Did the pandemic cause the great resignation?

Experts call it the Great Resignation. The last 18 months has revealed “pandemic burnout” – a collective reassessment about priorities and what matters most. Workers, fed up with long commutes, office politics and toxic workplaces, are saying “f*** this shit” and searching for better opportunities.

In April 2021, more people left their jobs than any other month on record. Then more people quit in July. More in August and even more in September. Many of these jobs are in the service, hospitality or medical fields.

Others are now balking at employers who want them back in the office and demanding more flexibility in their work location, given many have shown they can be successful working somewhere other than in a designated office.

Staffers are questioning why they need to work in the office all the time?

I heard some workers sum it up this way: Offices are for collaborating. Home is for working. They see the value in some in-person meetings. It’s easier to brainstorm, share ideas and conduct a meeting with several people “in real life.” However, once the duties have been assigned, home is where the actual work gets done.

It’s also apparent that workers are demanding remote options when looking for other opportunities. Searches for “remote work” jumped 460% in the last two years.

But is really about quitting or about switching jobs? Here’s an interesting article about the great resignation myths via The Atlantic.

It’s now been 635 days since I worked in a traditional “office.” On March 15, 2020, I never would have guessed I’d be forced to work in my home office, and then continue for an extended period of time. But it appears I may be home for good.

I like working from home. Sure, there’s no break room convos or office shenanigans, and it has been lonely with mostly virtual meetings. But the ease and convenience of walking downstairs to my office and the ability to take a quick walk around the block with the dog outweighs “going to the office.” Another plus is the “business on top, comfy on the bottom” mentality when it comes to my wardrobe choices.

It really has not been that big of adjustment for me and my team, as my closest team member is 185 miles away. The other two are a 7-hour drive or a 1 hour plane ride. We were using video calls, chat and online productivity tools before the pandemic even hit.

I think the pandemic has changed the workplace forever. We are never going back to the “before times” and we all have to figure out how to navigate this new environment.

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