1 in 4 workers is considering quitting their job after the pandemic—here’s why

Compassionate Eye Foundation/Gary Burchell

By Jennifer Liu

In 2019, workers were quitting their jobs at record rates, with labor experts saying workers did so in order to secure the pay raises and promotions they weren’t getting from within.

Then, beginning in March 2020, the labor market shed 20.5 million jobs in the first few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a year later, there are still nearly 7.9 million fewer Americans counted as employed than in February 2020, while the labor force is down 3.9 million.

But with signs pointing toward recoveryin many economic sectors, workers are feeling the itch to job-hop yet again. By some estimates, 1 in 4 workers is planning to look for opportunities with a new employer once the threat of the pandemic has subsided, according to Prudential Financial’s Pulse of the American Worker survey. The data, collected by Morning Consult on behalf of Prudential in March 2021, includes a sample of 2,000 employed adults, including a statistically significant sample of workers that are or have been working remotely during the pandemic.

Here’s a look at who’s planning to leave, and what employers should be thinking about as they retain — or recruit — in a post-pandemic environment.

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Some Big Tech companies may be tapping the brakes on the work-from-home-forever trend

A year into the global pandemic, Amazon and Google are pushing for a return to the office.

BY CONNIE LIN

In March 2020, when the nation began working from home after the coronavirus pandemic breached U.S. shores, the shift was immediate and extreme. Speculators mused that the worldwide experiment in remote business would revolutionize the work economy. And naturally Big Tech, having already pioneered the digital frontier, seemed poised to lead the charge.

For a while, it did: In May 2020, Silicon Valley mammoths Facebook, Twitter, and Square all said their employees could opt to work from home indefinitely should they wish. Google initially fronted one of the longest timetables for a return to the office. But now a year into the global pandemic, it appears to be pulling back the horses on remote work.

The search engine giant said Wednesday it will speed up office reopening plans in April for those who volunteer before the September 1 deadline, according to a memo cited by CNBC. The company, which made headlines last year for eyeing a “hybrid” workweek schedule, also reportedly said that after September 1, employees who want to work remotely more than 14 days per year must formally apply for it—requesting up to 12 months in “the most exceptional circumstances.” (We reached out to Google for comment on the memo.)

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What a Year of WFH Has Done to Our Relationships at Work

by Nancy Baym, Jonathan Larson, Ronnie Martin

We know it’s been a while, but do you remember bumping into colleagues in the office hallway, chatting about weekend plans or a big project you’re working on? Do you recall finding yourself in the right place at the right time, giving someone a missing piece of information or introducing a colleague to someone new? If you’re like many people, you may not have realized how much these conversations mattered until you found yourself working from home.

These informal interactions are key to what’s known as social capital — benefits people can get because of who they know. You rely on your social capital every time you’ve hit a dead end and someone pitched in to help you, even though they didn’t have to. It shows up when you need expertise and someone you’d only met once was able to offer it. You also help others build their social capital when you go above and beyond to support them with knowledge, mentoring, or kindness. And the reason you can turn to someone else and offer extra help is that you’ve built a base of familiarity and goodwill through these unplanned interactions that once filled our workdays.

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The Looming Long-Term Unemployment Crisis

A San Francisco restaurant. New data shows that nearly 80 percent of new jobless claims in California last month were from people cycling in and out of employment.

By Ben Casselman

Why Are Jobless Claims Still High? For Some, It’s the Multiple Layoffs.

Jobs are coming back. Businesses are reopening. But a year after the pandemic jolted the economy, applications for unemployment benefits remain stubbornly, shockingly high — higher on a weekly basis than at any point in any previous recession, by some measures.

And headway has stalled: Initial weekly claims under regular and emergency programs, combined, have been stuck at just above one million since last fall, and last week was no exception, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

“It goes up a little bit, it goes down, but really we haven’t seen much progress,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist for the career site Indeed. “A year into this, I’m starting to wonder, what is it going to take to fix the magnitude problem? How is this going to actually end?”

The continued high rate of unemployment applications has been something of a mystery for many economists. With the pandemic still suppressing activity in many sectors, it makes sense that joblessness would remain high. But businesses are reopening in much of the country, and trends on employment and spending are generally improving. So shouldn’t unemployment filings be falling?

New evidence from California may offer a partial explanation: According to a report released Thursday by the California Policy Lab, a research organization affiliated with the University of California, nearly 80 percent of the unemployment applications filed in the state last month were from people who had been laid off earlier in the pandemic, gotten back to work, and then been laid off again.

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Skill set workers need for the future job market

By Abdullah Shibli

As we fight to overcome the damages done by the Covid-19 pandemic and restart and recalibrate our economies, this is a golden opportunity to ask what we can do to prepare ourselves better for the next decade. One thing is certain. New technologies will emerge more rapidly now that we know how to adapt to a major catastrophic event such as the all-devouring Covid-19 virus and how to fight back. Innovative approaches to working and living will make the world in 2030 a different one than the one we had envisaged before the pandemic. And we all need to adapt to this new world. Bangladesh’s challenge is to transform our education programmes and skills development infrastructure to deliver the talents needed for an innovative, digitised, and post-agricultural economy in the forthcoming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Bangladesh’s progress in manufacturing exports is comparable only to that of China and Vietnam. The apparent contradiction, however, lies in the fact that Bangladesh made such progress without any rapid structural transformation of the economy. Despite a very high share of manufacturing exports in total merchandise exports, the export basket of Bangladesh remained highly concentrated around low value-added and low-complexity products.

In the next decade, the largest challenge will be faced by women both in industrialised and emerging economies. Women hold jobs in areas that are predicted to grow, such as registered nurses and personal care aides—possibly accounting for 58 percent of new job growth. At the same time, women hold a large portion of shrinking jobs, like office clerks and administrative assistants, customer service, food service, and community services.

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Zillow is adopting a hybrid model of work, but its CEO says it’s trying to prevent one major downside: a ‘two-class system’ where those who come into the office are viewed as better employees

By Avery Hartmans 

  • Zillow CEO Rich Barton discussed the future of work during the company’s Q4 earnings call.
  • A hybrid model could create a “two-class system” that negatively impacts remote workers, he said.
  • Others have echoed his concerns. GitLab’s CEO called a hybrid model “the worst of both worlds.”

Throughout the pandemic, the buzzy phrase in corporate America has been “hybrid model” — as in, a new way of working that involves both remote work and coming into a physical office a few days per week or month. 

And while that model seems like an elegant solution for life post-coronavirus, there may be a hidden downside for employees, Zillow CEO Rich Barton warned.

During the online real estate company’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, Barton discussed how Zillow managed the shift to remote work throughout 2020 and what he’s expecting for the future. While Zillow has been successful operating as a “cloud-headquartered company,”the company does plan to have some employees return to its offices, and that can present challenges, Barton said. 

“We must ensure a level playing field for all team members, regardless of their physical location,” Barton said. “There cannot be a two-class system — those in the room being first-class and those on the phone being second-class.”

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20 jobs that will start to disappear in the next 5 years


Angela Priestley,

We’re set for some massive jobs and skills displacement over the coming years, thanks to the adoption of various technologies, particularly AI and automation.

The World Economic Forum runs extensive research across the changing job requirements and skills demands of employers in order to determine where some of the major shifts will be.

In 2018, this research led them to make a bold prediction that they reiterated again in 2020: that is that by 2025 “the average estimated time spent by humans and machines at work will be on parity based on today’s tasks.”

In 2020, they predict that 85 million jobs may be displaced by massive shifts in how labour is divided between humans and machines by 2025.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

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8 fields seeing real growth in remote jobs: Some pay more than $75,000 per year

By Gili Malinsky

SENIOR TAX ACCOUNTANTS MAKE AS MUCH AS $78,000, ACCORDING TO INDEED.

2020 brought a lot of changes to the workplace as employers worldwide tried to grapple with the social distancing and health protocols of the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 4 in 10 (43%) HR professionals saw remote-work flexibility to be the top change within organizations, according to an October-November 2020 Monster survey of 3,100 recruitment and HR professionals from around the world. That priority is reflected in the array of positions now increasingly offered as remote jobs.

Jobs board FlexJobs recently highlighted career categories where remote job listings have grown by more than 25% since March 2020. Read on for eight career categories with growing remote work opportunities according to the site, including popular job titles and their average annual salaries, organized from highest to lowest growth.

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After embracing remote work in 2020, companies face conflicts making it permanent

after-embracing-remote-work-companies-face-conflict

Paul Sawers@psawers

Although the pandemic forced employees around the world to adopt makeshift remote work setups, a growing proportionof the workforce already spent at least part of their week working from home, while some businesses had embraced a “work-from-anywhere” philosophy from their inception. But much as virtual events rapidly gained traction in 2020, the pandemic accelerated a location-agnostic mindset across the corporate world, with tech behemoths like Facebook and Twitter announcing permanent remote working plans.

Not everyone was happy about this work-culture shift though, and Netflix cofounder and co-CEO Reed Hastings has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents. “I don’t see any positives,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative.”

Hastings predicted that as society slowly returns to normal, many companies will concede some ground to remote work, but most will return to business as usual. “If I had to guess, the five-day workweek will become four days in the office while one day is virtual from home,” he said, adding (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that Netflix employees would be back in the office “12 hours after a vaccine was approved.”

But a remote workforce offers too many benefits for most companies to ignore completely, chief among them a vastly widened talent base. Fintech giant Stripe launched what it called a “remote engineering hub” to complement its existing fixed-location offices. Although Stripe had employed remote workers since its launch a decade earlier, these workers were embedded within a traditional office structure and reported to a manager or team based in a physical office. The remote engineering hub went some way toward putting remote work on equal footing with brick-and-mortar bases and helping the company “tap the 99.74% of talented engineers living outside the metro areas of our first four hubs,” Stripe CTO David Singleton said at the time.

This highlights some of the conflicts many companies will face as they strive to remain competitive and retool themselves for a workforce that expects flexibility on where they work from. Making that transition will come with major challenges.

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This CEO Just Brilliantly Explained How Remote Work Will Change the World by 2030, and It’s Next-Level

BY JUSTIN BARISO, AUTHOR, EQ [email protected]

remote-work-will-change-the-world

Chris Herd thinks he’s seen the future. And it’s ruled by remote work.

As more and more companies rush to adapt new remote work policies, many find themselves behind the curve.

But what if you could look into the future? What if you could see how remote work will change the world over the next decade?

Chris Herd believes he has. 

Herd is founder and CEO of Firstbase, a startup focused on helping solve its customers remote work problems. Over the course of the past nine months, he’s spoken to more than 1,500 people about the future of remote work, and how it’s likely to change the world in the very near future.

Herd summed up his insights recently in a brilliant Twitter thread. Below you’ll find the highlights, along with my personal commentary.

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Let’s Hope Machines Take Our Jobs: We Want Wealth, Not Jobs

By Peter St. Onge

let's-hope-machines-take-our-jobs

The job-threatening rise of the machines is an economically illiterate meme that refuses to die. We’re actually probably in the early stages of it, a bull-market in neo-luddism, if you will. Bastiat’s “Candlemakers Petititon” answered this one long ago, but today I’ll run a little thought experiment that owes it all to good old Bastiat.

Let’s say Weird Al Yankovic invents a machine capable of making everything with a single push of a button. The first thing he does is print up a bunch of machines and sell them for a ton. Weird Al is now a billionaire, and there are thousands of make-everything machines.

This diffusion of Weird Al’s new technology replicates the market process, where new tech spreads in proportion to its usefulness. If you doubt this, because of patents, for example, check out Brazil’s experience with AIDS drugs, where they tore up the patents on humanitarian grounds.

Weird Al’s machines will, at a minimum, be mass produced in Brazil. Or China. Or Mozambique.

So, one way or another, we get a bunch of make-everything machines.

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India is in the middle of a much-needed start-up revolution

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India now has 38,756 officially-recognised start-ups –– with 27 unicorns, eight of which achieved this status in 2020 –– and is the third-largest tech start-up hub globally.

Entrepreneurs today are utilising the unprecedented advances from technology, operating on the demands of our demography, and inadvertently steering citizen welfare.

Five years since Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Start-Up India initiative, we are witnessing a golden chapter in the history of Indian entrepreneurship.

India now has 38,756 officially-recognised start-ups –– with 27 unicorns, eight of which achieved this status in 2020 –– and is the third-largest tech start-up hub globally.

According to Praxis Global Alliance, start-ups are growing at an average rate of 12–15% annually. Start-ups have raised $63 billion between 2016–20 in funding, $20 billion of which was raised in 2019 over 1,854 deals. Investments in start-ups are growing incrementally each year ($12 billion, $25.2 billion, $26.3 billion, and $34 billion invested in the last four years, respectively), with $16.7 billion till May 2020. Start-Up India kickstarted an entrepreneurship revolution. Several policy interventions were since announced, giving the entrepreneurial ecosystem a much-needed launchpad. The overhaul of the digital payments ecosystem is being led by State innovation, with Aadhaar, Jan Dhan, UPI, and India Stack. The Atal Innovation Mission, Niti Aayog, has built an ecosystem of 8,800 tinkering labs, 4,000 mentors and over two-and-a-half million students, and acted as a conduit for over 3,500 innovations while supporting 1,500 start-ups.

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