The Covid led disruptions had brought uncertainty and panic across the globe. In the west, a new phenomenon was observed earlier last year “The Great Resignation”. During a time of crisis of such large magnitude as that brought by the COVID-19 virus allowed people to reflect on their respective careers and personal growth. Therefore, a huge wave of mass resignations was observed by companies.
Anthony Klotz, who termed the phenomenon is from Texas A&M University. He primarily studied psychology at work at a micro-level. He pointed out the uncertainty in the market crippled with the effects of COVID, burnouts, and change in people’s personal lives as one the key factors forcing individuals to re-think about their present jobs. This phenomenon had adverse consequences on the economy of the US as supply chains faced hiccups due shortage of workforce. In India, the tech sector had a massive shortage of workforce. In Vietnam, several factory workers refused to return to factories. Globally, the amount of pressure endured by frontline workers during the pandemic had resulted in the disruption of countless stories of burnouts and anxiety at work. Recently, the Biden administration has promised to allocate funds to fight health care worker burnout. In an article posted by the Atlantic, one in five health care workers in the US has handed their resignations during the pandemic. According to World Economic Forum, developing countries are less likely to face the adverse consequences of mass resignations as employees ‘don’t have any social security or unemployment benefits.’ Resigning from jobs is still a big deal. There are various stakes involved for an individual to make a life-changing decision. Thus, resignations have been seen commonly amongst those who can afford them. A survey undertaken by Microsoft dated May 2021, had studied the trends on why employees are quitting their jobs. According to the survey, employees’ expectations have changed. They prefer flexibility in their work schedule. With the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in various parts of the world, offices had to adopt work from home strategy and later with ease in restrictions adopt the hybrid model. This system of working has allowed working professionals to balance their work and personal lives effectively. Interestingly, the same survey talks about Gen-Z (consisting of individuals born between the years 1997 to 2012) being on the edge of risk as they are crippled by struggles. Moreover, the study brought forth findings that Gen-Z is more likely to face feelings of isolation and exhaustion and be less excited about work compared to other generations. Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post and CEO at Thrive Global tweeted:
“The Great Resignation is really a great revaluation. What people are resigning from is a culture of burnout and a broken definition of success. In quitting people are affirming their longing for a different way of working and living”. Huffington has actively written articles and talked about the issue. Recently she was interviewed by the CBS network wherein she shed light on the issue and added constructive ways employees can reduce stress, by simply taking breaks between their work. Furthermore, she said it is highly imperative for companies to realize the connection between ‘mental well-being and all the other business metrics they care for’. New York Times added a series of interactive stories on their Instagram page laying certain unbreakable checklists for employees to use if they are thinking about leaving their present jobs. Some major pointers included: 1. Introspection: What’s motivating you to leave your present job? Is the work aligned with your values? 2. Financial Check-up: How much will it cost you to survive? 3. Flexible Spending Accounts: Money kept aside to help you in unavoidable circumstances 4. Vacation time, bonuses, and benefits: To check how many vacation days or other paid time off you have not used and may be owed 5. Health Insurance 6. Take time for yourself In India, the upcoming budget is reported to bring four new labour codes which could possibly change working hours, salaries, and the number of working days. Several Indian start-ups’ have already experimented with four-day working days and have received positive feedback. The experiment has not only increased productivity in their employees but also improved their morale. This model of working has been permanently adopted effortlessly by some tech companies and has allowed their employees to maintain a work-life balance.
1. Abhinav Chough, World Economic Forum, What is mass resignation, an expert explains, 29th November 2021 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/11/what-is-the-great-resignation-and-what-can-we-learn-from-it/ 2. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, Why health care workers are quitting in droves, 16th November 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/11/the-mass-exodus-of-americas-health-care-workers/620713/ 3. Lisa Beilfuss, Barron’s, Covid drew workers to quit here’s why from the person who saw it coming, 30thDecember 2021, https://www.barrons.com/articles/covid-worker-shortage-great-resignation-professor-what-comes-next-51640853004 4. Microsoft, the next great disruption is hybrid work- are we ready? 22nd March 2021,https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/worklab/work-trend-index/hybrid-work 5. CBS News, Arianna Huffington discusses how to handle workspace burnout, 25th January 2022, https://www.cbsnews.com/video/arianna-huffington-how-to-handle-workplace-burnout/?intcid=CNM-00-10abd1h#x 6. Julia Musto, Fox News, Biden Administration awards $103 Million dollars from American Rescue Plan to fight health care worker burnout, 21st January 2022, https://www.foxnews.com/health/biden-admin-awards-103m-american-rescue-plan-fight-health-care-worker-burnout