The Great Resignation: what is it and its impact on Spain


The Great Resignation: what is it and its impact on Spain

July 21 / 2022

Have you ever considered quitting your job in recent years? Would you do it without immediately taking on another one? The first question is certainly easy to answer. The second one not so much. At least in Spain.

According to a recent study carried out by the company InfoJobs in 2022 on job abandonment, one in four Spaniards plans to quit their job this year. The main motivations are economic conditions and worsening mental health. 

However, such statistics generally do not go beyond mere aspiration. On the other hand, the Great Resignation born in early 2021 in the United States, is a reality. 

It involves the massive and voluntary abandonment of thousands of permanent jobs by professionals in search of better opportunities. They don’t want to continue with an outdated, habitual and demotivating today. They prefer an unknown tomorrow but full of possibilities.

The Great Renunciation vs. The Great Conformity

Although the North American phenomenon denotes clarity of ideas and entrepreneurial character, it must be recognized that it is not comparable with the Spanish situation. 
Mainly because of the unemployment rate existing in both countries. In the United States at the end of 2021, the unemployment rate was 3.9%. A complicated dream for Spain, which stood at 13%. In our country, only about 30,000 professionals voluntarily resigned from their permanent job. In the United States, 47.8 million workers from various sectors voluntarily quit their jobs.
The high unemployment rate together with the low rotation between sectors and professions, as well as the insufficient professional retraining, makes a Great Resignation difficult in Spain. Rather, we suffer what has been called the Great Conformity.
In American culture, abandoning what doesn’t work does not imply a failure that hinders the future, but only an attempt that has not been successful. You give it another go. If you have to resign, you resign. In Europe in general, and especially in Spain, job security is paramount. We prefer the bird in hand rather than a hundred flying.
Our culture is more about bow your head, because is safer; better the devil you know than the devil you don’t; God, please help me keep my job… The problem with this conformance is that it can end up causing workers to become demotivated and reduce their productivity.

Change in mentality after the pandemic

After the initial uncertainty, the collateral damage of Covid-19 affected the behaviour of companies and workers. Teleworking is here to stay. It was an unexpected advantage for thousands of professionals who didn’t want to get rid of once the situation improved. 

These workers now place a high value on job flexibility. Especially in sectors such as IT and technology where professionals mainly appreciate 100% remote work. 

There is not yet a majority of professionals carrying out all their activity completely remotely, but hybrid work has, on the other hand, become widespread. A work model that alternates remote and face-to-face work. Although it is an interesting option, it seems that it is insufficient for the protagonists of the Great American Resignation. 

Workers in the technology sector of this country, for example, with a wide demand for their specialized work, are no longer interested in returning to the office. They got used to working from home, reconciling and continuing to carry out the work entrusted to them. Aware of their professional worth and the possibility of working 100% remotely in other professional companies, the massive abandonment has been spectacular.

Main Causes of the Great Resignation

  • Remote work: Undoubtedly, as we have already indicated, it is the main cause. As this work model widespread during the pandemic, professionals no longer want to go back to what they used to be. In many cases, they’re not even interested in hybrid work.
  • Crowded offices: Workspaces that don’t adapt to the needs of workers, too many people and a stressful environment. 
  • Endless work days and low wages: Leaving home early and arriving very late receiving low economic compensation generates disillusionment and the search for new opportunities. 
  • Mental Health: A problem that is being given more and more importance. Many workers suffer physical and mental exhaustion that causes them stress and anxiety. Before the work finishes them off, they prefer to give it up and look for one more in line with their preferences.

At Cloudworks, we are witnessing the evolution of work in recent years. Although Spain is far from something like the Great American Resignation, not all Spanish workers are satisfied with the Great Conformity.

Professionals who are hungry for new challenges and eager to undertake innovative projects arrive at our spaces every day. Also, workers who leave their companies to provide their services as freelancers. Start-ups and freelancers occupy our spaces exchanging synergies and soaking up the spirit of community that is lived here. 

Are you thinking of creating a Start-up and are you looking for the most suitable space? Do you want to work as a freelancer in the best environment and with the best means at your disposal? Get in touch with us and we’ll adapt to your needs with our flexible plans. 

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