Pandemic Fuels Career Shifting Motives

With the prospect of a post-pandemic world on the horizon, or what some are referring to as the “YOLO Economy,” it’s clear that employees have the upper hand over their employers and are seeking greater flexibility and balance.

While many workers report struggling with burn out and return-to-office mandates, a new survey from digital wealth manager, Personal Capital, in partnership with The Harris Poll, shows a staggering two-thirds of Americans surveyed (66 percent) are interested in switching jobs right now, with young generations expressing such sentiment in particular – 91 percent of Gen Z-ers and 78 percent of Millennials, compared to 47 percent of Gen X-ers and 45 percent of Boomers.

More than half of surveyed U.S. employees (57 percent) say “now would be a great time to make a career move,” with two-thirds of Millennials (66 percent) agreeing with such a statement.

One main driver for this pandemic-era phenomenon is due to many workers seeking greater flexibility in where they work, as a majority (6 out of 10 Americans) would be willing to take a pay cut in return for the ability to work remotely without any restrictions.

It’s clear there is a strong consensus among workers that “employers are not great at hearing employees’ post-Covid needs and expectations,” as seven in 10 Americans (69 percent) express such sentiment, including 75 percent of Millennials.

Moreover, there is widespread agreement that “working from home helps ease the burnout worsened by the pandemic” (64 percent), and so six in 10 Americans (63 percent), especially Gen Z-ers (85 percent) and Millennials (74 percent), would agree to a trade-off to work from home whenever they want. Three in 10 Americans (30 percent) would be willing to work more hours per week if they could work from home whenever they wanted.

As companies decide on permanent work requirements post pandemic, many are embracing virtual-first business models. Personal Capital joins the growing list that made the decision to make remote work the primary experience for all of its 547 employees.

Additional survey findings:

  • Workers in the Midwestern United States are more likely to say they are currently working from an office (57 percent) compared to those in the West (36 percent), Northeast (38 percent), and South (42 percent).
  • Six in 10 Americans (62 percent) would take a pay cut to work from home as much as they wanted, especially parents (72 percent), Hispanic Americans (76 percent), and Black Americans (75 percent).
  • Men are more likely than women to say they would take a pay cut to be able to work from home whenever they wanted (68 percent men, 55 percent women).
  • During the last six months, 22 percent of respondents were approached by someone (whether a recruiter or a former co-worker) with a potential work opportunity, 17 percent interviewed for a job – including nearly a third of Gen Z-ers (32 percent) and 21 percent Millennials – 15 percent asked their network about job opportunities – including 22 percent Millennials – and 14 percent spoke with a recruiter about a potential job opportunity.
  • Government or non-profit employees are the least interested in switching jobs out of all industries, as only 46 percent are interested in finding a new opportunity, compared to 66 percent total.

For more information on the survey, an overview of the results can be found here.