Great Resignation – That’s the new word in town

The covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives drastically, hasn’t it? 

Terms like lockdown and quarantine were introduced to us in quick succession and we were confined to our dwellings indefinitely. Other uncertainties followed too, such as uncertainty about the future of jobs and jobs actually being lost, driving millions across the globe to uncertain futures.

But, in stark contrast to all that, a huge resignation spree has also been initiated by the pandemic! Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University calls this “The Great Resignation” and says that a large number of people are leaving their jobs after the COVID pandemic ends and life returns to “normal.” 

A recent study of more than 9 million employee records at 4000 global companies show that resignation rates are rising in technology and healthcare industries. US companies have registered record numbers of open vacancies and it looks like the beginnings of a global trend! 

Quite the irony when losing jobs seemed the initial fear, isn’t it?! 

To Work or To Not Work?! 

The pandemic stifled our social lives and locked us into our homes, but in the healthcare sector, professional life took a rather sharp turn in the opposite direction.

To stifle rapidly rising Covid numbers, healthcare professionals were forced to work overtime in tense and exhausting conditions, driving them to the very limit of their physical and mental capabilities. 

So, maybe it isn’t that surprising that huge numbers of resignations were recorded in that sector. You cannot work without your health after all! 

The Tug-of-War Over Work From Home!

The technology sector fared comparatively better amongst Covid enforced guidelines. Work From Home ensured that it remained afloat during lockdowns, but it is now playing a crucial role in the rising resignation numbers.

The benefits of being closer to their loved ones and being generally more available have been an attractive feature of working from home. It has also had a positive influence on the financial side of the workforce, with significant money being saved from not having to commute daily and so on. 

The companies also have had huge benefits to their financial fortunes owing to the windfall they have received from not having to pay for office infrastructure and amenities.

On the other hand, a significant chunk of employees have complained about the stress of living and working from home getting to them. They have demanded the reopening of offices, and it seems as though companies have a huge decision to make! 

As Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack  has  pointed out: “If we say that everyone must return to the office, or we expect people to, and one of our competitors says you can work remotely, who wouldn’t take the second option there?”

The Post Pandemic World

The Covid-19 pandemic, despite its horrors, has shown glimpses of a post-pandemic world. It has shown that the future would largely involve direct interaction between customers and producers with intermediaries such as retailers being shifted out. 

Professionals have been quick to spot this shift in the trend. In an effort to secure their futures, they have started applying for jobs that have futuristic opportunities, leaving huge gaps in existing positions. Up and coming professionals are also interested in positions that would secure their future, and it remains to be seen how companies solve this conundrum.

“The Great Resignation” seems like a peep into the professional world of tomorrow, and it says that we have to be smart in choosing our careers. How will it pan out? We will have to wait and see!