The Corner Office

Be prepared for some changes to your workplace in 2024


As we wrap up 2023, many of us look forward to what we can expect in 2024. And given the lack of credible psychics (my deepest apologies to the Long Island Medium), I’ve decided to gaze into my crystal ball to see if I can glimpse anything coming our way next year. After employing all of my divinatory prowess, I have some predictions for 2024 that you’ll want to hear.

Change will come with small, gradual steps.

I think that, on the whole, we won’t see huge changes in 2024. But when I say that, I don’t mean to imply that next year will be stagnant. Instead, I think there will be a lot of small changes that don’t immediately lead to significant, obvious changes. Think of a duck constantly kicking underwater without disturbing the surface.

After 20 years of cheap money, a year of digesting what expensive money looks like will undoubtedly impact how many huge risks people take, which is why I think we’ll see more small, subtle tweaks than total game changers.

Similarly, most people are content where they are, so we’ll probably see less job hopping in 2024. Most departments probably won't get massive additions, but, on the other hand, few will be totally cut in 2024. As I said, small, gradual changes are what I see coming in 2024.

Prices stay steady

That means you can probably keep any pricing gains you took but are not getting more. Most consumer-facing businesses won't see growth as people adjust to the new normal of pricing. However, inflation is also slowing down, so I'd expect people to find a new way to make ends meet without massive disruptions.

The AI elephant in the room

That covers macro trend prediction, but there's one thing that I want to talk about in particular, partially because everybody wants to talk about it: AI.

I think AI will do in 2024 exactly what it did in 2023. But if you believe that AI exploded in terms of development this year, then you and I are seeing different things.

While AI got a lot of hype this year, the truth is that many of us have been using chatbots and servicebots for years. So, while the conversation has centered around these hot new developments, the truth is that it has mostly been a slow progression over the years.

And I think that will keep happening in 2024. Yes, AI will continue to develop, but it won't be ubiquitous for daily operations in the next 12 months. I'd liken it more to a Blackberry in 2002. Yes, it was better than a fax machine and could give you an edge, but it wouldn't be essential for everyday operations. It takes time for tech to become evenly distributed.

In that same way, AI will keep improving and becoming a presence in 2024, but I think we're years away from AI advancing enough to become a must-have.

Workplace changes

My final prediction is about the job market in 2024. After a lot of relocation and moving up in the past year, many people have found themselves in much better positions than they started with in 2023. People are making more than they did at the start of the year, so I’d expect to see less mobility in 2024’s job market.

This goes both ways, though. Employees won’t want to move from their new positions, and employers probably won’t want substantial staffing changes when the consumer is figuring out how to afford their regular products and services.

I’d also expect to see more people in the office in 2024. Work-from-home levels are undoubtedly higher than pre-pandemic. I don’t see that changing, but many employers that swore they'd stay remote have started ordering people back into the office.

Stay informed

Overall, I think that in a year where there are a lot of small, not-immediately-noticeable changes, the best thing you can do is keep yourself informed. Try to look for diverse perspectives so you can get an idea of the whole picture in the moment instead of waiting until the event is in the rearview to uncover some clarity.

I’m a mainstream guy, so that means subscriptions to the WSJ and the NYT. That roughly balances out to a moderate view, which I supplement with a variety of digital-only sources. Regulars include Quartz and Medium.

However you do it, getting credible, balanced information is the best thing you could do to make it through 2024 in a good position. Because while there likely won’t be sweeping changes, staying on top of what’s happening can help you see the small changes that will make a big difference further down the line.

Doug Phares is the former CEO of the Sandusky News Group. He currently serves as managing director of Silverwind Enterprises, which owns and provides management services to small businesses. He can be reached at


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