The Pandemic Has Encouraged a Revolt Among the Working Class

It’s accurate to say the pandemic changed how Americans did things, but that’s also somewhat of an understatement. If you look at day-to-day life, there are few activities the pandemic didn’t impact, either temporarily or permanently.

Some movie theaters closed and didn’t reopen. Major studios released their biggest would-be blockbusters directly and exclusively on streaming services, such as HBO Max.

Ordering food from companies like GrubHub and Uber Eats became the norm. Some individuals and families report they won’t go back to restaurants anytime soon, even though the CDC says that’s now okay for vaccinated people to do.

How people work has been one of the most significant changes, though. So many employees were able to work from home for the first time, and now, they definitely do not want to go back to how things were.

Some Workers Refuse to Go Back

Last year, you didn’t see as many cars on the road. That was another indirect pandemic impact, as fewer workers had to commute due to their bosses closing down their workplaces.

This led to some less-than-great consequences. For instance, in Boston last year, speeding killed more drivers than the previous four years. The police speculate that fewer cars were on the road, so people felt like they could go faster than usual.

Staying away from the commute is one of the reasons why so many people liked working from home. They didn’t relish driving to and from work each day, which potentially added an hour or more to their workdays.

They also enjoyed staying at home and spending more time with loved ones. Most of them could take a break in the middle of the day and have lunch with a spouse or partner, something they could rarely do before.

In short, some of these workers are now thinking about quitting if their bosses demand they return to the office. A Morning Consult survey in June of 1,000 working adults said that almost 40% of them stated they’d at least consider quitting if their superiors issued this edict.

How Likely Is It That These Workers Will Quit?

Saying that you might quit a job is a lot different than actually doing it. Even if four out of every ten people say that they might quit, when the time comes to pull the trigger or not, it remains unclear how many of them will resign from their positions.

Still, it seems clear that some of them will and already have. It’s hard to get a handle on the exact number who have walked away from their jobs because their bosses or managers were inflexible on this issue, but these individuals are certainly out there. It seems to be particularly younger adults, such as Gen Z members and Millennials, who feel strongly they don’t want things to go back to the way they once were.

The Hybrid Work Model

Many companies seem as though they are willing to at least discuss the hybrid work model. This is a concept where the workers have to spend some days in the office, but they can also work from home at least part of the time.

It seems like a worthy compromise, especially for companies that feel like they need to maintain a central location to have occasional in-person meetings. There are also some jobs where it’s simply not feasible for an individual to work from home, and in those instances, the hybrid model is an impossibility.

It seems likely, though, that the hybrid work model will be one of the main societal contributions the pandemic will make when it’s all said and done. It doesn’t seem probable that so many workplaces would have embraced this option unless Covid-19 had appeared, so some people regard it as one of the few silver linings they can take from what has been a turbulent and distressing period.

Whether you’ll be able to take advantage of the hybrid work model depends entirely on the company for which you work and what your chosen profession is. If you work as a server in a restaurant, for instance, you can never do that from home. If you work in the finance industry, though, you might benefit from more at-home work than you ever did before.

If you feel like you can never return to the office full time, you might think about changing careers entirely. That’s also something many people seem at least willing to consider right now.

What Next?

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