This past year was a rollercoaster for the California legislature and workforce, with numerous employment laws and trends shifting. From the Great Resignation’s wave of quitting professionals to the new practice of “overworking,” the employment landscape is tugging and pulling in many directions–but these are the most notable movements of 2022.
Get my insights on the most impactful workplace trends over the past year, and be sure to visit my YouTube channel for my recent thoughts on trends like Quiet Quitting, Quiet Firing, and more.
Top Workplace Trends in 2022
The Great Resignation
Early 2021 saw a high volume of workers leaving their current roles to pursue new career opportunities in a push dubbed “The Great Resignation.”
April 2021 saw four million people quit their jobs, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, with experts attributing the shift to unequal childcare access, return-to-work mandates, and vaccine access. The trend has resulted in an influx of open jobs, higher salary expectations from employees, and pressure on employers to consider remote preferences.
The Great Resignation continued into 2022, with 71% of PwC survey respondents citing pay as their core reason for changing jobs. Since then, the Great Resignation has evolved into the Great Reshuffle; while the former references people leaving the workforce, the latter concerns those workers who’re stepping back and reconsidering their current job or broader career path.
As a result, a large portion of these workers are gathering other job offers with more pay, then returning to their former workplace to boost their salaries even further–they’re reshuffling workplaces to gain negotiating power. However, recent pay transparency laws could put an end to the Great Reshuffle come 2023.
Quiet Quitting & Quiet Firing
Following the Great Resignation and Reshuffle came another employee-side practice designed to establish certain boundaries and prevent hustle culture: Quiet Quitting.
The trend represents laziness in the workplace to some, but others say it refers to putting in minimal effort rather than going above and beyond your job description. Doing what’s expected and nothing more–unless it comes with the pay to match. I offered my insights on the Quiet Quitting trend in an Atlanta CBS-46 appearance this past September:
“Individuals are not necessarily leaving their jobs, but they are choosing to only do the bare minimum–what they were hired for. If their work hours are nine to five, they’re only going to work nine to five. If they were hired to be a receptionist, they’re only going to do the job of the receptionist.”
Shortly after Quiet Quitting caught fire through TikTok influencers, a handful of employers started a trend of their own to push out unmotivated employees. Known as Quiet Firing and the antithesis of Quiet Quitting, the practice entails subtly driving employees to quit rather than directly terminating them or laying them off. In the same Atlanta CBS-46 appearance, I discuss how the two trends are intertwined.
“It’s kind of the reverse of Quiet Quitting; it’s when an employer is making it so difficult and creating a situation that’s so unbearable for an employee that they’re hoping that employee will just quit. It may be a reduction in hours, it may be a change in a person’s job description, or just not really engaging that employee as a team player and sending the message of ‘We really no longer want you here, and are hoping you’ll get the signal and just walk away.’”
Although online attention towards these two workplace trends has dwindled in recent months, they’re just as alive as the Great Reshuffling. Due to a weakening economy and an uptick in layoffs, some companies may look to Quiet Firing so that employees leave of their own accord, which saves them the cost of severance and unemployment insurance.
Lastly and most recently, 2022 has seen a notable increase in employees with two or more full-time jobs. One remote employee in Chicago is even juggling four roles, with a combined salary of $680,000.
Seeing as this practice typically sees late nights and overlapping meetings, it’s been referred to as “overworking.” These people aren’t juggling multiple part-time jobs or freelance gigs either–they’re committing to two or more full-time, nine-to-five positions at once. Overworking isn’t especially new and accelerated in unison with the rise of remote work since being remote makes it easier to juggle roles.
Employees have cited three primary reasons for subjecting themselves to overemployment: they’re disappointed with the corporate life, have a lucrative offer on the horizon, or have a specific financial goal in mind that needs to be met. And while burnout is expected, the satisfaction from two, three, or four paychecks can make it feel worth it.
As 2022 comes to a close, it’s up for question which of these trends will grow or regain traction throughout the new year. While the Great Resignation and Reshuffling may have lost momentum, Quiet Quitting as a mindset could very well continue indefinitely.
And as for overemployment, a looming recession could drive more and more remote workers to dedicate their livelihoods to multiple income streams.
Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram @iamangelareddockwright, LinkedIn at Linkedin.com/in/angelareddock, and tune in to her weekly radio show, KBLA Talk 1580’s Legal Lens with Angela Reddock-Wright each Saturday and Sunday at 11 am PST, or catch past episodes on Anchor.fm/Spotify. You can learn more about the radio show here – https://angelareddock-wright.com/radio-show/.
Also, learn more about my book – The Workplace Transformed: 7 Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic – here – https://angelareddock-wright.com/book/.
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Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues. Furthermore, she’s been named a “Top 50 Woman Attorney” in California by Super Lawyers, a “Top California Employment Lawyer” by the Daily Journal and one of Los Angeles’ “Most Influential Minority and Women Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.
For more information regarding resources for employers, businesses, and employees during this time, connect with Angela on LinkedIn for new updates, or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.