The Great Resignation

The great resignation

May 2022

In a recent blog we wrote about the increase in, and demand for, hybrid working. In that we observed ‘that many workers have adapted rather too well to the new world order and are in no hurry to return to the old one. Is it so surprising that the world of no commuting, no hot desking and lunches at home has proved to be altogether more desirable?’ So, an examination of the great resignation phenomenon comprises a natural sequel.

The great resignation
The great resignation

What is the great resignation?

It’s the idea that the Covid pandemic has prompted a tsunami of life stocktaking. And that this introspection has led to a big rise in the number of people giving up their jobs – either to a new one that is willing to give them the hybrid working that they seek. Or in some cases to carve out a new life outside of the workplace. It began in 2021 and is continuing in 2022.

, quotes a survey of 1,000 UK workers. It showed that almost a third (29%) of UK workers are considering finding a new job in 2022. The findings also revealed the industries most at risk from this mass staff migration. We have legal workers at 44%, IT and telecoms at 42% and sales, media and marketing at 40%. It further uncovers why workers want to leave their current jobs and why almost one in three (32%) have put it off.

It’s clear that companies with a hybrid or remote working offer are not so likely to suffer this resignation problem. Indeed, one in three (28%) of workers admit that flexible working policies encourage them to stay where they are. Something further supported by the reasons workers gave for wanting a different job. Almost one in five (16%) of those who wanted to quit cite their employer forcing them to the office/workplace when remote working is quite feasible. Alongside that statistic, 20% feel their employers show favour to those who work in the office over their remote workers.

Other factors

Despite all the above, the main reason (23%) that workers look elsewhere is salary-related and their employer not offering pay rises and/or bonuses. In addition, there is a loud call from employees for better technology and ways to stay connected with colleagues. 13% chose to leave a job because of poor investment in collaboration technology.

How can employers combat the great resignation?

Well, in the first instance, as Timewise suggests, see it as an opportunity not a threat. They suggest you grab hold of this opportunity to plan for the long-term and look to the future. Why? Because, as Timewise point out, it’s clear that the effect of the pandemic on how we work and the subsequent shift in employee priorities, doesn’t look like going away. There’s an understandable temptation to panic and put in place short-term initiatives in an effort to keep your staff. But putting energy into building a culture for the support of long-term employee retention is more worthwhile.

Well, you might:

  1. Involve your staff in decisions and discussion around hybrid working. If you’re partway down that path then it’s crucial you involve your staff in the process. Imposition of work arrangements is almost guaranteed to make your staff up sticks and go.

  2. Undertake a skill’s audit – if you’re a smart employer you will use this period, this situation, to get your business ahead. Think about the skills you’ll need to get to the forefront and upskill and reskill your staff to help them help you to succeed. There are two benefits to this. In the first place, it’ll help you stay competitive. And in the second it will show your staff how much you value them and want to invest in them.

    Once you’ve got your findings, use them! Use them to design roles that can deliver against both the needs of your business and your staff. And remember at all times the importance of in-building into your roles, the flexibility that’s such a high priority for millions of workers right now.

    When recruiting

    Be crystal clear about what you’re offering in terms of flexibility. There’s a big mismatch between the percentage of people wanting flexible working and the amount of it available. So offering it is sure to give you a competitive advantage in the search for talent.

    Get in touch

    Go-Legal can and will help you with anything discussed in this blog – or on any other topic of course.

    We can give support with writing flexible working policies, recruitment and more.  So don’t wait – get in touch. You’ll find all our contact details on our website here. 

    And why not connect with me on Linked-In?







They’ve Seen the Future and it’s Hybrid Working

Hybrid working - women on bed working from home

February 2022

They’ve Seen the Future and it’s Hybrid Working

Hybrid working – While the Covid pandemic is anything but over, we’ve seen, post lockdowns, a gradual return to the workplace. Yet the returning to work process hasn’t been anything like as straightforward as was first predicted by many business leaders. It turns out that many workers have adapted rather too well to the new world order and are in no hurry to return to the old one. Is it so surprising that the world of no commuting, no hot desking and lunches at home has proved to be altogether more desirable? Indeed, this piece from The Times, opines that 77 per cent of the UK workforce say they would prefer a mix of office-based and remote working in the long term. They’ve seen the future and it’s hybrid.

Hybrid working - women on bed working from home

A vision of the workplace future

Backing up the hybrid-working vision of the future is research from analysts, McKinsey and Company. They estimate that over 20 per cent of the global work force could be as effective working with remote working, three to five a days a week, as they would be from an office. But, as the CIPD points out, for many organisations, moving to hybrid working can’t happen without an appreciable culture shift. Also, there’ll be a need to establish new working methods and new associated policies and practices.

Employer learnings

While employers can take some learnings from the pandemic-driven-working-from-home there’s no escaping that hybrid working places greater demands on managers and organisations than the urgent move to home working during the lockdowns.

It’s clear that organisations have much to consider when implementing a hybrid approach. There’s no rushing a phased return to the workplace. Not all workers will be able to go back at once. Early signs are indicating a situation with some staff working from home and some from the office. Or even a combination of the two.

Whilst, as always there will be industry variations, it is fair to generalise that hybrid working is here to stay. As The Times article (see link above) contends: ‘The rise of hybrid working forms the biggest change to the workday since the concept of nine-to-five went mainstream over 100 years ago.’

The debate now centres on maximising the benefits from the recognition that remote performance of job roles can be effective, whilst getting the balance right with the benefits of collaborative working and the need for interaction with colleagues. The survey results in this BBC News article are, it’s arguable, no surprise

Higher fuel costs are bound to have an impact, but whether this changes the dynamic remains a moot point.

Joined up working

One of the greatest challenges for teams flung out here, there and everywhere, is that of joined-up working. Research carried out by ServiceNow found that a whopping 91 per cent of executives continue to have offline workflows including document approvals and more. Meanwhile, around 48 per cent voiced concern about the reduction in collaboration between business teams.

It’s evident that employers, are going to have to find ways of balancing the expectations of employees with the needs of your business or organisation. You’re going to need a map of what your people do on a day-to-day basis and how to determine which roles best suit remote working and which don’t.

Challenges abound

It’s fair to say that all the concerns expressed above reflect the post-pandemic experience of larger corporations. Yet it’s true to say also that similar challenges face all employees and employers in businesses of all sizes. You’re going to have to find solutions to ensure your people remain productive and content in their work.

It’s all going to take some navigating that’s for sure. But the good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. Go-Legal HR can support and guide you through it – so don’t struggle. Get in touch now.