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Take this job and shove it, I ain’t working here no more

Peter Switzer
25 October 2021

In the US, they’re calling it the ‘great resignation’, with 4.27 million Americans telling their boss to take their job and shove it; they’re not working here no more! It comes when the likes of Google have created a calculator that cuts your pay if you want to work from home and if you live in a cheap place for accommodation etc., your pay will be cut by more!

Writing in The Australian, James Gerrard explained it this way: “The ability to work from home for months has allowed people to rethink their priorities and make job and career decisions to achieve a greater work/life balance.”

It’s not here yet (or at least the stats haven’t identified it yet) but workplace experts tip it’s coming.

Microsoft research has found 40% of workers globally are considering giving up their jobs. Some will want to change jobs, others switch occupations, while others will try to work from home turning a side hustle into a full-time business. Gerrard says “crunch time” will come after the January holidays, when offices will try to get back into ‘full swing’ normal.

Lawyers working in the space can see a hybrid employment model evolving, and it means employment contracts will have to change to reflect it.

“The norm moving forward will probably be a hybrid of the two (working from home and office), which will provide the benefits of in-office work (collaboration, learning, socialising), and give employees who need flexibility, like parents caring for children (and especially women re-entering the workforce), some days where they won’t need to be dropping kids at long daycare or racing to make school drop off,” said Danny King, founder and principal of Sydney law firm Danny King Legal, to The Australian. “Keeping employees engaged and productive will be a key element in deciding the balance of the two – if an employer isn’t offering the flexibility of a competitor, employees might jump ship.”

So will this trend force employers to make their hybrid-demanding workers redundant and then make them hire equivalent workers overseas?

The Australian quotes Lisa Sheldon, senior tax manager at Rothsay Chartered Accountants, who says dumping a pesky local worker for a cheaper overseas worker isn’t as straightforward as you might think. “A genuine redundancy occurs when an employee‘s job is abolished and no other person is employed to fulfil it”.

But the argument will get down to how important is it for an employee to be in the office or workplace, which means that there will be a lot of IR battles before employment laws are changed.

This has the potential to become an election issue, and I reckon Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party will see this as a huge vote-winner, if we can believe the Deloitte research last week that said that only 30% of workers want to go back to the office! Others want five days at home, while others like the idea of a hybrid working life. I’m interested to know what both employers and employees think of this new workplace challenge.

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