“The great resignation”: Upwards of 40% of workers are thinking about quitting their jobs
Companies that have weathered the pandemic in one go now have a major new problem: More than a quarter of their employees could leave.
What happens: Workers have had more than a year to rethink work-life balance or career paths, and as the world opens up again, many of them will quit their two weeks in advance and make the changes they want have dreamed.
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Economists call it “the great resignation”.
Surveys show that between 25 and 40% of workers are considering quitting their jobs.
"I don't envy the challenge that Human Resources is currently facing," said Anthony Klotz, associate professor of management at Texas A&M University.
Several clashing trends are driving the layoff boom, experts say.
University of Michigan economist Betsey Stevenson tells Axios, "People had a little more space to ask, 'Is this really what I want to do?'" So some choose to work fewer hours or more flexible to arrange more time for family or hobbies.
Others consider changing jobs.
A cruise ship worker who was trained and hired to work in a data center because the pandemic showed her the volatility of her industry.
An insurance broker and her husband, the restaurant manager, both quit their jobs to start a landscaping company because they realized during the pandemic that they wanted to spend more time outside.
Some quit because their bosses won't let them work from home after the pandemic. Others leave because they miss their offices, but their businesses are now hybrid or completely remote.
"Many people who want to return find that the office they are returning to is not the office they left," says Klotz.
There's not much that companies can do to keep people who want to change fields. But the HR department may be able to keep some employees by being as flexible as possible, says Cathy Moy, chief people officer at BDO USA, a financial services company.
But, but, but: In the end, the great emigration could be good for employees and employers.
There are now a record 9.3 million open positions in America, reports Felix Salmon of Axios. And people can still rely on unemployment insurance so they aren't desperate for the first job offer that comes up, says Stevenson.
"Hopefully in 2022 we'll see a lot more people who are employed and stable because they have jobs that they really like," she says.
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