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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Minnikin

Unfuckit List 2023: Your thoughts

Updated: Mar 8

In the year ahead, we’re sure to face a range of unique challenges within the workplace on our journey to unfucking work.

We outlined some of our predictions earlier this month in our Unf*cking Work podcast. And like any good Captain, we also listened to our crew - who did not disappoint! Work Pirates from across the globe joined our LinkedIn discussion and added their thoughts.

Below are just some of the topics that are going to dominate the world of work in 2023.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I)

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) will continue to be a huge topic in the workplace throughout 2023, with real shifts in culture taking precedence over ineffective and reactionary ‘sticking plaster’ solutions.

Elizabeth Lembke, Chief Talent Navigator at Transforming Talent, said that DE&I is “not a compliance issue” but instead “at the core is workplace dignity and respect”, and said that employers need to ask themselves: “How are we delivering on workplaces that embody that principle at their core?”

Northumbria University business and marketing student, Dafinka Terzieva, agreed, saying that workplaces would benefit from “more training for employers and employees to help them understand the core principles of [DE&I] and result in better work culture”.

Garry Turner International Product Manager at IMCD Group, believed that all decisions should be viewed through “concurrent lenses of people and culture, equity and inclusion and sustainability”. As ESG requirements increase across all industries, approaching all business matters through these lenses may put leaders ahead of the curve.

Mental health as a priority

In 2023, mental health will be more of a priority than it has ever been. Agile coach Nura Al-Talawy explained that “mental health isn't solely a private matter” and that “companies have to offer support”.

For therapist Ian Reid, solutions must be meaningful and not just a tick-box gimmick, “getting professionally qualified counsellors and psychotherapists into the workplace” in a bid to replace what he calls “HR mental health meme vending machines and other ersatz harmful one-day-wonder substitutes”.

However, Kath Armitage argued that businesses need to get real about what actually works and “stop believing that sheep-dipping people through resilience and MHFA training sorts out a toxic work environment”.

Mental health needs to be a meaningful consideration within workplaces.

The importance of connection

Almost three years on from the first Covid-19 lockdown, remote working is here to stay in some capacity at least. As employers adapt to (or resist!) the permanent move to hybrid working, they need to consider how to keep their people connected and engaged.

Future of work specialist Cathryn Barnard asked: “Is it possible we can start thinking of workplaces as hyperconnected human systems, rather than disconnected, sterile, functional silos of individuals?

For Cathryn, the importance of “thinking in terms of intersections rather than disjointed separates” can’t be overstated, particularly in a post-Covid hybrid working world.

Fiona Kearns also stressed the need to “help people connect in a more remote environment”, saying that an “intentional” approach is a must.

Trusting your people

While a strong connection is vital for any team, it is equally important that leaders trust their people to do their jobs - wherever they choose to work.

Unfortunately, the rise of remote working coupled with good old-fashioned managerial mistrust has led to the rise of a new trend of remote surveillance within companies.

For happiness coach Nigel Stonam, this needs to be “dialled down” in a major way. He asked: “How can we reduce this absolute need to monitor and control people and instead trust that they are doing the right thing?”

Louise Saunders, Workforce & Organisation Development Officer in the NHS, agreed that “absolutely more autonomy over how and when we work” is needed “so that we all get the chance to do the brilliant work that we are capable of without the barrier of micro-management.”

To let us know your thoughts, join the conversation on LinkedIn here.

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