Are you suffering from “digital exhaustion” on the job? Do you feel like your boss could care less about your work-life balance? Are you thinking it’s time to move on from your current employer?
You’re not alone.
Some 40 percent of global workforce members are considering leaving their employers this year, a survey published by Microsoft on Monday found, while some 61 percent of business leaders say they are “thriving” right now.
“Now more than ever, people are expecting their employers and leaders to empathize with their unique challenges,” said Microsoft’s 2021 Word Trend Index (PDF). “But business leaders may be out of touch with what their employees need.”
The index, which surveyed more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and analysed trillions of labour signals across Microsoft 365 and career social networking site LinkedIn, also found stark disparities behind the disconnect between management and workers.
The business leaders surveyed – the majority of whom reported they are “thriving” – were more like to be millennial or Generation X men, information workers and farther along in their careers.
Meanwhile, employees who said they are surviving or struggling include those who are married (54 percent), working mothers (56 percent), Generation Z (60 percent), front-line workers (61 percent), new employees on the job for less than a year (64 percent) and single (67 percent).
The findings reflect myriad economic indicators that the negative workforce fallout of the pandemic has fallen disproportionately on Gen Z members who are just starting their working lives, as well as working mothers, many of whom have left the workforce due to the pressures of trying to holding down jobs and shoulder the burdens of childcare during remote schooling arrangements.
The report concludes that flexible working arrangements accelerated by the pandemic are “here to stay”, with 73 percent of workers saying they want flexible remote work options to continue, and 67 percent wanting more in-person time with their teams.
“Employees want control of where, when, and how they work, and expect businesses to provide options,” said the report, warning that the decisions top brass make in the coming months will shape corporate cultures and innovation as well as their ability to attract and retain top talent.
The trade-off between self-assessed high productivity and digital exhaustion stemming from a substantial increase in virtual team meetings, chats both during work and post-work hours, and more emails is highlighted in the report.
Some 54 percent of employees feel “overworked” and 39 percent feel “exhausted”.
The unique struggles of Gen Z (those between the ages of 18 and 25) are also addressed by the survey. Some 66 percent of Gen Z said “they are merely surviving or flat-out struggling” said the report, noting that the youthful generation is more likely to feel the impact of coronavirus-pandemic isolation, to struggle with motivation on the job and to lack the financial resources to create a proper home office arrangement for remote work.