Employee Exodus | What is it and how is it going to shape the Future of Work?

6 min readJan 14, 2022


Since this sudden health crisis hit, it has been an opportunity for many of us to take a step back and review our lives. Am I happy? Is my life reflecting who I am? The switch to remote or hybrid work triggered more specific questions, especially about our careers. Is my job fulfilling me? Is my salary reflecting my skills? What does my work-life balance look like? All those questions pushed people to reevaluate their lives. For some of them, it has been the trigger they needed to make changes. This phenomenon has been the root of the Great Resignation. This article provides clear information about the current employee exodus and how to adapt to a complete reshuffle for the future of work.

What is The Great Resignation? Definition and context


The Great Resignation, also called the Great Employee Exodus, is a current trend being observed in the work environment and marked by a particularly high number of people quitting their job. Professor Anthony Klotz, from Texas A&M University, coined this term and predicted this phenomenon to happen back in May 2021.

Since then, his predictions have been confirmed. In July 2021, there were 1 million job vacancies in the United Kingdom, the highest number ever recorded. Taking a look at Germany, more than a third of the companies confessed to a lack of competent employees. According to BBC, 3% of the US workforce left their position in October 2021.

However, experts insist on the fact not to generalise numbers as currently, the majority of the coverage focuses on employees that are planning to resign. It is therefore very important to take a closer look. Are the data linked to people who have quit their job or workers that are thinking about it? Even when taking this aspect into account, the resignation rates are still higher than usual, but maybe not as high as mentioned.

Why is this employee exodus happening?


It seems that the pandemic has only been a trigger for this movement to happen. Before Covid-19, people were already paying more attention to their health, looking for a better working life balance and asking for more recognition at work. Lockdowns and remote work have simply accelerated this process as workers now have more time to reflect on their lives.

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Many people are rethinking their life goals and their vision of work. They obviously wish to have a higher salary and better working conditions, but not only. Employees also want to craft their career path which matches their values as well as their needs, and this is what this mass resignation is all about.

Workers are tired of not being listened to and considered. In some industries, like the healthcare and the food sectors, those with essential jobs have been asked to work even harder. The Great Resignation statistics in those fields show tremendous numbers of people leaving their jobs.

The new hybrid work model has triggered this phenomenon and continues to accelerate it. Meanwhile, companies realise the benefits of flexible work, as this concept also creates a larger amount of opportunities for workers all around the world. People are not scared to leave a stable job. They want the best for themselves and are ready to make it happen.

What will the impact on the future of work be? Consequences of this phenomenon


This is only the beginning of a turning point and a few years will pass by until a new working pattern/structure will settle down. However, one thing is already sure, the impact on the future of work is going to be visible as much on the employees’ side as on the businesses’.

Workers are now looking for a purpose in their professional life. For example, filling a job position that allows them to show what they are great at and be appreciated for it. Also, working for a company with matching values is now a criterion that is more important than before. It can be acting for a more sustainable world, using ethical practices, empowering people, enjoying a quality life, etc.

Covid-19 has unleashed a new way of working where hybrid working models play a bigger part. This concept gives the opportunity to people to work from anywhere around the world, but also to apply for any company worldwide. Therefore, they now have a wider range of choices to find the business they truly wish to collaborate with.

This new approach towards their career is pushing companies to rethink and adapt their working model. The future of work is going to be more employee-centric and this is an important aspect that the HR function has to take into account in order to retain talents and succeed.

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How to retain your workforce?

If not already done, analysing and rethinking your working model is the best thing you can do in order to retain your workforce. You need to examine what are today’s demands in the job market as well as identify the reasons why your employees might resign. Knowing how your collaborators feel and what they need is therefore crucial. A study from Personio reveals that, while a toxic workplace culture is a key reason for employees to quit, it is an aspect that is totally underestimated by HR managers. To understand the resignation rate of your company, involve your workforce and ask them what issues they wish to be improved.

Higher salary rates, more acceptable working conditions, better healthcare programs, healthier work-life balance and more flexibility are among the main changes to focus on. Allowing Mark to work from home more often to enjoy extra time with his family, which is the best way to show that employees well-being matters to you. It also shows that you are listening to their needs. This is definitely a reason for workers to stay with your company, to be more productive and engaged. As mentioned before, the workplace culture is also an important part that companies have to work on.

For businesses that are ready to change and tackle these new trends, those are the key aspects they have to put their efforts into:

  • Getting to know employees’ needs;
  • Adapting the HR model;
  • Improving employee experience;
  • Offering hybrid work options;
  • Being ready to embrace new trends which include a total reshuffle in the work environment.

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Whether you are already impacted by the Great Resignation or you want to avoid this employee exodus, understanding this remodelling in the way of working is key. Employees-focused policies and a new work model should be at the centre point of the HR strategy for companies. deskbird hot desking software is helping you with those transformations and the management of hybrid teams. Feel free to contact us for a personalised demo!




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