This economic period has been dubbed “The Great Resignation” due to the millions of people quitting or changing their jobs during the past year.
“People are really searching for meaning … When you are faced with a crisis, it puts into sharp relief, what are your priorities? … There is a real pivot toward meaningful work.” —Joanne Lipman
Journalist Joanne Lipman says this shift in the labor market is a sign that in recovering from the pandemic, the modern workplace needs to acknowledge workers’ humanity.
Listen: How should the workplace evolve in the post-pandemic era?
Joanne Lipman is a journalist and author of “That’s What She Said.” She recently wrote a piece for Time titled “The Pandemic Revealed How Much We Hate Our Jobs. Now We Have a Chance to Reinvent Work.” She says if we’re going to start the workplace from scratch after the pandemic, it will never look the same again.
“When you think about the … modern workplace that we all grew up in, it was actually created about a century ago,” she says. ”Everything has changed and yet we’re still kind of wedded to this outdated model.”
Lipman says so many workers have been quitting or changing jobs because this year gave them a chance to reassess their lives. “People are really searching for meaning,” she says. ”When you are faced with a crisis, it puts into sharp relief, what are your priorities?… There is a real pivot toward meaningful work.”
After seeing colleagues in more authentic and balanced spaces at home, Lipman says post-pandemic work should reflect the humanity brought out by remote work.
“During the pandemic we were so focused on everything that was wrong,” says Lipman. ”There were so many crises. Now, as we’re moving into this post-pandemic era, people are looking and saying there are some good things that we don’t want to lose.”
Lipman says whatever new system of work we go to, we need to ensure that it’s equitable for everyone. “I think we have to be much more creative about what we do. It’s both the pay and the benefits.”