DEI Trends for 2023

What do employees want in 2023? 

As the year comes to a close, there are many predictions for the future of work in 2023. 

Although we can’t claim to know the future, we want to share 3 DEI trends that will impact organizations in the long and short term. 

Flexible Work Arrangements 

In a survey administered to over 6000 Canadians, the Future Skills Centre found that almost 1 in 2 Canadians occasionally work from home. Among those who do so, 78% agreed that remote work was better than working in an office. So it’s time to admit that flexible work arrangements, like remote work, are here to stay.

Flexible work arrangements are crucial for attracting millennials, and Gen Z hires. They are also important for existing employees who are challenged by in-person workplaces. For example, caregivers and parents are afforded more time to work as they no longer fight with traffic. In addition, individuals with physical disabilities are not hindered by inaccessible transit systems or office spaces. The opportunity to work partially or fully remotely creates accessible and inclusive workplaces for everyone. 

If your organization is considering flexible work arrangements, here are a few ideas:

  • Test out hybrid work for your team by choosing one day a week when everyone works remotely.  
  • Practice using video conferencing software (like Zoom or Google Meet) in regular meetings to introduce remote meeting etiquette 
  • Start using a digital communication channel. This could be a newsletter or a system like Slack or Microsoft Teams. 

Employee Wellness 

Mental health has become an HR buzzword for the last few years, but what does it mean for employers? In their 11th annual survey of young workers, Deloitte found that 46% of Gen Z and 38% of millennials are stressed almost all the time from professional, personal, and global issues. So, just as workplaces accommodate an employee with a physical injury, they should also accommodate mental health needs. 

Focusing on employee wellness can start small. Here’s how: 

  • Offer sick days that include mental or physical health concerns. Refrain from asking employees to prove their use of a sick day.
  • Have an anonymous feedback system that allows employees to voice concerns without worrying about their job or reputation. 
  • Foster a welcoming environment by allowing employees to celebrate important holidays and cultural celebrations at work. 
  • Create office rules of engagement to ensure everyone understands the importance and consequence of upholding a welcoming company culture. 

Using technology to create accessible workplaces

Technology advancements create opportunities for accessible workplaces, and it doesn’t always have to be expensive. For example, software developed for remote work has opened doors for more accessible ways of working. Even if your organization operates in person, these collaborative tools can create a more accessible workplace. 

So, here are some ways to start:

  • Consider hosting meetings virtually so that meetings can be recorded, transcribed, and include live closed captioning (For example, Zoom, Google Meet).
  • Invest in planning or scheduling software that can accommodate different styles of working. Tools like Asana, Notion, or Monday can offer creative and fun collaborative tools.
  • Use a central communication platform like Slack, Workplace by Meta, or Microsoft Teams so that everyone can communicate however they like.

The theme for 2023 is autonomy. Creating a more inclusive workplace will require organizations to provide options for greater autonomy at work. Empowering employees to work in the conditions that make them most productive will create a diverse, engaged, and resilient workplace. 

Reach out to us If you’re interested in building an inclusive organization with engaged and diverse employees. 

Charlotte Wray is a contributing writer at MT Consulting Group.

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