The Workplace Reconsidered


The meaning of work has shifted, and employees across generational divides are demanding a reset. While trust in “my employer” is higher than any of the four main institutions, employees are expecting more and their influence in the workplace is rising.

Our latest research reveals that employees want employers to commit to action on societal issues, leverage voices within the organization that employees already hear, and embrace the employee base as information amplifiers.




Employers face cascade of expectations

At a time of geopolitical tension, accelerated automation, and economic uncertainty, 78% of employees are worried about losing their jobs. Of the institutions we study, “my employer” is the most trusted by a staggering 23 points when the four main are averaged together, and with the faith employees put in their employer comes great expectations and even greater responsibility.

Employers outperform the other institutions on competence and ethics, and are more believable than media and national government.

Strikingly, a majority of employees want a work life reset. Because of everything that has happened in the world over the past few years, 67% of employees are reevaluating how they spend their time and 72% believe employers need to rethink what work means to employees.


Gen Z is paving the way for more meaning at work

The influence of young workers on their colleagues is unquestionable. They are shaping how people of all ages think about and approach their working lives.

More than sixty percent of employees say they are more willing to pressure their employers to change things they do not like, and are more open to unions, because of the influence of their younger coworkers.


The deskless worker is left behind

These workers are at the periphery of the organization, are less trusting overall, and feel disconnected from corporate life. The way to earn their trust is by putting trust in them.

Tangibly, deskless workers want their CEO to understand their day-to-day; they need leaders to leave their desk to help them feel more incorporated into company decisions.

Our recommendations for employers


Employer trust brings responsibility

Employers need to build the infrastructure for employees to see their values expressed in how business gets done.


Leverage the power of Gen Z

Employees need to feel like they’re making an impact; show how the organization is doing so.


Prioritize the deskless employee

Demonstrate your trust by being transparent and soliciting input through surveys. Get away from your desk, experience the day-to-day work, and connect in person.


Align employer action

Talent strategy needs to be consistent across the enterprise, but societal engagement must be aligned to local markets and stakeholders. Lead through action, not talk.

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Featured Insights

My Employer: Ever Higher Expectations

Richard Edelman, CEO

Employees are putting even more reliance on their employers as the linchpin of societal change, just as politicians are seeking to reverse what they see as excessive involvement by business in societal issues.

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How Employers Can Step Up to Gain the Trust of Workers with Disabilities

Josh Galassi, Account Supervisor

With the disabled workforce growing in record numbers, due in large part to long COVID, a tight labor market, and the rise of remote work, so too is the need to build trust among disabled workers. 

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The Power of Gen Z in the Workplace

Cydney Roach, Global Chair of Employee Experience

With high levels of trust placed in employers come equally stratospheric expectations from employees. The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust at Work reveals insights on how sweeping these expectations are across geographies and demographics. Gen Z is a catalyst for all generations of workers demanding more from their employers.

Read More

Watch our launch event

The global launch event for the Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust at Work explored the way we work now as a result of profound shifts in the employee-employer relationship, the influence of Gen Z, political and social change, and how to maintain trust at a time of profound change. The event featured a presentation of the findings by Richard Edelman, CEO; Cydney Roach, Global Chair of Employee Experience; and Alex Thompson, Global Chair of Corporate Affairs and Impact; followed by a panel moderated by Isabel Berwick, Host and Editor of the Financial Times' "Working It" Podcast and Newsletter, with Meagan Loyst, Founder & CEO, Gen Z VCs; Judy Samuelson, Executive Director, The Aspen Institute Business & Society Program; Dr. Janson Yap, Chief People Officer, National University of Singapore; and Judy Zbranek, Ph.D., Global Head of Organizational Effectiveness, Culture & Change Management, RTX.


How can we help?

Our Employee Experience team is available to discuss what the findings mean for your company.



Fieldwork conducted: July 20 – August 1, 2023.






Respondents / Country