Is a ‘Great Resignation’ Coming When Workers Go Back to the Office?

Businessman sending a resignation letter to the executive employer boss on desk, Change of job, unemployment, resign  from work concept.
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Experts foresee a “great resignation” as more people start heading back into the office. Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of organizational management at Texas A&M University, told Bloomberg Businessweek companies should expect employee resignations as the work force stabilizes.

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“When there’s uncertainty, people tend to stay put, so there are pent-up resignations that didn’t happen over the past year,” said Klotz, who studies the resignation process, specifically people who decided to quit but haven’t made the move.

During the coronavirus pandemic, as people spent less time commuting to work, there became more time to spend with family and on passion projects. As for what we’re going to see this summer with employees and organizations, Klotz told Bloomberg that he expects a lot of uncertainty.

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“Companies are figuring out how to maintain their cultures and employees, so many are offering multiple options: Do you want to come back full time? Work remotely? In-office three days a week? Four days? One day?” Klotz told Bloomberg.

“It will be unclear whether these options will be permanent, making it difficult for employees to decide whether to stay or go,” he continued.

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Meanwhile, there are employees who don’t want to resign and would stay if their company would let them keep working from home. According to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey, 42% of current remote workers say if their current company does not continue to offer remote work options, they will look for a job at a company that does. Additionally, 26% of respondents plan to look for a new job after the pandemic.

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If you’re called back, Klotz told Bloomberg that he suggests waiting at least a week or two before making a decision and to talk to your co-workers about their thoughts — they may have similar concerns.

While it may be tempting to resign through a screen or a note, research has found that managers and organizations prefer to have a discussion. He also expects to see boomerang employees, those who decide they miss their job and come back. As far as what to say when resigning, he advises honesty.

“You want to resign in as positive a way as possible,” he told Bloomberg.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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