Post Pandemic Choices: Work-Life Balance is Winning

Post-pandemic planning and work: It isn’t just about the money in this survey of 4K+ workers who want better work-life balance and will change jobs if they cannot get it:

Photos: Tony Schnagl, Ivan Samkoy, Pexels.com

A new survey from the flexible and offsite/remote jobs site FlexJobs is out with results from over 4,600 workers about their jobs, careers and what they are looking for next. The number one reason people want to change careers is to be in a job or field with a better work-life balance (56%), ahead of a higher salary (50%). Other reasons respondents listed included:

  • Wanting a more meaningful or fulfilling career (49%)
  • To expand their professional skill set (43%)
  • Lack of advancement or growth opportunities in their current career (27%)
  • Approaching retirement and looking for a career change as a “second act” (19%)

There have been record setting statistics of churn, called the “The Great Covid Job Churn,” by some. Almost four (4) million people quit their jobs in June this year. This is far different than the normal churn, or turnover that happens the day-to-day job market. Because of the Covid pandemic, turnover that would have naturally happened in 2020 was dramatically different. Many lost jobs in service industries that count on business functioning at full capacity. Vacation and travel layoffs were dramatic as many jobs vanished almost overnight. Also, those who kept working, though they were ready for a change, stayed on to help their companies cope with changes. This is now creating a perfect storm build up of:

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com
  • Job seekers looking for something better, including work-life balance,
  • Baby boomers continuing to retire in a record numbers, and
  • Workers wanting to move closer home, to family and friends, aging parents or growing grandchildren.

U.S. Labor Department reports show that June 2021 had a record-high percentage of all job separations (including layoffs and firing) that were driven by staff quitting their jobs. So, even as workers are look for something else, employers now are working hard to retain them, offering work life flexibility options as well as raises or bonuses, as it costs less to do so than to to replace a valuable staffer. Employers are also offering incentives like never before to bring in new hires. 

As employers listen to their staff and consider post-pandemic options, it helps to know about these top five (5) work arrangement models collected by the Harvard Business Review:

Offsite and clubhouse style work downtown. Deb and Sharon in Chicago. @dnrevel, All Rights Reserved 2021
  1. As It Was: Staffers return to the office and resume a regular full day, all day routine. There may be new hygienic, safety procedures in place, and some new at-the-job flexibility, but mostly this is a centralized workplace office as it was before the pandemic.
  2. Clubhouse: This is a hybrid model where staff come to the office for collaborative projects and return home to do focused work. The office serves as a meeting spot, a social hub clubhouse— a place designated to meet others, socialize, and work together.
  3. Activity-Based Work: Staff work from an office without an assigned desk. Instead, they work in a variety of workspaces throughout the day including as meeting rooms, hot desks (use whatever desk is available), phone booths, and lounges. HBR reports that pre-pandemic, most Australian activity-based offices had approximately eight desks for every 10 people, since people often worked elsewhere in the office. Post-pandemic, these firms are looking to shrink this as low as five desks between 10 people, anticipating that many of their employees will be out of the office, working from home a couple of days per week.
  4. Hub and Spoke: Staffers work from satellite offices in the suburbs and neighborhoods usually closer to where they live, rather than commuting to a large downtown business district office. This saves them travel time while giving the benefits of in person interaction with colleagues.
  5. Fully Remote / Virtual: Staff work from home — or anywhere else they like, maybe poolside. HBR says this allows “companies to ditch expensive leases and build on what they started during the pandemic.”
Work-life perk when working offsite, photo by @dnrevel, All Rights Reserved


Listening to staff describe what they want and need, along with developing strategies and the ongoing anti-fragile ability to adapt to current realities and future needs is essential. Choosing the important over the urgent, is as relevant as ever.

Find out more about how to listen to staff and enlist them in being a part of the solution in the next blog post featuring the process and gifts of advisory and design teams.

“You have many habits that weaken you. The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives

Sources:
Flexjobs: https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/career-changers-seek-better-balance-ahead-pay-flexjobs-survey

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm

Forbes https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamvanderbloemen/2021/01/13/prepare-for-the-great-covid-job-churnwhy-2021-will-be-a-year-of-massive-job-turnover/

HBR: https://hbr.org/2021/06/5-models-for-the-post-pandemic-workplace

Published by dnrevel

Change & transition, Leadership team & organization development. Executive Leadership team coach. My LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dnrevel

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