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There is no Great Resignation!

Anita Lettink
Anita Lettink
Hello to you, and welcome to all new subscribers! In this issue I reveal my latest research into the Great Resignation. Do we even have one? (Spoiler Alert: No!)
I found some interesting links about Remote Work, including a new solar-powered design for a cool home away from home. Because location doesn’t matter anymore!
Also, this is the last newsletter of the year! I can’t believe how fast it went by. I’ll be back in January with new stories and discoveries to help you thrive in the Future of Work. Thank you for staying with me.
I wish you Happy Holidays and a wonderful 2022!

A Great Resignation?
You’ve seen the headlines about the Great Resignation. The Great Reassessment. The Great Reshuffle. And lots of other “Great” names.
It began back in March with a study by Microsoft claiming that 41% of workers worldwide were looking to resign. And that was only the first of many articles. Even last week, a UK study claimed the number was more than 70%.
But I just didn’t see it in my network. Yes, people were changing jobs, but not in record numbers. And they were certainly not leaving the workforce to become independents. But my network is anecdotal, and it might not represent the real world.
So when a journalist asked about the Great Resignation on LinkedIn I thought it was a good time to look at the data. Turns out, the Great Resignation doesn’t exist! It’s a myth.
Permanent over independence
People are not leaving the workplace in larger numbers than before the pandemic. I looked at the statistics of over 30 countries and found no data to support this.
Even when you look at the United States, where the number of people resigning is larger than in prior years, it’s not more than in other countries. So I wonder if it’s more about who is doing the quitting?
You could argue that people postponed their plans and stayed in their jobs longer due to new COVID-19 waves. Eventually they will leave.
And you might be right. However, there are several countries that returned to growth and have more workers (in absolute and relative numbers) today than before the pandemic, like Canada, France, Spain and the Netherlands.
Even there, people are not leaving the workplace. In fact, it’s the opposite: more people are moving from flexible to permanent contracts than the other way around.
The Great Return
Instead of a Great Resignation, there is a Great Return. It seems that companies, especially when they offer flexibility and remote working, are more attractive than ever.
Does that mean that employers can rest easy, knowing that workers will be back? Not all.
Several regions are in the midst of a demographic shift, with Baby Boomers leaving the workplace. Simply said, there will be fewer people in the workforce.
Secondly, the skill sets to thrive in the Age of Intelligence are completely different. If you don’t upskill people, you won’t have enough qualified workers.
Isn’t it fascinating how surveys grabbed headlines based on asking people what they intend to do? Turns out, what people actually do is quite different.
Supporting employees
I do think one good thing came out of this: companies pay more attention to employee circumstances, offering mental health and engagement programs, and even better benefits and work conditions. And that’s a win.
I’m sure books will be written about these years, and when we look back, we discover what really happened. 
In the meantime, let’s trust the data. What does your workforce data tell you?
Drop me a note about what it looks like in your country.
And keep in mind that a company is not the labor market and so it might look very different at micro-level.
Have a great day, Anita
You can also download the article including the data.
The Great Resignation
The Great Resignation
More Work Insights
The Solar Team from Eindhoven University is famous for winning the Australian Solar Challenge 4 years in a row. This year they wanted a new challenge and built the Stella Vita, a self-sustaining House on Wheels. They just successfully finished a trip from Eindhoven to the southernmost tip of Spain. Who wouldn’t want this cool mobile office?
Or is your next office in the “metaverse”? Can a captivating work environment make you more creative and productive? Several vendors think so and are building VR workspaces that allow you to choose the perfect place. Using a headset, you can move from a cafe to an office to your home working space. My question is: would you want to wear one?
The Pivot Podcast interviewed Anne Helen Peterson and Charlie Warzel about their new book: “Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working from Home”. You’ll hear about the new paradigms of work, monitoring employees, the value of office buildings and what happens to dating when people don’t meet in the office anymore. Interview starts at 35:00.
Earlier this year, European workers took the platform companies to court to demand better pay and working conditions. They won. Workers in Singapore and Indonesia took note. While fundraising exploded for the platforms, driver income dropped by over 60%. Drivers are organizing themselves for larger, collective actions.
Back in April I wrote about API’s for HCM and Payroll and included 7 startups. Turns out, I overlooked one: Merge. They have a central API that integrates with all vendor API’s. Instead of connecting to several APIs, you’d only connect to Merge and they take care of the rest. It’s a concept worth checking out. The article now introduces 8 startups. Take a look.
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Anita Lettink
Anita Lettink @let_anita

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