What Workers Want from Employers in 2023
There have been a lot of changes to the workplace in recent years, with remote working and more flexible hours becoming a mainstay. More recently, there have been studies highlighting the benefits of shorter work weeks, reducing to four days from five. Therefore, it would seem workplaces are focused on improving the experience of working for their employees.
But, what exactly is it that employees would like to see from their employers in 2023? Our experts at the Lensa job board have analyzed Google search data to research the top employee demands and which demands are trending. We will also look at how these demands have changed since our 2022 Workplace Demands study.
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Most Popular Employee Demands in the USA
- Remote Work
Annual Google Searches: 646,000
As in our previous research into employee demands, remote work ranks as the top demand by far, with almost 650,000 searches on Google in the last year, up from 487,000 in 2022. This isn’t surprising, as employees want to reduce commuting time and costs. Remote work also means employees have more time to spend at home, and with family, offering a greater work-life balance.
- 4-Day Work Week
Annual Google Searches: 379,700
Coming in second with just short of 380,000 Google searches in the last year is the demand for a four-day work week. In 2022, we recorded this term in second place having just 192,000 searches, marking the increased interest in this work benefit. Recent studies have been carried out on this topic which showed that shorter work weeks led to increased morale, fewer absences, and less chance of employees experiencing burnout.
- Work-Life Balance
Annual Google Searches: 310,500
Employee assistance programs previously held third place in employee demands, but it has been replaced by work-life balance, which had over 310,000 Google searches in the last year. If the first two employee demands in this ranking didn’t illustrate this, employees are clearly looking for a greater work-life balance.
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Annual Google Searches: 243,900
Coming in fourth, we have corporate social responsibility, having recorded 243,900 searches in the last year on Google. Previously in fourth place, we had signing-on bonuses, with just 139,800 annual searches. The demand for corporate social responsibility means that employees want their employers to be more accountable for their social, economic, and environmental impacts.
- Professional Development
Annual Google Searches: 208,100
In fifth place, we have professional development, with 208,100 Google searches over the last year. Previously, we had employee resource groups in fifth place with only 84,300 annual Google searches. Everyone, whether starting or continuing their career, is concerned with professional development and progression. In some cases, this comes through internal promotions instead of external hiring or receiving training through your employer.
Trending Employee Demands in the US
This section looks at the year-on-year increase in Google Search volume for these phrases over the last year. This serves to give us a better understanding of which employee demands are increasing in popularity, or trending.
- Sustainable Workplace Practices
Year-on-Year Search Increase: 200%
Sustainable workplace practices take the number one spot, with a 200% increase in search volume from last year. With global warming still being an ever-prevalent issue, employees are concerned with more sustainable practices, especially in the workplace. This is because corporations and businesses have larger environmental impacts, as opposed to individuals.
- Workplace Transparency
Year-on-Year Search Increase: 120%
Employees desire more workplace transparency, shown by the 120% increase in searches for this term. This means employers should create a space for employees to openly share concerns, feedback, and ideas. Employers should also be transparent about expectations, revenue, setbacks, and other metrics.
- Menopause Leave
Year-on-Year Search Increase: 100%
Ranking as the third-highest trending workplace demand, we have menopause leave, which isn’t widely used across the entire US. Women are at risk of leaving their jobs due to the lack of support in place when they are going through menopause.
The Most Popular Employee Demands by State
On a state-by-state basis, there was little variation in employee demands. Just as in our previous workplace demands research, remote work came out as the number one demand for all 50 states in the US. Working remotely is so popular because it offers greater working flexibility and negates the need to commute.
The second most popular work demand was a four-day work week for every state except for Wyoming, where it was corporate responsibility.
Four-day work weeks offer the same pay for fewer hours, which has been shown to benefit employees. However, it can also benefit employers in cases where the office is closed for an extra day. This is because in this case, the cost of running the office for a whole day is reduced.
Corporate responsibility is a growing desire from employees, as issues such as diversity and climate change are forcing employees to call on corporations to be held accountable. Giving equal opportunities regardless of ethnicity, race, or gender, and sustainable practices are what is desired here, amongst other concerns.
Most Popular Employee Demands Globally
- Remote Work
Annual Google Searches: 1,911,000
Just as with the US, the most popular workplace demand from employees globally is remote working. Remote working also ranked top of our previous Employee Demands global ranking, with just under 1.5 million searches. And now, with just under two million annual searches, it would appear that workers do value a certain level of flexibility in their workplace.
- Work-Life Balance
Annual Google Searches: 1,890,000
Carrying on the trend of work flexibility, we have work-life balance. Last year we had smart offices ranking second for global employee demands, with just over 500,000 searches. Whereas work-life balance takes its place in this year’s study, with nearly 1.9 million searches.
- Corporate Social Responsibility
Annual Google Searches: 1,690,000
Once again we have corporate responsibility, which already ranked fourth for the US most popular demands. In the last year, there have been 1.69 million global Google searches for this term, highlighting that employees want employers who align with their values and morals.
- 4-Day Work Week
Annual Google Searches: 815,500
In our previous research into Employee Demands, this demand ranked third, with 500,900 searches. While this year it’s ranked fourth, searches have increased to 815,500. Once again, employees are seeking a greater work-life balance with most of their demands. With trials showing the benefits of this work model, perhaps it will become widely adopted soon.
- Hybrid Working
Annual Google Searches: 508,600
And taking the fifth spot in the global ranking, we have hybrid working, which recorded 508,600 searches over the last year. This demand is for those who value office interactions, but are still seeking more work-life balance. Working a few days in the office and a few days from home every week is ideal for those employees.
Globally Trending Employee Demands
- Menopause Leave
Year-on-Year Search Increase: 336%
Coming in first place, we have menopause leave, which ranked third for the US’ trending employee demands. Earlier this year, ministers in the UK rejected a proposal for a trial of menopause leave in the UK, a decision which came under a lot of criticism from the Women and Equalities Committee. Over the last year, searches for this term have increased by 336%, which is considerable. Currently, there isn’t much support for women in the workplace experiencing menopause symptoms. Companies such as Modibodi in Australia and the Bank of Ireland offers menopause leave, however, it is not widely adopted by any country.
- Mental Health Support In Workplace
Year-on-Year Search Increase: 150%
According to the World Health Organisation, the Covid pandemic resulted in a 25% increase in the prevalence of mental health illnesses, such as depression. As such, there has been a 150% increase in searches for workplace mental health support in the last year, indicating a great need for support systems to be in place for employees.
- 4-Day Work Week
Year-on-Year Search Increase: 82%
Having already ranked in the top five most popular demands globally for employees, four-day work weeks are trending and increasing in searches. Over the last year, 4-day weeks have increased by 82% in search volume, further highlighting the increased interest in greater working flexibility.
How to ask your employer for better work benefits?
- Timing is everything
First of all, you should assess if it’s the right time to ask for benefits or raises. If you have a review coming up with your employer, this is a great time to discuss implementing better work benefits for you. The end of the financial year is also a good option as companies often use this time for budgeting and planning. However, if your company is experiencing some form of financial hardship it may not be the most appropriate time to ask for increased benefits. If your company is doing well and you have recently achieved an impressive milestone in your job, it could also be a great time to ask for more benefits.
- Do your homework
You should do your research before asking for better benefits and provide quantifiable data to support your requests. Whether that’s data from performance reviews to support your performance or research projects that support other benefits, such as remote working. You can even highlight other companies in your industry that provide the benefits you’re negotiating for.
- Be amiable and professional
Remember that this is a negotiation, not a series of demands. As such, be sure to be respectful in your tone and demeanor, otherwise, you may set bad sentiments in place. You may also have to consider that you might have to make some compromises. For example, you may not get the pay you’d like but you could be offered learning and development opportunities.
- Consider your last performance review
If your last performance review was exceptionally positive, you should use that as a position of strength from which to negotiate. Explain to your manager the specifics of your recent achievements, why you are an asset to the company and the reasons why you deserve an increase in benefits. If your last performance review was negative, consider how you can increase your performance before asking for increased benefits.
- Provide specific reasoning and logic
When requesting benefits, you should explain to your employer how they might benefit you and the wider team, as well as have an idea of how it all might work. For example, if you’re requesting a hybrid working pattern, you should explain who can provide cover in the office if needed.
We began by creating a list of employee workplace demands 2023, using lists from LinkedIn and Nasdaq.
We then took the lists of demands and using Google Keyword Planner, we looked at the overall search volume of each term from the past year, as well as the year-on-year change in search volume, for both the US and globally.
We then searched these terms for each of the US states to determine the two most popular demands for each state.
Google search data was taken for search volume between March 2022 and February 2023, this data was accessed on 24/03/2023.