Studies have shown that even in the midst of the pandemic, people have been quitting their jobs. In November alone 4.5 million people globally have left their jobs voluntarily with experts calling this phenomenon The Great Resignation. In the Philippines, according to a recent study by Sprout Solutions, a Filipino Software as a Service (SaaS) company, the country experienced a 176% increase in voluntary attrition across all industries. 

“The Average Voluntary Attrition Rate in 2020 was 1.31%. In 2021, it rose to 2.27%, a 73% increase in average voluntary attrition across different industries, that’s almost double!” shares Kislay Chandra, Sprout Solutions’ Chief Product Officer.

Why employees are quitting

Various factors can influence an employee’s decision to resign. The study further reveals some of the reasons behind the spike in attrition like abrupt changes in the working setup, a lack of work-life balance, and uncertainty over the pandemic. These have taken a toll on some employees, especially on their mental health. Management decisions such as lay-offs, salary cuts, and other cost-cutting measures also had a role to play.

The pandemic also led people to assess their current situations, giving them more time to think about what they truly wanted. “Some were encouraged to pursue their dream jobs, while others had other plans like being a stay-at-home parent,” explains Sprout’s Chief People & Customer Officer, Atty. Arlene De Castro. 

Respondents of the study also cited safety reasons for leaving their jobs. Some workers are still concerned about the virus and their health, especially if their workplace plans to return to on-site work. 

Industries affected by the Big Quit

Sprout Solutions’ study also reveals the top industries most affected by this phenomenon comparing them to the average voluntary attrition rate in 2020. The Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services industry increased its attrition rate by 274% while the Construction increased by 120%. The Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation industry increased by 207%, and the Water Supply, Sewerage, Waste Management, and Remediation Activities industry increased by 185%, while the Information and Communication industry experienced a 117.14% increase.

 “There are various possible reasons why these industries were hit the hardest, but we can’t definitely say it without data. This is what we are looking into with our second study on The Great Resignation in the Philippines, where we will be deep diving on the reasons why employees are leaving their current posts,” shares Atty. De Castro.

Time to go hybrid

Social distancing protocols and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the transformation of our current traditional work model, making the hybrid workplace the viable option. 

“Built on the pillars of flexibility and support, the hybrid model gives employees the freedom to choose when and/or when they want to work. According to a Cisco Workforce of the Future Study conducted in the Philippines, 18% of the respondents have been working from home prior to the pandemic, but during the pandemic, that number rose to 93%.  For on-site workers in the Philippines who still report for in-office work during the pandemic, they have been reevaluating their priorities and now want the best of both worlds. In order for the hybrid model to work in the Philippine setting, it must be inclusive, flexible, secure, and well-managed,” advises Atty. De Castro.

According to Sprout‘s study on The Future of Work, 47% of work from office leaders want to adopt the hybrid work model and 62% of work from office leaders see hybrid or remote work as the future.  The 42% of work from office employees respondents are enthusiastic about adopting a hybrid working environment and in fact, 34% of them prefer hybrid over their current work from office setup.

Those who are on a work from home arrangement likewise see the value of going hybrid, with 52% of work from home employees saying that implementing a hybrid workplace is extremely important with 82% saying they love their setup because they save expenses on travel/commute. Of the respondents, only 36% of work-from-home employees feel excited to return to the office.

Atty. De Castro says employee safety is the number one priority. “If you give them a sense of stability and security, they will be grateful and happy, especially with the ongoing pandemic. Your employees will demand safety and would want to see protocols in place to help them work productively at the same time in a safe place. Implementing a hybrid workplace address this in the current world we live in, it enables them to have an option to work from home or work in the office, whichever they prefer.”

Transition tools

“The shift to a hybrid model isn’t as established within different organizations from different industries. What works best — especially for at-office teams — will still depend on various factors such as their sector, size, and structure,” adds Sprout Solutions’ Head of Business Development and HR Evangelist Atty. Lester Ople “Most companies are on the same page when it comes to making the post-pandemic office as flexible and less burnout-prone as possible.”

The good news is that 64% of HR admins working in the office are seeing a hybrid workplace in the future even post-pandemic. They agree that the time spent at the office may end up being more productive, deliberate, and collaborative and this can be achieved with the right tools. 

“With Sprout’s cloud-based solutions, we empowered organizations by providing them a way to manage attendance, payroll, and even their employees’ mental well-being. We then acted on our vision of Sprout as an Ecosystem, where employee engagement, wellness, and performance could all be tracked in one people-platform.”

Atty. Ople reminds that functions will go well beyond time-keeping to make the hybrid model work. “Ever since the world experienced the continuous predicaments brought by the pandemic, employee engagement and overall mental well-being of employees are some of the factors HR professionals had to be on top of in order to promote healthier working conditions. These were also some major factors that affected employees’ decisions to leave their jobs.” 

It is important for HR professionals to always keep track of how employees are doing even on remote work or hybrid work setup. This enables transparency, trust and most of all, makes employees feel important and engaged within the company.

An organization with multiple offices or locations needs a Unified Communications Platform to help gather resources that their teams will need to do their job. A Project Management Software will offer the workforce complete visibility of their tasks, no matter where they’re working. This allows them to get a birds’ eye view of pending tasks and deliverables, making it easier to hit project goals. A People Management Software, on the other hand, is a cloud-based people management software that can drive better employee engagement and foster a more inclusive company culture.

Chandra talks about how Sprout Solutions can help companies transition to the new normal of work. “When the pandemic hit, Sprout stepped in and helped companies to implement a remote work setup for companies who needed to implement them, Sprout ensured secure 201 files from its cloud-based system and assured a seamless transition to remote work.” 

Looking forward, the country’s schools should serve as a springboard to prepare the next generation for the hybrid ecosystem, says Atty. Lester Ople. “Our educational system suffered from the pandemic greatly and held classes remotely, and all stakeholders in the education sector have had first-hand experience with a remote/hybrid environment. What the educational system needs to do next is to actively engage our stakeholders- parents, teachers, learners, and most especially, industry- to determine what technical and soft skills are needed to thrive in hybrid work setups, and revise our curricula accordingly. Doing so will best equip our talents as they enter the hybrid workforce, ensure that they are best poised to excel in a hybrid workplace, and meaningfully contribute to the national economy while achieving personal financial and career gains. The Future of Work is hybrid, and the best time to prepare for it is now.”

Sprout Solutions offers its partners a holistic people-platform for the future of work. For more information about Sprout Solutions, visit www.sprout.ph 

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