The Great Resignation


Attrition or resigning from jobs is a common phenomenon. People change or leave jobs for many reasons. But, it happens within a limit. Most workers prefer to stay in the same company according to traditional standards. However, in the case of the great resignation, people started to resign in huge numbers. Here’s more about the movement.

What do you understand by the Great Resignation Movement?

The great resignation is an ongoing process of attrition en masse that started in early 2021. Many economists believe that the primary reason for the great resignation is the Covid 19 pandemic as the time period is in sync with the pandemic’s onset. However, others say that the reason for attrition is continued dissatisfaction with the work environment and wage stagnation in the midst of the increasing cost of living.

Economists suggest that although personal issues are intertwined with the decision of quitting the jobs, the arrival of Covid 19 fastened the process of voluntary resignation. As the hiring process was stagnant, the rate of attrition and the rate of hiring did not match each oyster. Therefore, the mass exodus has an enormous impact on the workforce. Many who left their jobs during the pandemic shifted to other modes of jobs or stopped working altogether.

Some economists argue that competition among employers to attract and retain talent showed an increase in the number of vacancies while attrition was also high. This may mean that people were resigning to occupy a better opportunity in some other company. Whatever the reason, the high attrition rate became a matter of concern for employers when the pandemic was still ongoing.

According to some economists of the Harvard Business Review, the onset of Covid 19 pandemic is not only responsible for the great resignation. There has been a long-standing trend that continued until 2021. The trend shows that there was an attrition rate increase of 0.10 percent each year from 2009 to 2019. This rate slowed in 2020 as the pandemic started and there was a circumstance of uncertainty. In 2021, as the stimulus was sent out and the condition improved people started to quit their jobs in large numbers. Therefore, these numbers are related to 2020 when people were concerned about job security, a concern that ceased to exist in 2021.

The HBR economists have termed five factors that impacted to bring the change in the employment trends. These are called the Five Rs which include retirement, relocation, reconsideration, reshuffling, and reluctance. The retirement rate is high but relocation is low. Workers are reconsidering their job roles. They are reshuffling or switching jobs in the same industry. Finally, they are reluctant to join an in-person job.

Who Coined the Term Great Resignation?

The term great resignation was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor at the University College London’s School of Management. He noticed a routine and unnaturally high trend among employees to leave their current jobs in search of more accommodating and balanced profiles. He noted that most employees who left the jobs were burned out and looking for services where they could cool themselves.

Klotz noted that employees found themselves in an exploiting condition as the support systems in most jobs were low. The employees demanded more flexibility and time to relax which was unavailable to them in most job roles. Klotz offered some solutions to mitigate the burnout effects that led the employees to leave jobs in mass numbers.

Klotz suggested that employers should provide more support and off-time to employees so that they can remain afresh even while engaged in a traditional role. Klotz also suggested that employees are now fed-up with top-down systems. The employees want their voices to be heard by the owners. If the owners pay a deaf ear to employees, the latter would shift to another company even if it takes slime time.

Effects of The Great Resignation

The great resignation has already disrupted many industries and there is no reason why it won’t do so to still many. The great revolution has impacted industries from the bottom-up and considering the following effects are necessary to avoid bottlenecks in the operation of industries in the future.

Here are some notable effects of the great resignation:

  • The great resignation can spur more voluntary retirements. As people leave jobs increasingly they may inspire others to follow the suit. In fact, many of the employees who are unsatisfied with their job roles are already contemplating a change in job. In such circumstances, resignation in such an increased number will only help the potential employees to leave their organizations.

  • More people would opt for remote, and hybrid work in the future. As attrition rates in in-person jobs go up, people would seek to be part of remote and hybrid jobs in order to manage their work-life balance and have flexibility in their working conditions.

  • The cost of finding and training new employees may increase. Due to the mass exodus, there will be a palpable number of vacancies that must be filled with freshers. These new employees must be trained so that the operations can go unhindered.

  • An increase in wages will also be a priority of the employees in the future. As the demand for workers goes up and availability plummets, the workers will demand more remunerations to be satisfied in their job roles.

  • There may be a shortage of high-skilled labor as the employees leave their jobs to establish new companies or pause to work for the time being to prepare for a new role.

  • The workplaces may get a new shape altogether. As people chose to join remote or hybrid jobs, the physical structure of offices may take a new shape. Instead of a lot of office stationery, the offices may look for cutting down the cost by removing the stationeries.


The great resignation is one of the most impactful revolutions the world has ever seen. It is unique and challenging for most employers. The rules and regulations of the movement are inspired by the well-being of employees which the employers cannot ignore anymore.

As the employees change their priorities from in-office work to remote economies, there will be a dynamic shift in work culture. Productivity may increase as the workers find a better work-life balance and this can bring new innovations and competition in the job roles.

It will be too early to judge whether the great resignation revolution is a great revolution in fact. In order to say so, we must wait for at least a few more years. By then, the great resignation will probably change a lot of our habits.


1. Which factor is considered the most influential in bringing about the great resignation movement?

Ans. Although job dissatisfaction is imperative, the biggest factor that has impacted the attrition rates is the onset of Covid 19 pandemic. This pandemic has left the job market vacant like no other factor. The most notable observation is that people who had left their jobs before the pandemic have not returned to jobs again after the offset.

2. What is the hybrid format of employment?

Ans. In the hybrid form of employment, the employers work partly in offices and party from home. It is a new system that has been introduced to combat the negative effects of covid 19 pandemic on work culture. Employees are offered flexibility to work according to their preference in the hybrid format of employment.

3. What helps the employees work from home?

Ans. Internet and communication technologies help employees to work remotely from home.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 13-Oct-2022


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