Title: Top findings from “The State of Work 2023” report

Top findings from “The State of Work 2023” report

Our annual report, The State of Work in 2023: A Radical Rethinking of Work Is Underway, has arrived. For nearly a decade, The State of Work report has surveyed the world’s knowledge workers with the goal of capturing the employee experience and the forces impacting it. Now in its eighth year, The State of Work 2023 uncovers a world of work that’s rapidly reshaping and the need for a radical rethinking of how work gets done.

This year, we partnered with S&P Global Marketing Intelligence to survey and interview over 800 employees and leaders across the globe, in various departments and industries, about how work happens in their organization.

One thing is clear — work has changed forever. It’s undergone a massive, rapid transformation unlike it’s ever seen. We’re coming off the back of the last few tumultuous years while simultaneously leaping into an AI-driven future with immense transformative power. Everyone is rethinking work, what it means, how it gets done, and how optimizing it can be a competitive advantage needed for success.

“Work has changed. Expectations around it have changed. What defines the optimal ways of working is being defined right now.”

The State of Work 2023

This year’s report dives into a critical need to overhaul operational cultures and rethink the way work gets done at every level. Here’s what we’re hearing about work, how it’s changed, and what businesses need to do to connect everyone’s work to profitable growth.

Employees want better ways to get work done, and it matters more than you may think

One of the more shocking responses we got from the survey was that 70% of respondents feel their managers don’t care about their general well-being inside or outside of work. They point to the distribution of work, lack of alignment and clarity around goals and responsibilities, siloed technologies, and stunted collaboration as some of the biggest culprits of a poor work experience. In fact, 70% pointed to leadership not providing the tools they need as a major hurdle to being successful in their jobs.

It turns out, being rewarded for the work they’re doing isn’t enough — compensation and benefits weren’t the top indicators of engagement at work. Employees want the work itself to be rewarding. They want more autonomy and say over how they get their work done (75%), more ability to provide input into business goals (75%), better alignment and collaboration (46%), better tools (65%), fewer apps to work in (68%), and more ability to maintain a positive work-life balance (59%).

Collaboration is crucial, but it still has a long way to go

Respondents to the survey shared what things have the biggest impact on how engaged they feel at work. At the top of that list are opportunities to progress their career and collaborating effectively with colleagues — both of which scored higher than compensation and benefits. People want better collaboration more than they want higher pay.

Seventy-five percent of respondents pointed to improving alignment and collaboration as very important to improving customer experiences, but 88% of respondents say they struggle with it.

So where is the breakdown? The report points to these culprits — leaning too heavily on messaging, conferencing, and task management tools to power collaboration. It’s more than just talking to each other. People need ways to collaborate that support creativity, help them progress toward goals, and connect workflows. When asked how technology can support better collaboration, over a third of respondents pointed to automated workflows with updates and notifications across projects.

Experiences are the key to driving profitable growth, and alignment is key to building them

More than half of survey respondents say they’re concerned about economic downturn. Retaining customers and meeting market demands are two top concerns when it comes to impacted budgets. Investing in strategies that deliver exceptional, personalized customer experiences can drive growth, even amid uncertain times and a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

But the ability to deliver the work behind better customer experiences means businesses need to be more intentional about alignment, closing the gap between strategy and execution. Again, it comes back to collaboration and alignment. Seventy-five percent say improving on those is very important to improving customer experiences, and collaboration across departments is a top-three friction point in improving customer experiences.

People want better collaboration more than they want higher pay.

However, as evidenced by our survey, few organizations do that effectively today. Only 22% of respondents say they understand their organization’s goals and know how to prioritize their work accordingly.

Unlock transformation with the right approach to work management

These are just some of the insights we’re hearing about the challenges, opportunities, and experiences around work. You can find more in-depth information in The State of Work 2023: A Radical Rethinking of Work Is Underway, along with the top five actions leaders can take today. Read the full report to learn how to get in step with employees and lead a transformation of work — and much more.

A lot of work goes into creating the exceptional customer experiences that drive growth, from strategy and planning through delivery. The right approach to work management can unlock the organizational alignment, productivity, and agility to scale your business and meet the challenges of accelerated change.

Adobe has helped thousands of customers get quality work to market faster with a single place to manage the entire lifecycle of work. Learn more about how Adobe Workfront can help you connect work across the organization, fuel better collaboration and decision-making, and close the gap between strategy and execution.