This week, workers begin to take stock of their lives and downsize their work lives. Plus, why the Great Remote Work Experiment may have been flaws; the worst parts of work may be difficult to change; talent shortages show that we need to pay more attention to the employee experience; and how to manage star performers in high-pressure situations. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

#1. Why are so many knowledge workers quitting?

 

In April, a record 4 million people quit their jobs in the U.S. alone. It became known as “The Great Resignation,” though the concept remains complicated and affects different groups of workers in different ways. The unexpected departure of knowledge workers from primarily small to midsized companies can be attributed to one factor, an independent coach said: the pandemic led people to rethink the role of work in their lives altogether. Instead of continuing on, workers began downsizing their career and reducing the amount of work hours to instead spend time doing other non-work activities.

 

Many knowledge workers have long felt that their lives were significantly out of balance. They worked long hours and suffered from burnout – with no end in sight. Though it’s unclear whether downsizing will grow into a larger trend, it’s clear that some workers are taking stock of their lives – and making changes. Read more at the New Yorker.

Photo: Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

#2. Why the great remote work experiment might have been flawed?

 

The pandemic launched a global remote work experiment. The “Great Remote Work Experiment” taught us a lot of things, like productivity, communication, and boundaries. But there’s one thing often forgotten in the discussion: that we were working from home during a pandemic, and the experiment began with minimal support or preparation. Our experiences were shaped by very specific and unique circumstances. When the world reopens, those circumstances will change dramatically, meaning that remote work may feel quite different to pandemic life. Read more at the BBC.

Photo: Ivan Samkov from Pexels

#3. The worst parts of work may be difficult to change.

 

When the pandemic hit, one potential positive emerged: it would provide a rich and unique opportunity to rid offices of toxic workplace culture, from presenteeism to glorification of overwork to authority bias, among others. But as businesses are starting to reopen and companies are beginning to explore flexible working solutions, it’s becoming clear that much more needs to be done to dismantle the worst parts of work, from workaholism to presenteeism. Read more at the BBC.

Photo: JJ Jordan from Unsplash

The Surprising Way That McDonald’s Attracts Young Talent

How big companies like McDonald’s are using audio to attract and retain top talent. Plus, America’s second largest stock exchange sets a ground-breaking precedent for members; the growing market for electric vehicles and why companies need to upskill and reskill to meet demand; Google staff could see a pay cut if they opt to work from home; and why signing bonuses may not be enough to combat one of the U.K.’s most severe labour shortages.

#4. Talent shortages are magnifying the need for improving employee experience.

 

What happens when you run out of talent? In the tech industry, experts and managers are facing that very question right now thanks to a lack of skilled IT workers, especially in the cloud fields. The shortage may cause digital transformations to stall in their tracks. Studies have shown that 40% of organizations are looking for third parties to help manage their cloud projects, leading to growing delays and frustration. Read more at Forbes.

Photo: George Morina from Pexels

#5. Managing star performers in high-pressure situations.

 

In most situations, success tends to breed confidence. But for some star performers – like Olympians - in high-pressure situations, success can multiply expectations and raise pressure to unhealthy levels. Pressure tends to be a function of three things: the importance of the outcome, how uncertain that outcome may be, and any distractions around the outcome. Coaches can help handle high-pressure stakes and reducing baggage attached to failure. Read more at Harvard Business Review.

Photo: Sicong Li from Unsplash

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