As the worlds of business and technology began to normalise following COVID-19, they quickly found themselves engulfed by a cost-of-living crisis.

Tech can play a key role in both productivity and streamlining during recession – but the sector, like any other, can be left exposed to brutal market headwinds.

We asked tech industry figures for their predictions around workspace, recruitment, investment and more in the 12 months ahead.

Workspace trends

Pip White, senior VP & GM, EMEA, Slack


The ‘remote versus office’ debate is over: hybrid is not just the future, it is the now. People have reorientated their lives with the expectation that they will no longer be in the office five days a week, and firms that don’t recognise that will haemorrhage talent. Yet most businesses are still navigating how they can realise the alignment and productivity boost needed to thrive in an economic downturn, whilst also delivering flexibility and connection.

In 2023, the companies that get it right will be thinking digital-first and prioritising their digital HQ over the physical one. Workplaces now aren’t defined by where people gather, but how they feel included in the collective shared mission and culture of a company. But it’s not just about culture: people are often more productive at home, and this is only possible when businesses adopt a truly digital-first approach and connect their people, tools, and workflows in one place. This digital HQ makes work more transparent, equitable and results-driven – all of which will become more critical in what will be a challenging economic environment in the year ahead.

Joe Walsh, director of B2B, Samsung UK & Ireland

As we look ahead to 2023, it’s essential that we move beyond sweeping generalisations on the topic of hybrid working. Everyone is different and every job is different and so there’s no reason to have a one-size-fits-all policy in an age when personalisation is possible. Putting the ‘home or office’ question behind us – a workspace should become a headspace. 

For this reason, I prefer the term ‘fluid working’. With the right technology, you really can work from anywhere. And whilst it might seem like an obvious conclusion, research reveals that the biggest benefit for employees of working from home is the ‘fluidity’ to spend your time how you want to. If you are good at what you do and have the right tech behind you, there are increasingly more jobs you can accomplish, from a beach in Bali as well as in a tall stalk of steel and glass in London.

Jenn Riek, communications specialist, Evernote

After two years of working from home, many of the workforce are itching to get back to the office more, even if just for a few days a week. With this in mind companies will increase the focus on design to a flexible work environment. Management will want to create working environments that really appeal and cultivate the positive aspects of in person working, such as informal chats, as much as possible. This will include hoteling desks and more open/collaborative spaces. 

Running parallel to this will be more of a focus on investing in improved video tech to enable better virtual working and aid collaboration across teams spread out geographically.

UK entrepreneurs’ tech predictions for 2023

Impact of recession

Howard Malloy, SVP, MD, Europe, Ensono

Tech leaders have always been responsible for treading a fine line between saving money and investing in new initiatives. However, this year, over many, has seen this become an increasingly difficult and important task. The cost-of-living crisis, coupled with the legacy of the pandemic, the Great Resignation, and now a worsening recession, has left UK tech leaders in an unstable position. 

As 2022 draws to a close, they must balance staying afloat while still attempting to plan for the future. It will be crucial for leaders in 2023 to prioritise innovation, looking for ways to invest in technology to optimise and enhance the running of their business. With financial uncertainty set to continue into the near future, I expect we’ll see those who are fearless in their investment excel into 2023 and beyond and timid firms fall behind.

David Jarvis, CEO, Griffin

David Jarvis, CEO, Griffin

A high interest rate environment flushes out a lot of ‘zombie companies’ – which are not viable in this economic climate. When the FinTechs need to return an additional 5-7% a year just to keep up with inflation, companies that have survived on securing cheap capital will die. These will mostly be mid-cap and large-cap companies that are publicly traded. They survived previously by loading up on debt and not actually delivering a return. But when the cost of debt goes up, they perish.

A lot of startups that have terrible unit economics will also die. There will not be funding for the likes of grocery delivery or scooter companies for a long time. The amount of capital that was flowing to companies with terrible unit economics was capital that simply did not have anywhere else to go. But the age of cheap money is over, and the companies – big and small – that depended on it for their survival will suddenly find themselves with no way out. 

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Joe Miller, general manager of the Americas and Europe, Pocketalk

UK businesses including tech companies are braced for substantial cost rises next year because of rising energy prices in particular, plus the planned corporate tax rate increase to 25%, set to take effect in April 2023. These cost increases mean that UK tech companies will be looking at solutions to reduce their spending, which is likely to lead to accelerated digital transformation.

Tech businesses should invest in innovations and developments in transformative technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, and cloud computing. There will also be a greater combination of these technologies working together than ever before. New solutions for hybrid and remote working, business decision-making, and automation of manual, routine, and creative workloads combine these technologies in ways that enable them to enhance each other.

Investment trends

Darren Westlake, CEO, Crowdcube

Darren-Westlake, CEO, Crowdcube

We’ve seen how 2022 brought fresh volatility to a market that was already recovering from the throes of the global pandemic. Yet, despite it all, alternative finance had a strong year in 2022 and 2023 looks like it will continue to grow. What’s more, non-traditional forms of funding are increasing in popularity and accessibility for scale-ups and start-ups of all shapes and sizes.

Founders need to enter 2023 with an open mind and consider every avenue of funding they can – particularly as VC funding might well be harder to come by next year. And now that the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) has been extended, the tax relief to investors is sure to continue to serve as a powerful draw for many in today’s conditions. Businesses simply cannot afford to ignore the potential of this opportunity.

David Jarvis, CEO, Griffin

We now have a whole generation of venture capitalists who have never had to face a zero interest rate environment. This is possibly why a lot of deal-making is on hold right now – people need time to learn and adapt. With higher interest rates now flowing into their financial models, venture capitalists will need to rethink how they build these models and the implications this could have on their portfolio profitability. 

Rachel Delacour, CEO, Sweep


Investment into ClimateTech will continue to grow exponentially. Climate-focused investors will remain bullish and confident despite the widespread recession. Following the ClimateTech boom, both in terms of funding and the number of startups, Europe is well on its way to leading ClimateTech’s VC investments globally. 

Currently, more than one quarter of all venture capital funding is going to climate technology, with increased focus on technologies that have the most potential to cut emissions, this will continue to grow in 2023 as climate action remains a top priority for businesses in the UK and globally.

Evgeny Likhoded, CEO, Clausematch

Funding fluctuations in the tech space will continue through 2023, especially with the effect of the recession. We saw a huge burst of VC interest and funding support in 2020 and 2021. 2022 proved to be a rollercoaster ride, less steady and predictable. Focusing on the RegTech space in 2023, I think we’ll see VCs really take to liking and supporting strong solutions with a proven track record and purpose. RegTech, as we’ve seen and heard from VCs, is a must-have. Previously, there was less hype around solutions for compliance automation, the real need exists, and consequently they are also less affected during a recession. It cannot be ignored or set aside in the budget.

Recruitment trends

Jeff Dewing, group CEO, Cloudfm

Jeff Dewing, Cloudfm

It’s no secret that 2023 is going to be a rough ride for most, with the cost of living and soaring energy prices weighing heavily on consumers and businesses alike. We’re additionally going to continue to feel the labour shortage, especially given Keir Starmer’s reversal of the Labour Party’s support of freedom of movement, demonstrating he is more concerned in courting anti-immigrant Tory swing voters than benefiting the UK. 2023 will require thinking differently to solve problems. For example, leveraging AR and VR technologies to upskill and reskill employees to combat the labour shortage – instead of offering higher wages – and integrating gamification in business supply chains to reach Net Zero.

Big Tech layoffs actually provide an opportunity for the tech industry. With the big players throwing away top talent, there’s a clear opportunity for them to join innovative startups looking beyond the failing ad-based models, albeit with intense competition. Big Tech might build back its workforce but it will not recover from its self-inflicted reputational damage, dismissing people as though they are merely cogs in the wheel. 

Paul Williams, CEO, Ripe Thinking

The UK has significant work to do to ensure we are creating and nurturing a strong pipeline of digital talent, which can continue to lead global innovation. Developing teams with the skills to shape the future of the insurance industry is crucial – and closer partnerships between academia and the industry will support this.

A combination of digital, industry and customer engagement skills are needed to successfully transform the insurance market. With these skills in very high demand, businesses need to make sure they can attract, develop, and retain these talents. People are attracted to workplaces that align with their values, and employers must up their game to ensure they are an attractive proposition for their team – otherwise they may face a talent drought.

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Joe Miller, general manager of the Americas and Europe, Pocketalk

As 2023 will see a continued labour shortage across most industries in the UK, many tech businesses will be looking overseas for workers. The UK has shown more willingness to utilise international workers than the US or Canada. The increase of remote working has facilitated businesses hiring international staff and businesses have realised the benefits.

However, this recruitment drive can only be successful for UK tech companies who adopt the right solutions to overcome language barriers, as many foreign workers will only speak English as an additional language. Whether that’s digital translation devices that offer instant, accurate two-way communication, for informal phone or face-to-face chats, or subtitles for video conference calls, overcoming language barriers is crucial.

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José Maria Garrett, global outcomes lead, Ironhack

The demand for digital skills from companies in the tech sector has not declined in the last quarter of 2022. Even in a more risk-averse economic environment, tech employment continues to increase because of that demand for skills. In reality, the biggest change we’re seeing is that mid and senior talent profiles are changing jobs less frequently vs. the abnormal behaviour we saw during and immediately after COVID. We have shifted from ‘the great resignation’ into a new stage: ‘the great renegotiation’.

It’s a great time for junior talent to leverage new skills development and access the tech sector within more traditional industries which have an increased demand for those digital skills.  It also provides an opportunity for scale-ups and SMEs to acquire great talent that might not otherwise have been available to them whilst employed in larger tech companies.

Jenn Riek, communications specialist, Evernote

Jenn Riek, communications specialist, Evernote

The ability to react to change is especially important for recruitment due to the ongoing labour shortages in the UK. With the legacy of the pandemic fully in place in regard to remote and flexible working, we can expect to see a further evolution in modern day working practices – the increase in contractors and freelancers. Similar to the working from home movement, this trend is born out of necessity. With businesses facing an increase in costs as well as uncertainty with a cost-of-living crisis it makes sense to utilise the highly skilled, experienced and motivated contractor and freelancer pool. Doing so brings a multitude of benefits to organisations. 

Firstly, it minimises the risks of businesses. There is no longer the fixed salary cost each month despite quieter months. Rather, businesses can scale freelancers’ work up and down depending on demand. This allows the company to have more flexibility and even grow as they can service one off projects or seasonal fluctuations that wouldn’t have been possible with the existing team size. Secondly, using contractors means you can often select the right person for that job or project rather than who has the time. This can result in greater outcomes with a more experienced team member who can deliver what you need. Additionally, you can expand your services as you recruit team members who bring new skills to the organisation.

Productivity & mental health trends

Jenn Riek, communications specialist, Evernote

Over the past few years, we have seen a positive shift in the way that mental health is viewed both personally and professionally. Many of us were likely exposed to worsening mental health due to the pandemic which has created a greater understanding of the challenges it can bring and how to address them. Due to this companies will place more emphasis on taking time to slow down, rest, and rejuvenate. Firms that embrace this will see higher productivity, improved mental health, and a more sustainable work life balance. 

In addition to this, we can expect to see a move away from the tactics of the past that looked to create a more ‘fun’ working environment with the likes of ping-pong tables and happy hours. Now that resource will be better used to invest on wellness stipends, support for caregivers and parents and help with the likes of therapy or breaks to improve wellbeing.

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