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What employees are looking for in 2023

What employees are looking for in 2023

Employees and candidates bring a set of expectations into a business, from the nature of the work they will do to the compensation package they receive. For many employees the global pandemic shifted these expectations dramatically, bringing work-life balance to the forefront of their considerations. The landscape in 2023 looks to be shifting once more, with recession imminent, and workplaces divided over the extent of flexibility they feel able to offer.

Here is our rundown of employee wishes and expectations in 2023.



The experience of remote working during the pandemic showcased a different approach to work, one that allowed employees flexibility and still proved productive. Employers that push a full-time return to the office will continue to find it a difficult case to sell, with most employees now expecting an element of hybrid work. Those in roles unable to be carried out remotely aren’t left out of this trend with flexi-time and condensed hours also offering improvements in work-life balance.

Financial stability

Although the dial has swung towards less tangible benefits in recent years, the draw of a competitive salary and associated benefits should not be underestimated. The threat of recession makes the promise of job security more of a draw than it has been in recent years, giving more established businesses an advantage in recruitment.

Professional development

Employees continue to seek opportunities for career growth and development from their employer, and those that are unable to support this will see attrition, particularly from the younger end of the workforce looking to build their skill set and those with no clear next step in sight.


Working hand in hand with flexibility is the trust in employees to be able to carry out their work without excessive monitoring or micromanagement. Studies have shown that allowing employee’s choice is where, when and how they work reaps benefits for businesses, improving productivity and reducing absence levels.

Shared values

Particularly critical for the millennials and gen x employees who now make up 46% of the workplace is a sense of shared values and purpose with an employer. Candidates are looking for employers that have a positive, diverse and inclusive company culture, with many also looking at a company’s sustainable credentials when searching for a new role.

Nature of work

There is an expectation that the nature of the work an employee is tasked with is rewarding, sufficiently challenging, and contributes to a broader purpose. This makes it incumbent on employers to show how employees' contributions line up with wider business objectives.


Creating a sense of team spirit is critical in any business. Hybrid and remote working can make this challenging, but simple initiatives such as visibility of office days, virtual coffee breaks and occasional in-person meetings and social events can help to build this community feel. This relational aspect is key for many employees, particularly younger workers who may have started their careers during covid and feel they have missed out on the social aspects of work.


4-day week

In 2022 a raft of companies introduced a 4-day week for full-time employees, with many making this a permanent move. While this is undoubtedly an attractive proposition it remains a wish rather than an expectation for most employees this year.

Cost of living pay increases

In 2022 we saw reports of one-off payments or salary increases linked to rises in inflation and the cost of living crisis. Although this is not an expectation in role, we expect to see movement in the market as candidates search for a more attractive pay offer.

Health and wellness benefits

As mental health and wellness remain top of mind, access to treatments linked to mental health and stress reduction is high on the wishlist for many employees. From counselling to physio, access to private treatment can make a huge difference.

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