Eight years into my retirement, three of which were under the Covid, I watch with amazement how the nature of work has changedw.
In my time and parlance, work is, a four letter word (nothing derogatory), to get the job done. That is part of being a professional. Get the job done and being paid for the work. Pretty straightforward.
Then came the Covid pandemic. Two common terms separating the workforce are working from home and in-person work. According to the Time magazine 30% paid work were done from home (WFH) at the end of 2022, and that trend will continue through this year.
Some other terms of interest developed from this period are great resignation, quiet quitting, quiet hiring, and layoff. The last term certainly is nothing new. But the speed and amount of layoffs are extraordinary particularly in the tech and banking industries.
Why the layoffs? Social contagion or copycatting says Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor at Stanford. And the layoffs come with one important caviar that they kill people. Because “the stress layoffs create takes a devastating toll on behavioral and physical health and increases mortality and morbidity substantially.”
Work has always entailed stress: meeting deadline, budget, conflict resolution, politics. But when the overall environment is frivolous and void of compassion, one may have to take the nature of work differently.
Have you noticed any changes in your work?