Job expert predicts what big trends we will see in the workplace in 2024

Where and how we work has changed significantly for many people in recent years.

On the one hand, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated moves towards remote working, giving people more flexibility and saving some from the time and expense of commuting to the office.

But on the other, many people have found that their salaries have not kept up with the huge surges we’ve seen in living costs.

So what’s in store for 2024?

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The world of work will continue to evolve in 2024The world of work will continue to evolve in 2024
The world of work will continue to evolve in 2024

Firstly, a cut in National Insurance from January is set to be felt by 27 million employees. To the average employee on a salary of £35,400, this will be worth around £450 a year, according to UK Government figures. Taxes for the self-employed are also set for reform in 2024.

Meanwhile, giving insights into what else the year may bring, James Reed, chairman and CEO of jobs and recruitment specialists Reed shares his expectations around some key trends:

1. Salary improvements amid slowing inflation

“The economic headwinds of 2023 have left a mark on the labour market,” says Reed.

“Namely, the impact of high inflation rates and the cost-of-living crisis have been felt in peoples’ pay packets, as real wages have been squeezed.”

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Salary growth started strongly in 2023, but sharp rises in living costs have numbed the impact of this in terms of how far workers’ cash will stretch.

With inflation showing signs of easing, some people may start to feel the impact of pay rises more in their wallets.

Reed says: “As pay tries to keep pace with inflation, we could see further adjustments as we head into 2024 – and in response to trickier conditions, employers should take a generous view of pay for their people.”

2. Hybrid work

“The impact of the pandemic on the world of work has been one of the biggest structural resets we’ve witnessed in recent times,” says Reed.

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“It ushered in the rise of remote work, attracted more talent and reduced staff turnover, but we are now starting to see more employers mandating more in-person days.

“While hybrid working looks to be a permanent feature for many workplaces who are positioned to offer this flexibility, there are signs some companies are increasing salaries for employees who need to show up in-person, in what we are terming the ‘in-person premium’.

“The current trend of more companies enforcing non-remote working is likely to continue in what is an employer-led market.”

3. Tech-driven recruitment

The potential of AI – or artificial intelligence – to transform our lives has been a hot topic.

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Reed says: “As the industry anticipates a new wave of technological advancements in the coming years, it’s important that businesses remain vigilant of how they can reap the benefits and spot new opportunities.

“One of our recent employer surveys highlights this, as 34% of businesses are currently creating an AI strategy to acquire technologies and tools to gain a competitive advantage.

“There is also a balance to be struck in the talent acquisition process. Some recruiters use AI to speed up processes when screening potential candidates, but this comes with dangers whereby automation can inappropriately or wrongly discard talent, which has negative consequences for individuals as well as organisations. While AI can be leveraged positively in many cases, we should not delegate all decision-making to technology.”

4. Up-skilling and re-skilling

2024 could be time for a reset for some workers, as they adapt and take on new skills.

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Reed says: “In 2023, we’ve seen employers take back the reins in the labour market, as job postings experienced an 18 per cent year-on-year decrease alongside a 29 per cent (year-on-year) increase in applications.

“As competition for jobs intensifies – and highly skilled candidates become more sought-after – jobseekers who are equipped with a more advanced set of skills and expertise will find themselves in a favourable position.

“It is likely that we gradually see AI skills become part of existing job roles, enhancing people’s capabilities and productivity rather than outright replacing jobs.”

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