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12 Workplace Trends Managers Should Watch in 2024

Updated February 13, 2024 · 11 min read

The way we do and see our jobs is drastically different now, and to compensate for the changes, leaders and managers must adapt—FAST. But one thing stays the same: the key to success, if you want to stay ahead, is by consistently improving your people management.

These 2024 trends and information are valuable for planning, strategizing, and addressing problems your company might face this year. Tuning into workplace trend forecasts is a method most useful for busy teams who are constantly looking for things to improve in their strategy. Feel free to use any information that applies to you from this article. Read on.

Top Workplace Trends

Staying informed allows managers to adapt strategies, ensuring efficient team management and a positive work environment. This proactive approach contributes to the overall success of any organization.

Here are 12 of the top-of-mind trends in the workplace landscape you should know to prepare for 2024.

1. Global worker stress remains at an all-time high

Source: fairplaytalks.com

Good news, bad news: Workers worldwide are reporting higher engagement with their jobs, BUT elevated stress levels.

While global engagement is at a record high, significant portions of the workforce, particularly in the US and Canada, are now facing paralyzing fatigue and chronic work-related stress. Over half of employees in these regions report experiencing high daily stress, raising overwhelming concerns about overall health, productivity, and longevity.

Although external factors may contribute to the stress, reports emphasize the lack of reliable and engaged leadership as one of its primary reasons. After all, when employees feel engaged and supported at work by the management, they experience significantly lower stress levels and better on-the-job experience.

2. Engagement is slowly recovering, with some areas for improvement

Source: gallup.com

The g-a-p that hurts everyone.

According to Gallup, workers all over the world are picking up momentum and are slightly more engaged in their work now that the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

But there's one big problem. More than ever, employees feel less aligned and connected to their company's goals and purpose.

As you know, the connection motivates employees to go above and beyond their basic job duties and significantly enhances productivity, loyalty, and retention.

Workers within the gap who fail to see the bigger picture find themselves no longer invested in helping to reach the company’s goals, are less engaged, get stressed easily, and are more likely to quit their jobs—increasing employee turnover.

3. Leaders are restoring trust yet have much room for improvement

Source: gallup.com

According to recent studies, many employees lack full trust in their bosses and managers, with only 23% strongly agreeing, reflecting the uncertainties, like the recent mass layoff, caused by the pandemic (Gallup, 2023). On the other hand, the good news is that trust can be rebuilt, but it requires team effort and participation.

full trust in employers

Moving forward, managers and business owners can double down on employees' desire for open communication and support, and promote new perspectives for the future.

The bottom line is, that high-trust workplaces produce happier, more productive employees with much lower employee turnover.

4. Addressing the “manager squeeze” problem

Source: gallup.com

There’s a growing number of managers globally who are experiencing burnout and work-life balance problems induced by frequent organizational changes. As the squeeze occurs, managers juggle excessive workloads and extended office hours leading to paralyzing stress.

A Gallup study underscores that up to 70% of team engagement hinges on effective managerial actions, highlighting the "manager squeeze". It’s dangerous for companies to leave these growing concerns unaddressed as companies are risking unproductive management, an unengaged workforce, and the possibility of higher employee complaints and turnover.

team engagement

As you know, managers are key connectors for team collaboration and play a significant role in influencing employee engagement and providing support.

To address these challenges, companies may need to reinforce training and support for managers to navigate through evolving expectations and lead their teams with resilience in today's dynamic work environment.

5. Need for long-term hybrid model work strategy

Sources: gallup.com, forbes.com

Remote-capable workers are finally used to the hybrid work schedule and have settled into routines, making it a perfect time for business leaders and managers to take their businesses to the next level. Businesses with remote-capable roles need long-term strategies for seamless operation and to take care of their employees.

To execute it, managers can make the hybrid work setup and workplace proposition more attractive. Also, managers should reinforce teamwork and morale, revamp onboarding procedures, and provide the necessary training to produce happy and highly efficient team members to help achieve a positive bottom line.

6. Escaping the 9 to 5 workdays

Source: remoteyear.com

The shift towards flexible work hours in 2024 responds to the changing dynamics of the modern, tech-centered, and globalized workplace. With businesses operating on a global scale and leveraging technology for communication, the traditional 9 to 5 workdays no longer align with everyone and the reality of diverse time zones and international collaborations.

Embracing flexibility allows for better alignment with the demands of a digitally connected, global business environment. It's a key factor in attracting top talent and retaining employees by acknowledging and accommodating exactly what the people need right now.

7. Prioritizing workplace wellbeing

Source: hortoninternational.com

In 2024, companies will put their money where their employees' wellbeing is. Companies prioritizing employees’ wellbeing is not just a trend, but more of a strategic move to stay ahead.


Any business is in competition with itself if it can do a better job taking care of its employees. Its goal is to prioritize employee mental health, work-life balance, and overall job satisfaction. A healthy workforce isn't just a perk but a powerhouse that requires proper maintenance for consistent productivity and talent retention.

Many companies have already implemented workplace wellness strategies in the past. They started by incorporating amenities such as onsite fitness centers, cafeterias, childcare, and medical care to take care of their people. They are a tangible commitment to creating environments where employees can thrive professionally and personally.

This is a catalyst for a vibrant and motivated workforce that propels the company towards its goals.

8. Personal and professional development

Source: linkedin.com

As of recently, the global workforce witnessed a significant increase in flexibility and job opportunities—making retaining talent a challenge for all business owners and managers alike. In response, businesses are adopting new strategies to navigate these uncharted dynamics.

As you may have guessed, talent pooling and retention are very important, so upskilling is vital. Organizations are placing a premium on upskilling to retain top talent. Training equips teams with new skills and contributes to building high-performance teams.

That’s why every business should consider fostering high-performance teams and supporting and investing in individual development.

The rise of remote work setups further facilitates the growth of these opportunities.

Employees can now conveniently attend seminars and online courses, aligning personal development with organizational goals. The accessibility of numerous free online certification programs, available even before the pandemic, enhances overall workforce adaptability and growth.

9. Talent shortages and widening skills gaps

Source: kornferry.com

Talent shortages and widening skills gaps pose pressing challenges for businesses in 2024.

The lack of skilled workers, coupled with difficulties in implementing training programs for job seekers and new hires contributes to high turnover rates—as witnessed during the Great Resignation. To make matters worse, the increasing numbers of retirements and unemployed workers keep adding up to the problem.

In response, companies are doubling down on upskilling their people to bridge the gaps. The ongoing struggle is evident in a recent Korn Ferry report, projecting that by 2030, over 85 million jobs could remain unfilled due to a shortage of skilled professionals and specialists.

85 million jobs

This stark reality emphasizes the urgency for proactive measures, leading to free access to certification programs and strategic upskilling—crucial tools for addressing the persistent challenges in the workplace, talent acquisition, and retention.

10. The Gen Z takeover

Source: forbes.com

As Gen Zs step into professional roles, workplaces are witnessing a shift in expectations and dynamics. Gen Z, characterized by their digital prowess and values, brings a fresh perspective, shaking things a little too hard, and driving changes in work culture and communication.

With a strong emphasis on purpose-driven work, flexibility, and tech-savviness, Gen Z is reshaping traditional workplace norms. Companies are adapting to accommodate their preferences, including flexible work arrangements and a focus on meaningful contributions.

As the largest demographic entering the workforce, the rise of Gen Z is a transformative force influencing organizational structures and approaches this year.

Managing a Gen Z workforce in 2024 requires adapting to their unique preferences. Born between 1997 and early 2010, Gen Z constitutes a significant portion of the global workforce, with expectations shaped by technology and a preference for efficient tools. To thrive in this environment:

  • Embrace the new. Provide modern software and tools that Gen Z uses fluently to empower them and enhance overall workflow and productivity.

  • Listen and learn. Actively seek and implement the ideas of Gen Z to build trust and tailor office practices, training, and strategies to their needs.

  • A generation on the rise. Since 2021, Gen Z makes up 40% of the global workforce. Adapting now is crucial to attract and retain these talented individuals.

Gen z

Invest in understanding the Gen Z values and communication styles to create a thriving work environment that will benefit the organization.

11. Digital transformation and use of artificial intelligence

Source: neweratech.com

From automating repetitive tasks to personalizing employee experiences, down to attracting tech-savvy talent, AI is proving itself in terms of efficiency, agility, and competitiveness in the workplace.

Since 2021, workplaces have been buzzing with AI and digital tools for a good reason. And that reason is to fill critical gaps, like eliminating human error, while also addressing compliance and security concerns.

AI tools are more of a strategic shift caused by several key factors used to address recurring problems. While challenges may pose, the potential benefits of AI for handling business operations, including people management, are undeniable—and indeed cost-effective. Making this wave of digital transformation a defining force in shaping the future of work in 2024.

12. Emphasis on soft skills

Source: ssa.academy

In the contemporary workplace, soft skills take center stage. And take note: Employers greatly value employees and applicants with good communication skills. Alongside it are adaptability, collaboration, and leadership that promote harmony or positive work environments and effective team dynamics.

The emphasis on remote collaboration and diverse teams underscores the importance of soft skills for workplace cohesion, boosting engagement, and reducing employee turnover.

Nowadays, businesses prioritize cultivating soft skills and offering opportunities to access them, as integral to building resilient and high-performing teams. This shift involves collaborative goal-setting and regular communication through both online and face-to-face meetings, fostering a sense of belonging and solidarity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Alongside the trends come the questions. These are the frequently asked questions regarding workplace top trends in 2024.

Workplace trends cover all evolving practices and priorities that impact how teams collaborate and achieve their goals. Staying informed about these trends is crucial for effective leadership in the dynamic business landscape.

Some examples of workplace trends are the rise of work-from-home and hybrid models, organizations shedding light on the employees' well-being, and the wide use of AI for ideation and production. Talking about these trends helps organizational leaders and managers know what's changing that makes their workplaces smarter.

Spotting upcoming trends isn't just about staying informed, it's about giving businesses a heads-up on industry changes. This helps them build workplaces that are forward-thinking and attractive to employees.

By embracing these trends and prioritizing employee well-being, companies can boost morale, keep their talent happy, and avoid getting stuck in outdated practices.

If you’re yet to read the article above, you can refer to this outline instead:

  • Employees worldwide are still stressed post-pandemic
  • Employee engagement is recovering slowly, but at what cost?
  • Low morale in the workforce
  • Organizations are picking up on employee health and needs
  • Use of AI — is it replacing human employees?
  • Companies recognizing soft skills and offering opportunities to learn them
  • Employees escaping traditional 9 to 5 workdays for hybrid work setup
  • Promotion of personal and professional skill development in the workplace;
  • and more.

Final Words

These workplace trends are changing the way we operate our companies. Staying on top of the changes and motions helps you keep your workplace programs relevant and engaging. If you need some ideas to do that, check out these guides next:

Patrick Mabilog

Article by

Patrick Mabilog

Patrick Mabilog is the Business Development Manager and Customer Success Manager at QuizBreaker and a lover of all things team-building-related. He served in Human Resources and Marketing roles before joining the Quizbreaker team.

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