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The Great Resignation and what it means for mental health

Almost one in four workers are planning to leave or switch jobs in the UK this autumn. Dubbed “The Great Resignation” – what has this got to do with our mental health? The answer? Everything. 

With the introduction of remote working and an international emergency, the pandemic revealed what life would be like without commuting or office culture. As a result, the value of hard work, in opposition to the value of finding peace, health and comfort in times of great distress, have started to be weighed up by workers, with one in twenty resigning during the pandemic. 

The theme that precedes over The Great Resignation is mental health and keeping in good check of it. 

black and brown office rolling chair

Low-pay, long hours, lack of accommodations, lack of value for free time, issues with boundaries, burnout and lack of satisfying work all have contributed to a work culture which has not only driven workers away from the workplace physically, but from working at all.

With corporate brands trying to fix this by promoting mental health days that staunch a wider problem, and the pandemic continuing to put the physical, mental, and financial wellbeing of people at risk, alongside other global issues, it is no surprise that subreddits such as r/antiwork have driven up since 800% since March 2020.

The Great Resignation is a unique time where workers are pushing back against industries and employers – with those in charge scrambling to try and figure out a way to make the workplace seem more appealing; flexibility is often at the top of the list of offers. 

However, for many, especially minorities, The Great Resignation is not an option. For those who cannot afford this more violent revolt, for whatever reason, groups involved in these movements suggest a collective slowdown in work – meaning the backfiring that may come of quitting, or striking, wouldn’t happen, but you can still work to gain the boundaries and improvements you seek within the workplace. 

Many companies have been slowly realising over the years that to bolster – and keep – their employees, they are going to need to put the time, money, and effort into keeping their employees happy and healthy. The Great Resignation may be the push they need to start acting on this idea.

Photo by Laura Davidson

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