Lori Macias

Lori Macias

  • The Great Reassessment of Worker Priorities

At this time last year, there was no question as to where all the workers had gone. They’d been sent home as a result of shelter-in-place ordinances. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full force and vaccine approvals weeks away, millions of workers waited at home for the great recall. 

Fast forward to 2021 and businesses across the nation are practically begging for workers to either return to work or join their teams. Even as we head towards a post-pandemic world, with millions vaccinated and businesses opening or having been open for many months, workers are still few and far between. 

Rather than mass indefinite layoffs and terminations, though, it’s workers who are leaving their jobs at record rates. The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) numbers confirm the number of resignations are nearly double from the number a year ago at 4.3 million and rising.

From Job-Switching to Job-Scrapping

Before the pandemic, job-switching was the focus on the horizon. Now, job-scrapping is the destination of choice. The effects are being felt in corporate and front-line jobs alike. Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index reveals 41 percent of the global workforce are considering resigning this year. And it isn’t just pay that’s driving workers away, according to the latest Mercer study

Some of these statistics are the result of Baby Boomers retiring. The Pew Research Center reports that this segment of workers is retiring at an accelerated pace compared to pre-pandemic numbers. For many, the forced slow down provided time to rethink retirement plans, moving up the timetable because they didn’t want to resume the breakneck pace they’d been working. They wanted to focus on their health. Others decided to take the time out to learn how to open their own businesses and/or pursue passion projects that had been waiting in the wings until there was time to pursue them.

In addition, a recent survey of 3,000 Wonolo users shows people looking for new jobs or more opportunities were driven by some of the following factors:

  • Higher wages (74%)
  • Flexibility (63%)
  • New skills (48%)
  • Benefits (45%)

The Shift in Priorities that Businesses Need to Know

In a recent Digital.com survey on why workers are leaving their jobs in such great numbers this year, its findings reveal that while 66 percent of the respondents say they took the pandemic into consideration, there does not appear to be a single definitive motivator.  Rather, it appears workers have been leaving their jobs due to a broad array of reasons.

Of the 1,250 respondents, all of whom quit their jobs within the last six months, the common reasons for leaving their jobs were to:

  • Seek better pay and benefits (44%)
  • Focus on health (42%)
  • Find a job they’re more passionate about (41%)
  • Find indefinite remote work (37%)
  • Pursue further education/training (33%) 
  • Disliked boss/co-workers (33%)

Interestingly, the Digital.com survey also found that 32% of Americans quitting their jobs are starting their own businesses.

In a recent survey of 3,000 Wonolo users, a majority (79 percent) of Wonolo users reported that they were employed but not earning enough, and almost half (46 percent) said they plan to use Wonolo while traveling to find opportunities in multiple locations. At least 63 percent of respondents were working for or with at least one business, and approximately 49 percent were in a worse financial position than they were a year ago. Unsurprisingly, 72 percent of respondents said they were looking for supplemental income. Over 30 percent of respondents said they were currently not working.

What This Means for Businesses

Businesses will need to find ways to provide value, flexibility and offer competitive pay and benefits. With time-to-fill numbers increasing, many organizations continue to seek ways to staff up. Interim workers, part-time workers, and freelancers can be an integral part of the long-term solution. The ways of thinking about business and working relationships and expectations are evolving.

At Wonolo, an on-demand job marketplace, we believe in this evolution and leverage proprietary technology to connect people of diverse backgrounds to broad job opportunities in a versatile way that supports flexibility for workers and businesses alike. Wonolo stands for “Work Now Locally,” and we help businesses connect with local workers in their area. 

With over 1 million workers to date who have used the Wonolo mobile app to pick up jobs, Wonolo’s platform helps businesses flexibly and efficiently find the help they need during unpredictable times. Wonolo’s new calculators can also provide businesses with some insight as to how many workers they may need based on various business factors. Connect with Wonolo now and experience staffing made simple.