The pandemic has changed us all. It has changed us in ways we may not fully realize for years to come. The change has been both personally and to society. It will be interesting to see how things unfold—how things get worse, and hopefully how things get better.
We are in the midst of one of those changes and repercussions right now. Workers of all stripes—essential workers, blue collar, and white collar alike—have come to a personal reckoning. They, we, are discovering our worth, and recognizing we have been taken advantage of for far too long.
I’ve talked to people who are going to change jobs because the pandemic helped them see the rat race isn’t doing them any good. Life is too short. Others I’ve spoken with have said, paraphrasing here, they have seen how companies are making lots of money, but not passing it down to those who actually do the work.
Others I know who hold office jobs are dreading going back to the office, even on a hybrid schedule. They saw how much of their time was spent on the commute, money on lunches out, and gas to get them back and forth. It was also a good feeling to be home when their kids got home, had more time to actually cook a good meal, and was able to work with their pet at their feet. Being at home has also helped with productivity. There are fewer intrusions, interruptions, and it just feels good to be in one’s own environment where shorts are possible, windows can be opened, and to even just have windows rather than a drab cube in the middle of the floor.
In a recent article I read, I think in the Washington Post, it talked about how it is CEO’s and such who are pushing to get people back into the office, even when the evidence says high percentages of workers do not want that type of work environment anymore. Heads of companies, organizations, state agencies and the like always seem to be the last ones to fully understand when change will occur with, or without, their blessing.
Right now, and it doesn’t happen too often, it is a workers world. Companies are hurting for employees. They are hurting because they think people are going to come back to work for $2.13 an hour plus tips, $7.25 an hour minimum wage, or even $10.00 in a job where people are quite rude to workers for no reason other than not getting their way. Who needs the heartache when there are $15.00+ jobs, with sign-on bonuses, where they don’t have to deal with rude people, can have steady work hours, and good benefits.
Companies, organizations, state agencies and the like will either adapt with increases in pay, work from home flexibility, and provide set hours and benefits, or they will either go under, or languish in not being able to find people to work for them.
This effect has already begun, they just don’t quite see it yet.