The way we work has completely changed in the past few years. In 2023, this will remain the case as the hybrid working model continues to be adopted by more companies. As economic pressures increase in the face of the recession, the gig economy could become a vital source of income for many people and a saviour for businesses. It has also become more apparent that quality customer service may be the key to surviving this downturn. Customer loyalty is declining, but excellent customer service will help retain consumers for the long term.
Overall, the year ahead is expected to shake up the working world even more. Here are some trends to look out for:
1. Management skills will need to adapt to remote and hybrid working
With so many different types of working models in practice today, line managers need to develop new skills to engage with the expectations of the modern workforce and nurture younger generations.
An effective amount of one-to-one communication with their line manager is even more critical when working remotely or in a hybrid environment. These relationships are now relying more on trust rather than control. Organisations will likely build onboarding systems where the manager has a coaching role. This will also see a rise in software solutions. Systems that can generate self-motivation amongst a workforce will be important because, for remote work, it will be difficult to manage people’s productivity and performance in the same way you can when in the office
2. The Gig Economy will be a standard working model for the enterprise business
Enterprise businesses are struggling to recruit the talent needed to remain competitive. In addition, when there aren’t enough people with the necessary skills, it can become difficult to limit employees by geographical location, which is why businesses are motivated to allow people to work from everywhere.
As a result, enterprises are embedding professionally skilled gig workers, with high-value skillsets, into the fabric of their organisations. Going forward, we predict that gig work will increasingly expand into traditional customer support roles, as we see within our mix of clients. Gig working practices will be embedded into organisations to operate seamlessly and regularly with existing but evolving customer engagement models.
Gig working as we know it is consumer based and is largely business to consumer such as Uber, Deliveroo, and Airbnb. In 2023, enterprises using providers that combine business-to-business and business-to-consumer are likely to grow.
3. The next evolution of the gig economy is the flex economy
With the popularity of the gig economy, we’re seeing a trend in the evolution of the ‘flex economy,’ where consumers can earn extra income through app-based systems. The flex economy is made up of the technology platforms that connect consumers, businesses, and individuals to work, products, and services that improve their lives through convenience, accessibility, flexibility, and income.
Flex economy gives workers the freedom and autonomy to monetize their existing skills on their own time and set their wages, whether as a side hustle, full-time, or as a stop-gap. This differs from the current gig economy model, which requires workers to monetize their assets versus their skills.
For example, DoorDash helps its workers monetize the assets that they likely already have: their time and a reliable vehicle. The flex economy differs from this model as it enables people and businesses to offer the skills they could previously never connect with and monetize them. This is more inclusive to a wide variety of different skills such as your knowledge and love of certain products and services which can be monetised via GigCX platforms such as Limitless.
In the current economic climate, financial security is especially important. The number of people taking part in the flex economy via Gig-based Customer Experience (GigCX) or other areas, across a wider range of demographics, will no doubt accelerate.
4. Diversity in the workforce will increase
For the last 20 years, technology has continued to open up the global economy to more people. Today businesses are in a better position to benefit from a wider and global resource pool.
One area experiencing traction is neurodiversity. Neurodiverse individuals have a range of differences in individual brain function and behavioural traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population.
Companies that can fully embrace neurodiverse talent are likely to gain a competitive advantage in many areas, including productivity, innovation, and talent acquisition and retention. Higher productivity can lead to more sales or improved service, which is important for the growth of companies.
5. The recession will cause an increase in ‘side hustles’
As the need for work continues to expand post-COVID-19 and the economic downturn reduces the number of available jobs, individuals will seek work that is different from the traditional job market. Alternative ways of earning will feed into the flex economy and add new skills to the resource pool.
In addition, as consumers spend less, side hustles provide an alternative source of income. This could appeal to workers who have lost a job or who find that their buying power has been reduced by inflation. When the economy stabilises, the need for extra income may decrease, but people will have their eyes opened to the benefits of gig work. This can be seen in other areas such as eCommerce. During the pandemic, people went online, and whilst some returned to buying in-store, online shopping has increased. More people than ever before are shopping online, even customers who only shopped in the high street pre-pandemic.
6. Companies will look to more flexible customer service options
As the economic uncertainty continues to grow, businesses have to start developing new methods to deal with the pressures caused by staff shortages and decreasing levels of customer satisfaction. The last two years have reinforced that markets are unpredictable and ever-changing, with many factors that are out of our control. Organisations need to stay flexible and agile to future-proof themselves. They also need to consider more resilient models in the case of another global event. Resilient workforces that are spread more widely and are not dependent on any one location will be an asset in uncertain times.
The road ahead
Predictions are difficult to ascertain and the working world is especially difficult to forecast due to its ever-changing nature. Even though this is the case, companies must always be prepared for any changes that may occur in the workplace. The gig economy is likely to be a working model that will continue to grow in the next year due to its flexibility and adaptable nature. Over the next few years, the impact of the economic crisis and the customer service industry will become more apparent and businesses must stay alert and adjust to the changing workforce.