As the end of the year fast approaches, workers are looking ahead to 2023 with a sense of cautious optimism and hope.
That's at least according to Workhuman, which polled 1,000 full-time U.S. employees in December about their hopes and expectations for the new year.
Despite ongoing fears of an imminent recession and a wave of layoffs in the tech sector, workers are paying less attention to the chaotic economic situation and more on factors they can control, like becoming more organized, setting healthier boundaries in the workplace and supplementing their income through side hustles.
When Workhuman asked employees about their top 2023 resolutions for themselves at work, the most popular responses were:
Some of workers' top resolutions — setting better boundaries at work, creating better work-life balance — are a direct response to negative patterns workers say they fell into in 2022 that they now regret.
One-third of workers regret working too much this past year, according to Workhuman's report, while one-quarter regret not setting stricter boundaries at work.
About 4% of workers are optimistic that work-life balance will improve in 2023, and 29% of workers expect that employees will be more vocal about their needs in the workplace. Nearly 21% of workers are also confident that their connections with colleagues will improve, while 10% of workers expect these relationships to worsen.
Even after the Great Resignation and quiet quitting rocked the job market, workers continue to have the upper hand: The market still boasts roughly 10 million openings, meaning there are 1.7 open jobs for every unemployed person looking for one, according to the Labor Department's latest jobs report.
"Employers continue to experience acute shortages of qualified candidates, and people are leaving the labor market and not coming back," Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, recently told Marketplace.
Many workers, however, are preparing for an uncertain future, Workhuman found, with 50% of respondents saying they have taken on a side hustle or freelance role in addition to their full-time job to supplement their income ahead of a potential recession.
2023 might be the year we see another global recession, but after the dust settles, workers are hopeful that it will also be the year they make meaningful changes to their professional lives, ones that will bring them one step closer to their dream career.
When Workhuman asked employees to describe 2023 in one word or phrase, these bright descriptors topped the list: "new beginnings," "success," "comeback" and "work-life balance."