In what’s dubbed “The Great Resignation,” droves of people are quitting their jobs and leaving the traditional workforce. This has left many employers scrambling to fill positions, and experts are divided on what this means for the Future of Work. Some say that this is a sign that the workforce is shifting more towards remote and freelance work, while others believe that automation and AI will take over many jobs in the future. And then there’s the possibility of a recession that really adds to the confusion. Though the Great Resignation is full of uncertainty, one thing is for sure: it has impacted the landscape of work as we know it. Let’s take a look.
What’s really happening with the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation is a hot topic of discussion among workforce experts and celebrities alike. So what exactly is it? The Great Resignation refers to the recent mass exodus of employees from their jobs. In just the last few years, we’ve seen a significant uptick in the number of people quitting their jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021.
There are a number of reasons why people are quitting their jobs at such an alarming rate. We can tell that the pandemic was a huge catalyst for propelling a movement that had only just begun. Between many people quarantining and many asked to risk their lives at a job for barely minimum wage, people really got to thinking when the world as we knew it halted in 2020.
What about if there’s a recession?
In more recent days, talk of a recession has people wondering what’s happening with the Great Resignation. The thing about the Great Resignation and a recession is the shift in power dynamic. The Great Resignation has put the power in the hands of the workers, while a recession shifts some of the power back into the hands of the employers.
A recession in modern times “may lead to some bargaining power losses, but with two job openings for every unemployed person in the current labor market, employees should be able to hold the line better than during past economic downturns,” writes CNBC. Learn more in our article, What Happens to the Labor Market in a Recession.
The effects of the Great Resignation on the workforce
The world of work is changing, and the Great Resignation is just another sign of that change. We’re seeing a shift away from traditional, in-office work to more remote and freelance work. A recent Upwork study writes: “Amid The Great Resignation, more professionals are considering freelance work in the future: 56% of non-freelancers say they are likely to freelance in the future.”
This shift has been happening for a while now, but the Great Resignation has expedited the process. With more people working remotely, we can expect to see changes in office culture. Many great leaders have always known that listening to the wants and needs of the people who work for them is the most important thing. The Great Resignation has shown the rest that their people are the key to a smoothly operating business.
The effects of artificial intelligence on the workforce
With the rise of automation and artificial intelligence, many jobs that have been around for years are now being done by machines. While some jobs have been automated by AI, others have been created by AI.
In 2020, MIT conducted thorough research on artificial intelligence and the Future of Work. They concluded that “recent fears about AI leading to mass unemployment are unlikely to be realized. Instead, we believe that—like all previous labor-saving technologies—AI will enable new industries to emerge, creating more new jobs than are lost to the technology.”
In fact, the world’s top companies are already using AI in their businesses to help with their workforces. To learn more, here’s 5 Things You Need to Know About AI and the Future of Work.
How employers are coping with the Great Resignation
The Great Resignation has forced employers to get creative in order to keep their businesses running smoothly. Many are turning to remote work, which as we know, is already on the rise. Others are offering more flexible hours and working from home arrangements.
In some cases, employers are also increasing wages and benefits in order to entice workers. Other employers are focusing more on holistic approaches like supporting workers in avoiding burnout.
A recent Forbes article, How Leadership Can Address The Great Resignation, writes: “Leadership in companies and organizations, from board members to executives to managers, should aim to be proactive in preventing future burnout while remedying the current stress that so many of us are experiencing. The previous approaches can no longer sustain the current needs of the workforce, as we have all experienced trauma and are no longer the same individuals we were prior to the pandemic.”
How to prepare for the ever-changing Future of Work
The Great Resignation has shown us that the Future of Work is ever-changing and unpredictable. The best way to prepare is setting up systems that allow you to be flexible. Utilize the automation of AI and the productivity of an extended workforce.
Many have avoided contractors for a long time because of how complicated it can be to manage an extended workforce. But with a payroll platform that’s an API with an AI-driven worker classification engine like GreenLight, you can utilize an extended workforce simply and safely.
No matter what happens with the Great Resignation, using GreenLight, you get any worker you want from almost anywhere in the world without having to worry about government agencies.