Navigating the New Normal: 6 Key Workplace Trends for 2024

As we delve deeper into 2024, it’s important to consider the workplace trends that are set to shape a harmonious and productive work environment. Drawing from the latest data from Gallup (2024), the focus of this year revolves around relationships and hybrid work strategies. In this article we will delve into the dynamics among coworkers, managers, and their teams, shedding light on ways to enhance trust and engagement. As many companies undergo significant connectivity changes in the workplace, leaders are advised to reconsider their management approaches to better align with the evolving needs of both their workforce and organisational culture.

The Importance of Understanding Workplace Trends

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, understanding workplace trends is more than just a valuable asset – it’s the foundation of positive progress in our work environments. By staying up to date with these trends, understanding what to embrace and avoid, you have the power to transform your workplace, setting it apart from others in the industry. This insight allows you to make informed decisions that will not only drive your business forward, but also serve as a catalyst for innovation within your industry.

6 Workplace Strategies

While the specifics may vary for each business, leaders are encouraged to incorporate these strategies based on Gallup’s six workplace trends for 2024:

1. Be Mindful of Stress and Burnout:

Have you noticed an increase in stress and burnout symptoms among your colleagues? Since the pandemic’s onset, workers globally have been experiencing elevated stress levels, as highlighted by Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report. In Australia, 47 percent of employees have reported experiencing high levels of stress in the past day, a figure equal to those in New Zealand and slightly lower than regions like the United States, Canada, and East Asia, where 52 percent of employees reported high levels of stress in the past day.

Simultaneously, 34 percent of workers have noted a decline in their mental well-being compared to six months ago, while 37 percent are grappling with reduced engagement and a weakened sense of belonging. The causes of this stress are varied, stemming from both work-related and external influences. Notably, emerging data [1] suggests that mandates for a return to the workplace may be contributing to these heightened stress levels.

For more information on how to address and alleviate stress and burnout in the workplace, we encourage you to watch our video:

6 Tips For Preventing Burnout:



2. Cultivate Trust:

Despite a significant decline in employee trust in their employers during the pandemic, there has been a steady rise in trust levels in 2023. This reflects the effectiveness of post-pandemic leadership strategies. However, Gallup’s data shows that only 23 percent of U.S. employees strongly agree that they trust their organisation’s leadership. In Australia, trust in businesses was around 60 percent in 2022, while trust in NGOs, the government, and media suffered a significant decline.

According to Gallup, a staggering 95 percent of employees place their trust in employers who communicate clearly, lead with confidence, and actively support change. In 2024, leaders who adopt a thoughtful, proactive, and transparent approach to leadership are positioned for success. By cultivating trust, workplaces can undergo a positive transformation, fostering increased employee engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion.[2]

3. Support Your Managers:

The year 2023 brought significant challenges for managers in the workplace, with higher levels of disengagement, burnout, and job-seeking compared to non-managers. This phenomenon, termed the “management squeeze”, has become particularly pronounced as managers navigate increased responsibilities, organisational changes and struggles with work-life balance. The impact of these challenges is evident as managers who perceive a lack of employer concern for their well-being experience lower engagement and a higher likelihood of considering leaving.[3]

These struggles faced by managers tend to have a detrimental impact on workplaces as they often affect their teams. Managers have a high influence on engagement, impacting 70 percent of the variance [4], thereby affecting the overall dynamics within a workplace.

Gallup recommends additional training and support to help managers adapt to the changing work environment and its new expectations.

4. Take Steps to Increase Engagement and Purpose:

As we transition away from the lockdown phase of work, certain companies and employers are displaying diminished enthusiasm for the adaptable work-from-home setups that gained prominence in 2020. Despite recent data demonstrating improved productivity and employee engagement under these policies, a significant number of enterprises are choosing to phase out remote work entirely.

Research from the Australian Government indicates a steady incline in employee engagement since the pandemic, with an average of 73 percent of employees now engaged at work. [5] However, Gallup’s insights suggest that there is still much room for improvement in this area, emphasising the need for continued efforts to enhance workplace engagement.

In today’s dynamic work environment, companies that embrace flexible work arrangements often cultivate more engaged and productive cultures. [6] While advocating for flexibility, it’s important to acknowledge that solely working remotely can sometimes lead to feelings of disconnection from the organisation’s mission and purpose. [7] To tackle this challenge, Gallop recommends a hybrid work model that seamlessly integrates remote and onsite work, ensuring a balanced approach to maximise productivity and employee engagement.

For more strategies on transforming engagement, read our article: 6 Tips to Transform Workplace Engagement.

5. Create Hybrid Strategies:

In 2024, flexible hybrid strategies are emerging as the most impactful approach in modern workplaces. However, employees are constantly seeking clarity on these arrangements to manage their expectations. To navigate this shift successfully, leaders need to establish clear, long-term strategies for overseeing hybrid work. Approximately 80 percent of Fortune 500 chief human resources officers (CHROs) have no plans to alter their hybrid work balance in the next 12 months, emphasising the need for well-thought-out approaches to hybrid work.[8]

In the era of large technological advancements, leaders are encouraged to embrace the rising technology that can positively influence hybrid work. [9]  With hybrid approaches stabilising, Gallup suggests leaders focus on optimising their hybrid workplaces by creating compelling value propositions, enhancing collaboration, revising performance management and training managers as effective hybrid coaches.

6. Establish a Hybrid Culture:

A well-executed hybrid culture can be advantageous. While hybrid work introduces challenges to employee connectedness and overall culture, it also signals adaptability, open-mindedness, and flexibility. A 2023 study [10] found that employees who have remote days save approximately 72 minutes by avoiding commutes, granting them more time for social activities and attaining a work-life balance. Gallup notes that these hybrid workers tend to exhibit higher engagement, better well-being, and lower turnover risk. Organisations opting for long-term hybrid approaches must strategically address communication, collaboration, relationship-building, and work culture to ensure success.

By sparking conversations and aligning your workplace strategies with these projected trends, you can harness the potential for significant organisational growth. Embracing these trends offers the promise of not only enhanced satisfaction and well-being for both employee and employers but also the foundation for a more prosperous and thriving work environment.

[1] HR Leader. (2024). 2024: The year of employee connectedness.
[2] Zavaglia, S. (2023). WORKPLACE TRUST & PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY. Professional Safety, 68(12), 38-40
[5] Australian Public Service Commission. (2023). Employee Engagement.
[6] World Economic Forum. (2023). How ‘Everyday’ Flexibility Can Unlock Engagement, Productivity and Growth. WEF.
[9] Lahti, M., & Nenonen, S. (2021). Design science and co-designing of hybrid workplaces. Buildings, 11(3), 129.
[10] Aksoy, C. G., Barrero, J. M., Bloom, N., Davis, S. J., Dolls, M., & Zarate, P. (2023). Time Savings When Working From Home. National Bureau of Economic Research