Perfecting the work-life balance has long been a challenge for both employees and employers. What makes a good work-life balance? How can you maintain boundaries when there are smartphones enabling 24/7 reachability? Enter the pandemic, which turned the workplace on its head and completely transformed how, where, and when employees work, only further blurring the line between professional and personal life. How do you leave work at work when it follows you into your kitchen, your living room, and, well, maybe even your bathroom (no judgment!)?
With the world opening back up, the workplace has completely transformed. Some companies are keeping work-from-home as an option for employees, some companies have gone entirely remote, some have gone back to the traditional 9 to 5 in-office culture, and some have created a hybrid work model including both options. One thing is for sure though – Americans have a new way of working now and establishing a work-life balance is more critical than ever.
The landscape of the workplace wasn’t the only thing to transform during the pandemic. People were forced into new and different working conditions such as online virtual meetings. Zoom had us staring at ourselves and our colleagues all day, it was like living in a house of mirrors but no one brought the funhouse music. This sudden change in the workplace also allowed people to stop and evaluate what they wanted out of their work situation. This resulted in The Great Resignation of 2021!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs in 2021 . This was an unprecedented mass exit. The reason? Well it wasn’t because of low wages or lack of benefits. Most left in pursuit of “eudaimonia” , which according to Britannica is the condition of human flourishing or of living well - aka happiness.
While the Great Resignation was indeed a record-breaking mass exodus of workers from the labor market, it actually was a continuation of a long-term trend . This is demonstrated below in Figure 1.