• In this week's edition of World of Work, The Adecco Group explore the rise in employees quitting their jobs as well as how workers are battling burnout.
  • They also explore how older workers are hiding their age on CVs, and the benefits of career transition services.

This week, the quitting contagion and the Great Resignation, older workers hiding their age on their CVs, battling burnout with intentional time off, and the benefits of career transition services. Read this week’s trends from the world of work.

First one worker quits.

Then another. Then another.

The quitting contagion is a very real phenomenon, and it can happen to just about any company. How can you stop the chain reaction?

What else matters this week?

Do you know how your teams spend the day? Research shows that most managers do not.

Investing in career transition services can save governments $2.60 per dollar spent, research shows.

Robots won’t be closing the warehouse worker gap anytime soon.

The omicron variant is adding to the already high level of uncertainty in the global economy recovery, the OECD warns.

We’ve got a full breakdown of all the top headlines you can’t miss this week.

#1. Quitting is contagious. Here’s how you can stop the spread.

One employee at your company hands in notice. Then another. Then another.

The quitting contagion is very real, and it doesn’t just happen at companies with low wages or poor management. During the pandemic, people are more likely to base their decisions on cues from other people.

"We're very social creatures, and we tend to take cues from the people around us," says Mary-Clare Race, organizational psychologist and chief innovation officer at the HR consulting company LHH.

When workers see a colleague with similar skills quit their job, that worker may see it as a sign: there’s plenty of job availability on the market, and there’s room for growth. If leaders aren’t in tune with their workforce, they need to reconsider their leadership strategy.

Checking on morale, taking note of existing office relationships, being realistic about workload transferal, and investing in employees can all make a big difference in talent turnover, especially given the demand for career advancement.

"The demand for career advancement is very high, and organizations need to provide those opportunities," Race told INC. "If they don't, the individual will go and find it elsewhere." Read more here.

a  picture showing stats from the great attrition
More and more people are leaving their jobs.
Image: McKinsey and Company

#2. Where did all the workers go?

Mike, an ex-rugby player, is not ready to retire. But his job working at senior level in business development at a fintech company isn’t exactly what he signed up for. Back-to-back Zoom calls have left him buzzing, unable to sleep.

“If my children sat at a screen for 10 to 11 hours a day, I’d lock it in a cupboard,” Mike, who asked that his surname not be used, told Financial Times. “All the fun has been sucked out of the job.”

That, plus a friend’s sudden death and his wife’s progressing MS condition, made him think more and more about the meaning of life.

“On your grave, ‘Mike worked hard’ — it’s not one you see,” he said. “I want to get some time in my life where I stop and think.”

Instead, Mike’s handing in his notice and weighing up his options from part-time consultant to moving into gardening, professionally. Mike is just one of many working professionals stepping away from the workforce this year, whether to avoid infection, cope with childcare, or simply retire early to spend time with family. The shock to the labour supply? A threat to the global economic recovery. Read more at the Financial Times.

#3. Older workers are hiding their age on their resumes and CVs.

Can your age be a disadvantage at work? Mid-career and older workers feel a lack of support in the workplace, and they’re increasingly concerned about ageism in the application process. New research from Working Wise found that 44% of workers over the age of 45 have altered their age on their CV. More than a third of surveyed workers say they have experienced ageism in the hiring process.

A majority of surveyed older workers said they were excited and willing to learn new skills but felt undervalued and underappreciated by employers. Read more at Working Wise.

#4. How to support staff through climate anxiety.

Across the globe, natural disasters are growing in frequency. The temperature of the Earth is increasing. Climate change news is everywhere you look.

A survey by Nature Magazine found that nearly 60% of young people were experiencing climate anxiety, a chronic fear of environmental doom. Of those, 45% said it was affecting their daily lives.

That anxiety has slowly seeped back into the workforce. Many workers find themselves asking if the work they do contributes to the problem at large. But promoting wellbeing and happiness at work don’t have to be at odds with creating a sustainable future. Read more at People Management here.

#5. One way to battle burnout: being intentional about how your spend your time off.

Study after study shows the same thing: Burnout is on the rise.

One solution? Taking time off work.

But how should those breaks look like, in order to best recharge and feel rejuvenated?

Research shows that people who set personal goals during their time off feel much happier than those who do not set goals. Even though lying around in your pajamas and watching TV may seem like the best way to relax, being more intentional can help people recharge and get the most out of their leisure time. Read more at Harvard Business Review.