Since the global pandemic, we have seen a surge in people leaving jobs and starting new jobs. I’m sure many of us have noticed the constant notifications of “Congratulate (insert name) for starting a new position” on LinkedIn. There’s no denying that we’re in the middle of a Great Resignation.
This past April, 2.7% of Americans quit their jobs, the highest rate on record. And according to a study by Microsoft, over 40% of the global workforce would consider leaving their jobs this year.
But why are people leaving their jobs?
As vaccination rates around the world pick up, businesses are confronting an uncomfortable reality: employees’ needs, and preferences have changed. The great migration to remote work in the pandemic has also had a profound impact on how people work.
Work arrangements and flexibility is a brand new and important criteria that employees will care about going forward. People want to have the option to choose the work arrangement that is best for whatever stage of life they’re at, and companies will have to take that into account when determining how they operate.
In a survey of more than 2,000 people in the UK and Ireland conducted in March, more than a third of respondents said they were looking to change roles in the next six to 12 months. If businesses are not actively catering to the evolving needs and demands of employees, they risk losing great talent.
Work takes up a huge part of our lives and our identity. However, during the pandemic, identities and priorities changed. People spent more time with their families, some might’ve thought more about entrepreneurial ventures, side hustles or other pastimes away from their day job.
With this extra time to focus on other aspects of our lives, it’s quite possible that many people no longer define themselves as much through their jobs as they used to. As a result, people are less emotionally attached to their employer.
Being stuck working from home made it very hard for many people to switch off from work. A recent Insider survey found that 61% of Americans felt they were at least somewhat burnout, and more than two thirds of respondents to an Indeed poll in March said they felt more burnt out since COVID-19 upended their working life.
Some companies have tried to tackle worker burnout by offering paid time off to recharge. For example, the dating app, Bumble said in June that it would give all of its staff a week off.
The moral of the story is that employers need to more empathetic and understanding of their employee’s needs. If you aren’t flexible and somewhat accommodating to the new ways of working, you are chancing losing great talent.