The Great Resignation

18 Jun

I got a letter from LinkedIn saying, “Experts are predicting a ‘Great Resignation’ due to people wanting to move on and try something new.” Considering I’m ahead of the curve, I found this rather interesting, and it shows how resistant people are to taking away their “rights.”

I could go on about the collapse of commercial real estate, or newly remote workers fleeing expensive areas like San Francisco and New York City, but I’m more interested in the resistance to “returning to normal.” I’ll use my new job. One of the reasons I specifically took this job was because after three years working remotely, I desperately wanted a desk. (You can read more about my decision, it’s more complicated.) When the COVID hit over a year ago, my co-workers told me how sad they were that they had to work from home–this was such a radical change from their normal existence. Now that they’re shifting back to the office, there’s a massive push back from my co-workers about returning to their desks.

At the same time, my boss’ boss is doubling down on “You have to be at your desk!” She is resistant to having her employees continuing to work all the time from home. Even with the resistance that is obvious from her phrasing, she’s still insisting 2 days minimum for most, 3 days for admins. Why? Who knows?! Considering our company has a healthy history of people shifting departments, not to mention losing and hiring folks, why would you risk losing a ton of employees by being stricter about remote work?

My main thought is that she’s lonely. She’s tired of being in a mostly empty cube farm, her assistant not being there, and having to do all her meetings online. What’s the point of going into her office if she’s the only one there? So why not force everyone to come back. But the problem is that once something is granted to a person, they consider a right, and they get very angry if it’s taken away.

When the rules change at work, people start updating their resumes. People get comfortable in their ways. When I was first told back in… oh, 2007, “Marcus, you’re going to work from home starting next week.” I was shocked. But I found the joy of flexible work. At that time, the boss realized that most of his trainers were frequently in classes, or shifting around, and thought… “Gee, I can convince my bosses that we can save money if don’t have dedicated cubes.” And he was right. So for five years, I enjoyed the choice of either working from home, riding down to work, or riding out to wherever and working from there. I got to really love the bike trail and my cellular internet adapter (sorry, I can’t think of the actual name), finding myself working outside near the mounds of Fort Ancient, Ohio.

Then one day, my department got subsumed by Information Services, and the word came from on high. No more flexible work, you need to be in your cubicle, none of this adjustable schedule. I decided to shift jobs within my company, and when that wasn’t an option, I became a traveling consultant, and I’ve gained a measure of flexibility ever since. Even with my 5-day-a-week cube life back in place, I still have a great boss which allows me to be flexible when the needs of my life require me to be elsewhere.

I think that’s why I agree that the Great Resignation is about to happen. Some people may want to keep working from home, they may not, but everyone agrees they want the flexibility to choose. When your boss realizes, “Why are we paying for this office space if no one’s using it?” and insists you use it… those that want to keep working from home will seek out the TONS of jobs that are now remote. And that’s what my boss’ boss doesn’t realize; give people flexibility and you will have happy workers. Play the “because I’m the boss card,” you will lose them.

But I could be wrong–what do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books and give me the flexibility to make more. However, if $1.99 is too steep for your wallet, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. You’ll be glad you did.

6 Responses to “The Great Resignation”

  1. Silk Cords June 18, 2021 at 7:30 am #

    I’ve heard similar predictions elsewhere. How exaggerated they are, time will tell. I believe there’s SOMME truth to it though. Whatever anyone thinks about COVID, there’s no denying that it changed many people and got them shifting their priorities.

    Your boss is probably stuck in the old paradigm that home workers do nothing but goof off. Possibly true but are those who are guilty giving it their all at a workplace to start? I think you said in the past that you work for the government also, if that’s true, there’s data security to contend with as well.

  2. rebecca s revels June 18, 2021 at 12:10 pm #

    I saw the headline but haven’t read the article. I’ve seen other sources with the same opinion, that it is coming. Though no longer in the work force, not my idea by the way, I can understand the reasoning behind it, should it happen. Which, for all the reasons you mentioned I believe it will to a varying degree. All I’m hearing is of employers having difficulties in getting workers. They need to understand that times have changed, they need a definite change of attitude toward the people working for them, or there will be no one.

    • Silk Cords June 19, 2021 at 2:49 am #

      Very true on that last part. I’m fairly pro-business and capitalism, but I’ve seen more than my share of cases where employees are noting more than expendable units of labor

      • rebecca s revels June 19, 2021 at 4:52 am #

        Last night I read a concerning article about a big company and how they treat and consider their employees. I had at one time considered applying there, but after some of the nightmare tales I’ve heard and this article, I’m glad I did not. I would rather be struggling than face any of what they are putting people through.

  3. Amorina Rose June 20, 2021 at 3:06 am #

    There has to be a meeting ground.

  4. petrel41 July 19, 2021 at 9:22 am #

    Congratulations!

    I have nominated your blog for the Real Neat Blog Award.

    More about this nomination is at https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2021/07/19/real-neat-blog-award-congratulations-18-nominees-2/

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