The current social and economic situation in the world presupposes several peculiarities and problems. An extremely important factor, as a rule, is a crisis arising as a result of various reasons. In the case of the last two years, such a crisis can be safely called the COVID-19 pandemic. As might be expected, this has led, among other things, to a sharp increase in the number of people leaving work for the global economy. There are many reasons for this, and it is worth considering them in more detail.
The pandemic that impacted all spheres of life of a modern person could not affect the fundamental processes both in the economy in general and in business in particular. The most shocking thing for the global economy was the transition to work from home for the employees of most enterprises. The rapid change in the work environment has generated a wave of stress and frustration among workers. A similar reaction is characteristic of people who are faced with sudden changes in their lives, but the pandemic itself caused additional stress. Fear and discomfort from social problems are superimposed in society on problems with a change in the work environment, which often leads to quitting. Thus, the pandemic had a strong impact on modern society, particularly on the work environment of many enterprises, which caused a wave of layoffs.
However, one should consider the reasons for leaving work in more detail because each employee has several personal reasons. The well-being of employees, both material and moral are the primary concerns. Many reports on unemployment and the work situation, in general, have often focused specifically on the category of well-being. However, in light of the events of recent years, it was decided to focus on the most important part of well-being, namely family and health care. In the context of the pandemic, these factors have become the main factors for the departure of employees from work. At the same time, there is a somewhat controversial methodology for dividing the reasons for employee departure into more presentable and less preventable. Previously, when analyzing data, it was believed that it is most likely that employer inflexibility may be the main reason for many reasons for leaving. In particular, it was considered in health and family, and it should remain a more stable and preferred category for analysis.
Despite the data obtained, the situation was not so clear-cut. After more detailed information on leaders and their methods in several organizations, interesting results were obtained. Evidence was found to refute the previous theory that it was leadership inflexibility that caused quitting. Most business leaders and work teams go to great lengths to retain employees facing difficult health and family decisions by providing them with support and assistance. It was decided to combine modern factors of leaving work in family and health care, as causes, with possible prevention. Moreover, the majority of exits, namely 63.3% (Work Institute, 2021), could be prevented based on their causes and specific situations. As a result, modern problems in the face of a pandemic and their consequences are forcing specialists to change the methodology for analyzing the reasons for dismissals, which makes it more relevant to the situation.
The pandemic caused the peculiarities of the consequences of the crisis. Work from home has become an important trend during the pandemic in recent years. The ability to work from home has often attracted employees in many industries in the past, and in particular, IT and related businesses have advanced. But the pandemic has led to a forced and abrupt transition to domestic work in a significant sector of enterprises in a wide range of areas. It’s worth taking a closer look at data analysis for 2020. Based on it, one can judge that working from home has led to a decrease in layoffs. In the first quarter, before the pandemic outbreak, one of the common reasons for layoffs was precisely the imbalance between work and personal life. In the fourth quarter of 2020, this reason became one of the smallest, which is precisely the transition to work from home. Thus, the transition to work from home has led to a decrease in the number of departures from work for an important reason in the past imbalance in work and personal life.
Both old methods and new practices gained during the pandemic can solve the current situation with leaving work. The old methods involve minimizing losses from the departure of personnel by creating a more stable team of those who remain in the enterprise and trying to retain them by direct methods. These include incentives, support from managers and special personnel, and the like. However, modern experience demonstrates that employees are much more comfortable working in their comfort zone, namely home space. Surrounded by familiar and pleasant for their morale home space and family environment, employees’ interest in work and their productivity grows. At the same time, employees have significantly fewer reasons for leaving the enterprise.
To summarize, the current economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was an important impetus for solving old problems and reasons for the layoff of employees and the emergence of new ones. So, over the past three years, the main problems have become not discomfort from an imbalance in work and personal life, but anxiety about their family and health care. The pandemic has revealed new ways to resolve the issue of employee layoffs; thus, new problems give rise to new challenges and new solutions.
Work Institute. (2021). Employee turnover insights and trends in 2020.