The culture of dismissal is indispensable

Job turnover is 20% higher in our new world of remote and hybrid work — and will continue to be, according to new research from technology research firm Gartner.

Why it matters: Companies need to brace themselves for an enduring culture of quitting.

By the numbers: According to Gartner, some 37 million people will leave their jobs in the US this year. That’s a 20% jump from pre-pandemic levels.

  • Zoom in: For example, a company that saw one-fifth of its workforce cut annually before the pandemic can now expect to lose nearly a quarter of its employees each year.

“This is as far as the eye can see at the moment”, says Brian Kropp, chief of research at Gartner’s HR practice. “As long as we’re in this world of remote and hybrid work — and it’s hard to see our way out — that increased level of revenue will stick with us.”

What is going on: Flexible working means that the cost of leaving a job is much lower.

  1. Employees have options. The companies that would like to hire you are no longer just the companies within commuting distance. Working remotely means there are many more places to land when you stop.
  2. Work friendships are weaker. “Employees choose a place to work not only for rational reasons, such as compensation or benefits, but also for emotional and social reasons, such as, ‘That’s where my friends are,’” says Kropp. Remote and hybrid working weaken those connections because there’s a lot less facetime in the office — or none at all.

But, but, but: Getting work from everywhere is not an option for most companies. 7 in 10 employees now view work flexibility as a table game, Gartner found.

What’s next: Companies will need to attract more recruiters to handle the long-term load of open positions. And they will need to build in some redundancy in teams so that products and customers don’t suffer from concentrated peak revenues.

The other side: It is possible to reduce that turnover rate, experts say.

  • Many companies were remote or largely remote before the pandemic and have managed to stabilize the shutdown rate.
  • Human Resources leaders in those places tell us that being clear about the company’s purpose and mission to foster a strong culture is just as essential as competitive pay and perks. And corporate retreats are now a must to build those work friendships that make people think about quitting.

Go deeper: Your office, changed forever

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