The Great Resignation
I’ve just been cleaning my home-office while listening to a podcast. And I’ve been cleaning my home-office in “business hours” for the first time.
I have meetings still scheduled, and deadlines looming – in fact, there is quite a lot of work to be done. But I’ve stopped and cleaned my space, I’ve watered the plants in my office and I’ve looked around and decided I DEFINITELY need some artwork in here. I’m tempted to search online for a painting to love, but – well this column is due so I’m back to focusing on the immediate tasks at hand.
To break away from my desk is unusual for me. But I read something online the other day, and it hasn’t left my head. The heading was “The Great Resignation is Here”. Now this term the “Great Resignation” was coined by Professor Anthony Klotz to describe how the rise of remote work and factors around the pandemic have caused this phenomenon. “How we spent our time before the pandemic may not be how we want to spend our time after,” Klotz said. And let me tell you, I could relate.
I’ve researched a few articles on this and listened to the ABC’s aforementioned podcast on the topic and have to say there’s a bit of relief. Throughout the pandemic, I have of course wished for it to be over. The fear of loved ones becoming ill or worse, the lockdowns, the social disruption, the devastation to small business has been paramount. But after that, after those fears, there’s been a little bit of joy in my heart that I’ve felt “almost” guilty about. And reading about the Great Resignation has helped me align these mixed emotions.
Quite simply, there are also some wonderful things that have been discovered in our forced lockdowns that we may not have otherwise afforded ourselves. And that is time. Time in the garden, time to take up a new hobby, time to walk or exercise each day, time at home with family … and for me, it’s also introduced a great new concept to my schedule: weekends.
I have realised I have been working so hard (being a sole provider, homeowner, single parent, etc.) for so many years that I’ve just accepted I need to work at least six days a week and all hours. I’ve appreciated the business opportunities and focused wholeheartedly on delivering business services. And due to the nature of my clients, it’s frequently involved weekends and long hours.
But I have discovered the joy of taking weekends for myself; to garden, restore furniture and yes, purchase my first piece of proper artwork from a gallery. I’m exercising each day and have found having a Year 12 student in lockdown to actually be delightful. So, as I watch the numbers each day and excitedly anticipate an end to lockdown to see family and friends, there’s a part of me that is determined not to lose what I have gained – connection to myself, a desire for a more balanced lifestyle, and a love of the simple pleasures.
So, this Great Resignation makes sense. In the US, more than 11.4 million people resigned when restrictions finished. They just did not want to go back to the way things were. I for one, certainly want to see a new way to live when we get through this. And my advice to businesses is to embrace the opportunity to “partner” with your staff and clients and understand the changing dynamics of emerging into this new way of living. Our needs and wants for life are changing, and I think that’s a positive step.
Until next month, Abby x •