  • Training
  • Advancement
  • Benefits
  • Wellness
  • Workload management

In addition, HR must focus on matching, if possible, employee preferences for where work is accomplished, and how often the office is required.

Using workplace incentives in 2024

Incentives play a crucial role in boosting workforce enthusiasm, as well as in motivating and retaining top talent.

Frequent incentives should be one important part of your strategy.

Ensure that your organization implements strategies to elevate employee satisfaction and ensure the retention of your most valuable team members.

Incentives and rewards, by themselves, aren’t enough, of course. But they can be a crucial and memorable part of the work environment, especially as workers spend more time out of the office and away from daily one-on-one contact.

awarding an incentive
Recognizing employees for specific actions communicates appreciation for their skills.
Employee retention is linked to an acknowledgment of the value of their work.
A lack of appreciation is one crucial factor that leads to resignations.
Appreciation reflects company values.
Recognition communicates high standards for work and a willingness to reward high performers.
Use variety with incentives and rewards to keep them exciting and increase their perceived value.
Acknowledging employee teams fosters camaraderie and a cooperative spirit.
The top five popular gift card choices: Visa, Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and Best Buy.
technology gifts
General Shopping gift cards

Incentives and rewards

Gift cards

Provide interns with gift cards to popular online marketplaces, retail stores, or restaurants, allowing them to choose items or experiences they personally enjoy.

Professional merchandise

Provide “intern-choice” gifts of business-related items or technology that can help the intern advance their academic or professional roles. Items might be desk items like lamps or desk pads or computer related gear including chargers, keyboards, and the like.

Company swag

Give the intern bragging rights with company-branded merchandise, such as t-shirts, water bottles, notebooks, or other items, as a memento of their time with the organization.

Here's to a great 2024

Regularly acknowledging and expressing gratitude for employees’ contributions can have a profound impact on their motivation, engagement, and overall well-being.

Incorporating incentives into your existing HR strategy can be an effective way to further cultivate a culture of appreciation and unleash the potential of gratitude in your workplace.

Incentives provide tangible and memorable rewards for employees’ contributions and reinforce the direct link between effort and recognition.

It’s just one step, often unexpected, but an important one.

93% of employees give their all at work when they feel recognized and appreciated.

American Psychological Association (APA)

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