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Post-Pandemic Epiphanies May Include An Office Resignation Boom

Time for reflection and frustration may create a ‘turnover tsunami’ as workers return to the office.

Companies are gearing up to ask a lot of questions of employees as they begin returning to the office: Do you want to work remotely part of the day, how are you adjusting to new schedules and routines? Some management experts think the most basic, and pertinent, question may be, do you still want to work here?

A recent Bloomberg article explored the idea of a post-pandemic resignation boom (or turnover tsunami), as employees radically rethink their work, careers and priorities. Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, told the publication that pent-up resignations and pandemic-related epiphanies will likely lead to a “great resignation.”

There has been a boom in data points alluding to a large exodus. A Prudential survey in March suggested 1 in 4 workers were looking toward the exits, with one professor suggesting it may benefit those who are already upwardly mobile. New York Times tech writer Kevin Roose said we may see younger workers engage with the YOLO economy, seeing a chance for adventure after months of saving money and staying indoors. 

In commercial real estate, hiring has grown “exponentially” since February, according to Carly Glova, president of Building Careers, a commercial real estate talent firm. She’s seeing increased compensation packages as companies invest more in hiring top-tier talent. 

Klotz suggests that employees considering quitting think about their reasons for wanting to leave and make sure to give the new post-pandemic work environment a few weeks before making anything permanent. It’s also smart to suss out whether any sweeping policy changes, such as cutting back remote work, stick; companies may regret moves that push away top talent, so it’s best to make sure any changes actually do become permanent before making a permanent decision. Another big tip: Don’t fall back on pandemic-era behavior and resign electronically, if possible.