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Professor Who Coined “Great Resignation” Expects Long-Lasting Changes To The Workforce

The Great Resignation is showing no signs of slowing down despite layoff rates growing. 

In May, over 4.27 million Americans quit their jobs, a slight dip from the record 4.5 million who did so in November of 2021. 

While the threat of a recession has impacted hiring processes in recent months, management professor Anthony Klotz — who coined the term Great Recession — predicts that worker demands to emerge from this era will remain part of workplace culture in the future. 

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“At the core of these changes is increased flexibility,” said Klotz, who works at London’s UCL School of Management.   

“In ways big and small, companies are giving workers more flexibility in their schedules and in how they do their work, so that employees can better balance their personal and professional lives, and can be more engaged in both domains.”

These changes in workplace policies, including those that better the mental and financial health of workers, may not have occurred for another 30 years had it not been for the ongoing pandemic according to Klotz. 

As a result of pandemic-era shifts, workers are increasingly unlikely to return to pre-pandemic workplace norms. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report showed that 63% of job seekers name work-life balance their top priority when looking for a new position.

Aside from work-life balance, those who sought out new jobs also gained better pay, more workplace flexibility, and expanded career advancement opportunities. 

However, if (and when) an economic downturn occurs, Klotz believes that happy employees are more likely to stick around at their current position in the face of uncertainty. 

“Perhaps as impactful [if not more so], in terms of reducing the attrition we’ve seen over the past 15 months, will be the changes that many companies have made to the way that their employees work,” said Klotz. 

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