New York, NY – After all of the changes we have seen in the last two years due to Covid-19, it’s clear just how much of an impact the pandemic has had on our workforce. The Department of Labor has reported record numbers of workers quitting, otherwise known as “The Great Resignation.” More than four million people quit their jobs in January. Information like that is enough for anybody to ask, why?

Is this all pandemic-related? 

Ben Kimmel.

Back on the wellness front, a popular notion is the pandemic inspired more people to finally focus on their mental health and happiness. But a deeper look into The Great Resignation suggests workers are also quitting because of poor leadership, toxic relationships and poor inter-office communication. Job insecurity and worries about reorganization and structural changes are also reasons why a lot of people are quitting. 

Other workers cite a lack of appreciation as either essential workers or remote employees, for reasons to seek out firms where their talents might be more appreciated. Still others report a lack of excitement and motivation — there seemed to be no reward for returning to the office. 

One comment I recently heard suggests The Great Resignation is a sign people would rather be happy than slaves to a job. “Why would I want to come back?” an MTA office employee who wishes to remain anonymous told me. “I’m putting my papers in, and then I’m never coming back.”

Indeed, although some commercial office spaces are beginning to repopulate once more, many workers have not returned, nor do they plan on returning to the office environment. The last two years have put a spotlight on the need for change. 

If this is the case, then what can employers do to make a full return not only more enjoyable, but more attractive as well? Certainly, no one misses the long commute to work or the traffic. No one misses a toxic environment when they get to work, nor do they miss face-to-face moments with unfair bosses who have poor leadership skills. So, the question remains: What can employers do to implement better workplace strategies and improve employee satisfaction?  

Evidence shows worker-based efforts and person-centered initiatives are the way to go. Programs like this offer employee appreciation concepts that boost morale and make the job site atmosphere more enjoyable.

The point is simple: We spend more time at work than we do at home. Since Covid has offered a glimpse of what it would be like if we were home rather than at work, people are seeking options to maintain this relationship. Therefore, to lure people back to the office, employers have to offer more than simple financial incentives. As workers, we want more and we need more. However, the question is how do we get more in a way that benefits everyone?

One thing is abundantly clear. In order for us to improve our economy — or at least be able to overcome inflation and fill our gas tanks so we can get to work on time — we have to come up with a plan together. As always, united we stand, divided we fall.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as an Author, Writer on, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Wellbeing and DEI Content Provider, Certified Addiction and Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at



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