A recent Wall Street Journal article titled “First It Was Quiet Quitting, Now Workers Are Facing Off With Their Bosses”, reported that half of workers in the US lack engagement in their jobs, putting in minimal effort.
According to the article, Gallup's research shows a decline in employee engagement for the second consecutive year. Many workers feel disengaged and resentful due to unmet needs, including low pay, long hours, and eroded trust in their employers. Unclear expectations from managers contribute to this attitude shift.
Worker frustrations have been increasing since 2021, following a peak in worker engagement levels recorded by Gallup in 2020. Companies are now attempting to bring employees back to the office, fearing decreased productivity and loyalty. Gallup's report, based on surveys of over 60,000 people in the US, emphasizes that engaged workers are more productive and tend to have longer job tenures. Additionally, over half of the respondents (57%) believe it is a favorable time to find a job. The Conference Board's November survey revealed that workers who voluntarily changed jobs during the pandemic and those who have the flexibility to work from home part-time are among the happiest. The happiness of workers has improved in recent years due to increased salaries and better-fitting positions.
These findings from Gallup come in the midst of a worker backlash, with protests against in-office requirements as companies modify pandemic-related policies. Workers at Farmers Group called for unionization, and some threatened to quit after a new CEO announced a mandatory three-day office work policy. Amazon.com employees also demonstrated against a hybrid-work model with three days in the office per week. Many workers interpret the shift away from flexible schedules and remote work as a lack of trust from executives. Others emphasize the critical importance of remote work benefits experienced during the pandemic, such as increased family time and reduced commuting, for their overall happiness.
While there is no one right answer, the attorneys at Outside Legal Counsel LLP can help ensure that all policies related to hybrid or remote work arrangements are customized and carefully crafted. Please reach out to us for more information about our services and how we can help.
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