In September 2021, a record 4.4 million employees in the United States quit their jobs, according to a US Department of Labor statistic shared by VentureBeat.
In an opinion piece for the website, EquityBee cofounder Oren Barzilai says this exodus “capped what can only be described as the most significant employment trend of the 21st century”. Hence various articles citing the ‘Great Resignation’.
However, a closer look at the story behind the trend shows that ‘resignation’ could be something of a misnomer. Here is why, when it comes to their current career path, many workers are probably more interested in simply readjusting rather than abandoning it.
What exactly is the ‘Great Resignation’?
It would be understandable if, after the turbulent last two years, you have been thinking about changing direction in your life in general. This could include leaving your current job for something more in tune with your post-pandemic priorities.
According to a Bankrate survey mentioned by Barzilai, 55% of Americans intend to seek new jobs in 2022. Furthermore, Deloitte has revealed that, going in 2022, over half of CEOs deemed talent recruitment and retention their biggest challenges.
So, what’s happening in the UK?
On the other side of the Atlantic, a distinctly different picture has emerged. In the UK, reward and benefits provider Edenred recently found – as per a report from theHRDIRECTOR – that, of 2,000 employees, 65% of those in work during the pandemic didn’t resign or weren’t interested in leaving.
The other 35% said they wanted to resign or were unable to do so, while only 10% of the studied UK employees said they had actually departed within six months of the research being undertaken.
Since the pandemic’s onset in 2020, 60% of the employees are said to have stayed in their pre-pandemic role, while just 27% had taken up a new job. 2022 is looking relatively static for UK workers, too – with just 6% of those studied saying they intended to leave their job in the following month and 12% indicating that they planned to do so in the next six months.
So, should employers be concerned about the Great Resignation?
The UK findings are encouraging, with 57% of the above-mentioned employees having said they didn’t believe a Great Resignation was happening or didn’t know either way.
However, UK employers certainly shouldn’t be complacent about their workers’ comfort – especially with the country’s cost-of-living crisis set to intensify this April due to rising taxes and energy costs.
Therefore, it could pay off handsomely for employers to continue accommodating flexible working during the pandemic – especially given the financial savings that employees could make. As revealed in a recent Yahoo! Finance report, UK employees working from home have been spending less as a result.
Nonetheless, as you also can’t be certain quite when many members of your workforce might feel ready to return to a traditional office setting, you could benefit from looking into booking an especially flexible office space with which you would be able to cater for fluctuating numbers of on-site workers.