Bosses think they’re winning the return to office—until employees blindside them by quiet quitting

Bosses think they’re winning the return to office—until employees blindside them by quietly quitting: 

until employees blindside them by quiet quitting 

The return to office has been a difficult transition for many employers and employees alike. While bosses may think they have won the return to the office, they are often blindsided when employees begin to quietly quit without warning. This can be a devastating blow to any organization, as it can leave them feeling betrayed and unprepared. It is important for employers to understand why their employees are leaving and what measures can be taken to prevent this from happening in the future. By understanding their employees’ needs and providing support during this difficult transition, bosses can ensure that their organization remains successful in the long-term.

Workers haven’t been this disinterested in their employment in ten years, so it turns out that the relationships made during the Zoom trivia night didn’t quite stick.

Everyone is, to borrow the derided phrase, quietly leaving. Yes, even totally remote workers experienced a four percentage point spike in silent resignations, according to recent Gallup data. It might give the pro-office movement some credibility, which counts Elon Musk, Jamie Dimon, and David Solomon among its ardent supporters.

With office occupancy exceeding 50% for the first time since the pandemic began, they may appear to be winning the war on returning to work, but it could ultimately backfire. That’s because forcing employees to go back to work won’t raise engagement levels. In fact, individuals in fully in-person, remote-ready professions saw the greatest fall in employee engagement, according to Gallup, with a five-point decline in engagement and a seven-point increase in “active disengagement.”

Gallup examined engagement by questioning 15,000 employees about various workplace factors that they associate with organisational outcomes, such as productivity, growth prospects, and general well-being.

Employee engagement in the United States had been on a decade-long hot run before the epidemic, reaching a record high in 2019. However, things have become worse since then. Employee engagement decreased annually from 36% in 2020 to 32% in 2022. Nearly 15% of workers from the previous year (18%) were actively disengaged. 1.8 to 1 was the lowest ratio of actively engaged to disengaged U.S. workers since 2013.

Over the past three years, there has been a “significant reduction” in organisational satisfaction, clear objectives, opportunity to perform what you do best, and a sense of connection to the organization’s mission or purpose.

Embrace flexible work and focus on manager-employee connections

According to Gallup, younger employees are now less engaged than their more seasoned peers. During the pandemic, engagement among Gen Z and millennial workers fell by four percentage points, but only by two percentage points among workers 35 and older.

They were less likely to say they had a best friend at work, felt like their ideas mattered, or had a coworker that supported their professional growth. Additionally, women had a higher disengagement rate than men.

However, according to Gallup, getting them back on board is far from hopeless—you only need to look outside the office. Flexible work was embraced by organisations that defied the trend and reported significantly higher engagement, while good manager-employee relationships were also given priority.

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