Over the past few years the way we work has transformed. This will continue to be the case in 2023 with more companies adopting a gig model. For many people, the gig economy is a vital source of income, especially now with increasing pressure from the cost-of-living crisis. On the other hand, quality customer service will be crucial to many companies looking to survive this economic downturn. This is especially the case as customer loyalty becomes even more fragile. 

Overall, the year ahead is expected to shake up the world of work even more. There are the following trends to look out for. 

1. Companies will look to flexible customer service options to ride uncertainty 

As uncertainty continues to grow due to the impact of the looming recession, businesses have to start considering new methods to cope with pressures. Especially those pressures caused by staff shortages and falling customer satisfaction levels. 

The last two years have reinforced that the markets are volatile and unpredictable, and subject to external factors that are beyond our control. Flexibility and agility are key ways to future-proof your organisation. Companies will need to ensure they see this in their customer service offerings. 

2. Enterprise business will lean into the Gig Economy as a working model 

Enterprise businesses are struggling to recruit the talent needed to remain competitive. As industries continue to develop, the skills needed to provide an effective level of customer service are becoming more complex. In addition, when there aren’t enough people with specific skills, it can become difficult to limit employees by geographical location. This is why businesses are encouraged 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. 

Gig workers are already playing a critical role in companies that want product and service advocates on the front line. Going forward, we predict this trend will expand into traditional customer support roles. Gig working will grow into functional structures and embedded practices to operate seamlessly and regularly with existing and evolving customer engagement models. 

3. Flex economy is on the rise and is the next step to gig economy

The Gig Economy is on the rise and we are seeing this develop into an app-based economy, also known as the ‘Flex Economy’ where individuals can use apps to earn more money, e.g. online customer service. This is the logical next step in an increasingly technologically connected world. The Flex Economy is made up of the technology platforms that connect consumers, businesses, and individuals to work, products and services. Due to the economic uncertainty, the number of people that choose to be a part of this via GigCX or other platforms will likely increase. 

4. Diversity and Inclusion will continue to grow in the workplace

For the last two decades, technology has allowed diversity to increase across the global economy.  Currently, with the rise of the flexible working model, businesses are well positioned to benefit from a wider pool across the globe. 

Neurodiversity is and will continue to be a focus in the next year. Companies that fully embrace neurodiverse talent are more likely to increase innovation, productivity, innovation and talent acquisition and retention. A recent study found that neurodivergent employees in certain tech roles could be up to 140% more productive than neurotypical colleagues. Higher productivity can lead to more sales or improved service which is important for the growth of companies.  

5. Recession will cause a boom in ‘side hustles’ 

The world post-Covid has increased the need for work. To counteract that, however, is the recession reducing the amount of available jobs. Overall, people seeking work will now look into alternative ways to earn, rather than the traditional job market. Through this, new skills will be introduced to the available pool for employers to sift through. These new attributes can be an advantage for employees pursuing both a full-time job and a side hustle.

The prospect of side hustles can provide a good secondary source of income. This is appealing to workers whose hours have been cut, have lost a job altogether, or find that buying power has been hit by inflation. If and when the economy stabilises, the need for such work may decrease. However, until then, people’s eyes will be opened to the new benefits of such an opportunity.

6. Remote, hybrid and flexible working should be prioritised 

With so many different types of work models in practice today, companies will need to develop new skills to engage the expectations of different types of workforce. For remote workers, results become critical to the relationship not control. Trust becomes paramount and new ways to measure productivity may be required. As such, we can expect to see organisations build concierge onboarding systems for traditional employees and alter measures of success where required. New models for sourcing people, such as GigCX, are already dependent on the completion of work as a measure of success. 

The road ahead 

It can be difficult to accurately predict how the world of work will change. But companies must always be prepared. The gig economy is the way forward as this provides a flexible working model that will be able to adapt to many challenges. 

Over the next year, the impact of the economic crisis on the customer service industry will become more apparent.Businesses must stay alert and evolve with the changing workforce.

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