Workers of the world are united in their disdain for the traditional work model and are marshaling changes in employment.
The Great Resignation
The great resignation is a tide that is building to swamp employment as usual and reshape work as we know it.
Also known as “The Great Awakening” this trend has produced record resignations. In April, four million Americans quit their jobs, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. The same survey showed 3.9 million workers quit in June.
While conservative politicians rail against federal aid as the cause of this phenomenon, research does not bear that out. (See the story below).
Stress from working in a pandemic has been cited as a major cause of the great resignation.
“We basically burned out the global workforce over the last year. One of the ways people deal with burnout is switching employers,” Melissa Swift of Korn Ferry consulting told Axios.
Some companies, such as Linkedin, Hootsuite, and Bumble have are willing to give employees time off to recover from covid burnout.
Sometimes It’s Just the Job
The pandemic certainly added to worker burnout. However, research shows a deeper job dissatisfaction.
A Microsoft report shows that 41 percent of workers worldwide are considering quitting. Leading the way are Generation Z (18 to 25-year-old) workers. Over half (54 percent) of that age group are considering resigning their jobs.
Research by Adobe produced similar findings. The Adobe study shows 59 percent of Gen Z employees are dissatisfied with their jobs.
Changes in Employment Triggered by Tedium
Almost two-thirds of Gen Z employees told Adobe they feel pressured to work conventional hours. While about a quarter of them say they are most productive outside a 9 to 5 framework.
Another frustration is repetitive mundane work. Many workers complained in the Adobe report that invoices, file management, forms, and other paperwork reduced their effectiveness.
“Workers spend a third of the workweek on mundane, repetitive work, with 86 percent of enterprise workers and 83 percent of SMB (small business) leaders saying these tasks get in the way of doing their jobs effectively,” states the report.
Adobe’s report also found that half of the workers surveyed said they would switch jobs for one that provided more efficient technological tools.
Another reason workers want to see changes in employment is to gain more personal freedom.
A whopping 61 percent of workers told Adobe they would switch jobs to gain more control over their schedules.
A Prudential survey found that 42 percent of employees would refuse to work for an employer that did not offer remote work options.
Helping Unemployed Hasn’t Wrecked Job Market
Enjoy your weekend. Monday,(Labor Day) 7.5 million Americans will lose unemployment benefits, according to The Century Foundation, and another three million will lose income for those providing dependent care.
Some politicians and pundits think this will cause a drop in unemployment. However, recent history does not support that idea. In fact, it indicates a decline in consumer spending.
No Benefit to Cutting Aid
Governers in 26 states announced they would cut off federal benefits in June.
Their rationale was that benefits deterred unemployed workers from seeking jobs. However, only eight of those states saw an improvement in employment, according to the U. S. Department of Labor. In addition, nine states and the District of Columbia saw unemployment decline even though they did not cut aid.
“Politics, not economics, drove the attack on unemployment insurance,” maintains The Century Foundation’s, Andrew Stettner. Twenty-five of the 26 governors who cut federal unemployment benefits are Republicans.
Cutting Benefits Cuts Consumer Spending
Cutting benefits early had little to no impact on unemployment. However, it has had unintended consequences. Joint research by economists at Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Toronto, and Amherst finds that local economies have suffered from the cuts.
Household spending in the 26 states that opted out of benefits dropped almost $2 billion from June through August, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the White House is urging states with high unemployment to extend jobless benefits past Labor Day. The administration says those states could pay for the cost with over $350 billion allocated for the American Rescue Plan.
`enage `a Trois
One of the growing changes in employment is the number of people holding down two remote jobs at the same time and not telling either employer.
Go To The Website
A website has sprung up to help double jobbers called Overemployed.com. The site was launched by a disgruntled employee who uses the name, Isaac.
Isaac’s company began shedding jobs during the pandemic and he feared his head was on the chopping block.
To hedge his bets, Isaac looked for a new job. When he got it, Isaac had an awakening. He realized he could work both jobs at the same time.
A New Community
Isaac discovered there were other people facing the same challenges he had. That is when he founded the website and began growing a community.
Overemploymnet.com features tips for working two jobs at once. The site covers issues such as the legality of working two jobs, tax issues, managing conflicting meetings, and juggling two 401Ks. It also has a forum where users can communicate directly.
Over nine thousand users are part of Overemployment’s Discord community with another five thousand subscribing to its newsletter. However, those numbers are the tip of the iceberg.
“In August we had about 190,000 users who visited our website,” Isaac told SA in an email. Most of those were in the U. S. However, some were from Canada and the U.K.
The site is designed to help people safeguard themselves financially from changes in employment, such as layoffs, salary cuts, and loss of benefits. However, Isaac admits there is another reason.
“But more than anything else,” Isaac writes, “I wanted to organize a community to give the man, aka Corporate America, the middle finger for always trying to screw the little people over.”
Keeping It Going
Flipping off the boss may give a sense of inner peace, but is it sustainable?
“Oh, super sustainable,” says Isaac. “The Pandemic resulted in the big unplugging from the crazy lives we — dropping off kids to school, commuting to work, BS meetings, pick up kids, and commute home. Kids drop off and pick up is back — and it’s been the best because both my spouse and I can stop work and go do that together. Quality of living is way up, hours are still 40 hours tops or less. We don’t work past 5 pm. Dinner and the rest of the night are family time. No night meetings. Simply say no to BS work socialization. Get things done, step out of my ‘work’ and into my life.”
The New Workweek
For Isaac and other double jobbers, the 40-hour workweek is an outmoded concept.
“Why we do ‘it’ to ourselves with the notion of a 40-hour workweek still beats me,” writes Isaac. “I’m more productive than ever, and I’d rather work 20-25 hours a week in spurts to great productivity and creativity than sit and ‘participate’ work for 40 hours. It’s laisse faire free market, now labor is exercising that concept in a digital, knowledge worker way.”
One of the keys to successful double jobbing is setting work expectations.
“Get your job(s) done. No more, no less,” says Isaac. “First, set your own priorities, else your manager or work will prioritize your life for you.”
Isaac maintains that climbing the corporate ladder is the path to fool’s gold.
“I don’t go volunteering to go above and beyond for a potential promotion,” says Isaac. “I 2x instead — it’s a ‘promotion’ I can guarantee for myself and my family.”