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2023 Trends in the World of Impact Work: Navigating the New Normal

Catalina Rojas

November 17, 2023

In a world that is constantly in flux, the realm of impact work is no exception. As we find ourselves in 2023, it's clear that the challenges and opportunities facing those committed to making a difference have evolved in unprecedented ways. From the seismic shifts brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic to the rapid advancements in technology, the landscape of impact work is undergoing a transformation that is both exhilarating and daunting.

This transformation is not just about new tools or methods; it's about a fundamental rethinking of how we approach work that matters. It's about understanding that the old paradigms no longer suffice and that navigating this new terrain requires a blend of innovation, adaptability, and a deep-rooted commitment to positive change.

So, what does this mean for organizations, professionals, and aspiring changemakers in the field of impact work? How do we make sense of these shifts and, more importantly, how do we leverage them to maximize our impact? This blog post aims to explore these questions by delving into the key trends shaping the world of impact work in 2023. From the rise of hybrid work models to the increasing importance of human-centric approaches, we will examine the forces that are redefining how we think about, engage with, and ultimately drive impact.

The Rise of Hybrid Work Models

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on the future of work, leading to the adoption of hybrid work models that blend remote and in-office work. According to a Gartner report, organizations are facing historic challenges such as a competitive talent landscape and an exhausted workforce. The hybrid work model is not just a trend but a necessity, offering flexibility and catering to diverse employee needs.

Human-Centric Approaches

In a boundaryless world, work is increasingly defined by human outcomes rather than mere job descriptions. Deloitte Insights emphasizes the importance of prioritizing human outcomes and leading in a boundaryless world. This human-centric approach is particularly relevant in impact work, where the focus is often on creating meaningful change.

Technological Adoption

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 indicates that technology adoption will remain a key driver of business transformation in the next five years. In the realm of impact work, technologies like big data, cloud computing, and AI are becoming increasingly important. These technologies not only streamline operations but also provide data-driven insights that can amplify impact.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Standards

ESG standards are no longer optional but a critical part of business strategy. The broader application of these standards is expected to have a significant impact on job creation, particularly in sectors focused on green transition and sustainability.

The Quality of Work

The WEF report also highlights changing worker expectations and concerns about the quality of work. In the impact sector, this could translate into a greater focus on work-life balance, mental health, and overall well-being.

Economic Divergence

Economic, health, and geopolitical trends have created divergent outcomes for labor markets globally in 2023. While high-income countries experience tight labor markets, low- and lower-middle-income countries continue to see higher unemployment. This divergence is particularly relevant in the field of impact work, which often straddles various economic landscapes.


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