If you are a company owner, CEO, or president, you may want to check in on your employees and how they feel about their jobs. The reason: “The Great Resignation” is underway.
What is “The Great Resignation”? It’s the 40% of workers who are reporting that they want to change jobs or careers. It seems that the coronavirus pandemic, and the resulting closing of offices, has resulted in employees thinking about whole new careers.
Erica Pandey, in her Axios article, “Great resignation” wave coming for companies,” tells us:
Workers have had more than a year to reconsider work-life balance or career paths, and as the world opens back up, many of them will give their two weeks’ notice and make those changes they’ve been dreaming about.
Here is what I think: Until the pandemic, life was divided into a public space (the office) and a private space (home). When in the office, an employee is highly visible to management and easily accessible by other employees. At home, no one knows what you are doing.
As offices and schools closed, employees began working from home, their private space. They found that they liked not being under a microscope, eating at home rather than out of a shared work refrigerator, and avoiding co-workers they disliked. Mostly they liked saving the time they had been putting into commuting. They had more time for themselves.
The pandemic is ending, and some and possibly most workers are finding that they like the privacy and freedom afforded by working from home. They also learned that the world is not defined by their employer but by themselves.
Will large numbers of people actually change jobs and careers? I think not. Looking for a new job or changing careers is exciting in theory but not so easy in practice.
New and younger workers need to work out of the office. They require structure, guidance, and a deep understanding of the company culture.
Wise employers will listen to their older workers and create work-life balances that are flexible. Things will eventually get back to normal. It’s just going to be a very different normal.