Survey: Employer-Worker Disputes Are Even More Entrenched in 2023

The annual US inflation rate was 6.4% for the 12-month period ending in January 2022. Most 2023 raises will be lower.

A new survey finds that businesses and workers remain in a push-pull relationship in regards to worker accommodations like remote work and pay raises.

Pay raises in particular are an interesting conversation: Companies won’t be delivering quite as many raises in 2023, but the average amount will be a little higher. It just won’t be not high enough to fully account for the drop in US wage value due to inflation.

A lot has changed in work flexibility since 2020: Remote work remains more than healthy and many companies have adapted the four-day work week, yet inflation and layoffs are threatening wages as well. Here are the latest stats to know.

Pay Raises in 2023: Fewer, and Not High Enough to Match Inflation

Inflation and an economic recession mean that businesses may be less interested in offering raises… but employees will have more reasons to need them. These numbers come from the 2023 edition of Payscale’s annual Compensation Best Practices Report.

In 2023, most organizations still plan on delivering base pay increases to their workers: 80% say they will. But that stat has dropped since last year, when 92% said they planned pay increases. Both numbers are higher than 2020, when just 64% actually increased base pay.

The overall amount of raises is up, too: In 2023, 56% of organizations plan to give base pay increases over 3%, which is just slightly up from 2022, when 53% of organizations gave over 3 percent. But companies are less interested then they were last year in going any higher than a 5% raise. From the study:

“However, more organizations look to be giving between 4-5% in 2023, whereas in 2022, the percentage of those giving more than 5% was higher.”

And since the annual inflation rate for the United States was 6.4% for the 12-month period ending last month, the average worker is ultimately still on the losing end of the pay raise discussion.

29% of Businesses Find Quiet Quitters “At Risk of Termination”

One of the more recent business buzzwords, “quiet quitting,” is a term used to refer to someone who does their job without working beyond the minimum. The survey found 55 percent of organizations understand the term to refer to “mislabeled work/life balance.”

But 29 percent said that they “risk termination if discovered.”

A worker could interpret these results in a few different ways. It seems that meeting your job expectations may not pass muster if you’re not perceived as enough of a team player. But 71% of responding organizations wouldn’t put their own quiet quitters at a risk of termination.

Another way to look at it: Maybe quiet quitters, by definition, don’t mind a higher risk of termination. The number of employees willing to leave their jobs may very well drop as inflation rises, but we haven’t seen data to indicate this yet.

Remote Work Remains Huge

In 2023, a massive 73% of organizations will have some form of remote work — 31% are hybrid workplaces, another 31% are split by job type, and 11% are either remote-first or fully remote. Still, 27% are “traditional” workplaces, and the hybrid model remains the largest piece of the pie, so physical offices aren’t going away either.

Studies have found the ability to chose between remote and in-office positions is a factor for the majority (60%) of workers, so remote-first operations can set themselves apart, provided they stock up on the tech needed to keep remote work secure online, from VPNs to password managers.

And there’s no question that remote workplaces are sticking around since the start of the Covid pandemic. Workers just need to keep pushing for pay raises to match inflation as well, before the urge to quiet quit starts to rise.

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Written by:
Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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