By Nico Strydom
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes, one of which is the way in which people think about their lives.
Among others, the pandemic has led to changes regarding the way we socialise, travel, take care of our health, shop, do business, structure our time and the way we work, says Chris Blair, executive head of 21st Century.
“Employees worldwide worked from home for months due to the pandemic and when employers asked them to return to the office, they had already become used to working from home or anywhere else. In this period many people did introspection of their own purpose and the purpose of their work. If their purpose wasn’t in line with their work and the value offered by their employer, it caused employees to resign, even if they didn’t have another job.” This led to the term The Great Resignation – people who resigned in greater numbers than before the pandemic.
Many of the resignations were the result of people re-evaluating their lives and choosing work that gave them the flexibility and autonomy they had experienced during the first year of the lockdown, says Blair. Traditionally, better pay was the main reason for resigning, followed by better career opportunities and development. However, this tendency has turned around, with only approximately 20% of employees who now resigning for better pay, while more than 70% resign for a better work-life balance, flexibility, career development, a healthier culture and leadership.
According to Blair, these factors have led to the so-called contingent worker. A contingent worker is in a service relationship that usually comes with limited work security, payment in cash with limited benefits, payment on a project basis or payment on a contractual basis for outputs or time worked. Contingent workers are also known as freelancers, consultants, contractors, non-permanent workers, temporary personnel and independent workers.
These employees put more weight on the “conditions” of work that make complete autonomy, complete flexibility of work hours, flexibility regarding where they can work, honing skills and development, less travelling costs and improved work-life balance possible.
“Many of these employees put quality of life above salaries and compensate for the difference in income by living in less expensive areas, travelling less and leading simpler, family-focused lives. As long as they have good connectivity and computer equipment, they can work more effectively and with less managerial supervision than traditional employees. This means the employee as well as the employer company win – the employee’s new purpose is reached, while it demands less management of and responsibility for these workers from the employer.”
21st Century: https://www.21century.co.za/