New Delhi: Post-pandemic economy has changed the world in more ways than one. Perhaps more set of 'new things' are on the cards. A recent survey by Microsoft claims more than 40 per cent of the global workforce are considering leaving their jobs in 2021. About 95 per cent of Americans are exploring the switch to new jobs or trying something new.
Experts say multiple factors have driven the upheaval. Now this phenomenon is being called 'a pandemic epiphany'.
By mid-2020, and even when the second wave hit several countries in a different period, it had seemed like an "achievement" just not to get ill. However, at the latter stages, things are evolving, throwing up entirely new dimensions.
It's called 'career downsizing'. "Many people are choosing to move away from ambition, to emphasise other aspects of life", says a report in abc.net.
Dr Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University, has coined the phrase 'great resignation'. This phenomenon sums up the new priorities of thousands of professionals- both men and women, and globally they want to focus on time for children and health safety.
Some have quit careers in financial technology to join or launch a new one in something like 'content marketing'. In most of these cases, the move is voluntary, and those doing so are happy about it.
Of course, interaction with some individuals in India revealed that the working atmosphere has been particularly bad in sectors like media. "Either it is badly polarised media organisations. Individual professional journalists are finding things suffocating. As it is nepotism and jugadu-culture had hit some of the professionals," said one Mumbai-based journalist, who has moved to something he thinks he would enjoy 'teaching to school children below standard sixth".
In the US, an estimated 4.3 million people quit their job in one month of August alone. There are other impacts too. In Germany, it has been reported that one-third of the industries are short of skilled workers. Such trends are being reported in economies like Vietnam as well. In India, the attrition rate in the tech sector is up by 23 per cent.
"There is evidence that people have been thinking during the pandemic in terms of how their life is going and have had some epiphanies and decided they want to make some changes to their life. And this could involve deciding to leave the workforce and stay home with family, to start a business, to pursue a hobby, perhaps retire early." says Klotz, according to a BBC report.
Even China has a shortage of workers in the tech sector. In some countries, of course, there is a so-called 'unemployment benefit'. But it is also a fact that not everyone is leaving due to such benefits.
Some say the COVID-19 has forced people to do some out of box thinking and even soul searching.
An educationist in Guwahati, Nripendra Shyam says, "The Wuhan virus has made people realise the unpredictability of life. Hence this career re-balancing". He says many youngsters he knows have quit places like Pune and Bengaluru and returned 'home' in little known places like Margarita in Assam or rural Tripura.
In some cases globally, the 'great resignation' from existing jobs has led to a start-up boom. People are turning their hobbies like Yoga teaching, cooking, and even talent in music and singing as 'part time'jobs.
India has added 1800 start-ups in the tech sector alone, reports say. In some countries, the workforce has also decided to opt for resignation due to 'exploitation' of skilled workers.
However, from places like Dubai and other middle east hubs, no data has been made possible. But people have returned home certainly.
In states such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, some Dubai-based NRIs could soon invest heavily in the tourism sector, like setting up resorts.
In some states, first-hand experience shows that bureaucratic wrangling keeps people from making investments in setting up health centres and hospitals. Such instances have been reported about states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand.
Overall, it's a mixed world, and the pandemic has left mixed ramifications.
Can we attribute everything to the unseen virus?
A more realistic test suggests that the clamour for a 'change' existed even before the pandemic broke out because you hated office politics, disliked the boss, and disapproved of his nepotism and sense of justice in ignoring hard workers.
The Workers are deciding differently, finally, and in some cases, the employers realise things have already slipped out of their hands.