More Pinoys quit jobs even in midst of pandemic – study

Even in the midst of the pandemic, 4.6 million workers quit their jobs with the Philippines experiencing a whopping 176 percent increase in voluntary resignation across all industries in a phenomenon called “The Great Resignation”, according to a recent study.

Sprout Solutions, a Filipino Software as a Service (SaaS) company, cited studies showing that in November alone 4.5 million people globally have left their jobs voluntarily. In the Philippines, Sprout said, its study showed voluntary resignation increased by 176 percent during the pandemic.

“The average voluntary attrition rate in 2020 was 1.31 percent. In 2021, it rose to 2.27 percent, a 73 percent increase in average voluntary attrition across different industries, that’s almost double,” said Kislay Chandra, Sprout Solutions’ Chief Product Officer.

The top industries most affected by this phenomenon comparing them to the average voluntary attrition rate in 2020 are professional, scientific, and technical services industry, which increased its attrition rate by 274 percent while the construction increased by 120 percent. The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry experienced 207 percent increase and the water supply, sewerage, waste management, and remediation activities industry increased by 185 percent, while the information and communication industry experienced a 117.14 percent increase.

There are various factors that influenced an employee’s decision to resign. Some of the reasons behind the spike in attrition include abrupt changes in the working setup, a lack of work-life balance, and uncertainty over the pandemic. These have taken a toll on some employees, especially on their mental health. Management decisions such as lay-offs, salary cuts, and other cost-cutting measures also had a role to play.

The pandemic also led people to assess their current situations, giving them more time to think about what they truly wanted. “Some were encouraged to pursue their dream jobs, while others had other plans like being a stay-at-home parent,” explained Sprout’s Chief People & Customer Officer, Atty. Arlene De Castro.

“There are various possible reasons why these industries were hit the hardest, but we can’t definitely say it without data. This is what we are looking into with our second study on The Great Resignation in the Philippines, where we will be deep diving on the reasons why employees are leaving their current posts,” shared Atty. De Castro.

Respondents of the study also cited safety reasons for leaving their jobs. Some workers are still concerned about the virus and their health, especially if their workplace plans to return to on-site work.

It showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the current traditional work model, making the hybrid workplace the viable option.

De Castro also cited a Cisco Workforce of the Future Study conducted in the Philippines, which showed that 18 percent of the respondents had been working from home already prior to the pandemic, but during the pandemic, the number rose to 93 percent.

For on-site workers in the Philippines who still report for in-office work during the pandemic, they have been reevaluating their priorities and now want the best of both worlds. “In order for the hybrid model to work in the Philippine setting, it must be inclusive, flexible, secure, and well-managed,” said De Castro.

According to Sprout‘s study on The Future of Work, 47 percent of work from office leaders want to adopt the hybrid work model and 62 percent of work from office leaders see hybrid or remote work as the future. The 42 percent of work from office employees respondents are enthusiastic about adopting a hybrid working environment and in fact, 34 percent of them prefer hybrid over their current work from office setup.

Those who are on a work from home arrangement likewise see the value of going hybrid, with 52 percent of work from home employees saying that implementing a hybrid workplace is extremely important with 82 percent saying they love their setup because they save expenses on travel/commute.

Of the respondents, only 36 percent of work-from-home employees feel excited to return to the office.

“The shift to a hybrid model isn’t as established within different organizations from different industries. What works best — especially for at-office teams — will still depend on various factors such as their sector, size, and structure,” added Sprout Solutions’ Head of Business Development and HR Evangelist Atty. Lester Ople.

“Most companies are on the same page when it comes to making the post-pandemic office as flexible and less burnout-prone as possible.”

The study also revealed that 64 percent of HR admins working in the office are seeing a hybrid workplace in the future even post-pandemic. They agree that the time spent at the office may end up being more productive, deliberate, and collaborative and this can be achieved with the right tools.

De Castro said that safety is the number one priority of workers. “If you give them a sense of stability and security, they will be grateful and happy, especially with the ongoing pandemic. Your employees will demand safety and would want to see protocols in place to help them work productively at the same time in a safe place. Implementing a hybrid workplace address this in the current world we live in, it enables them to have an option to work from home or work in the office, whichever they prefer,” she said.

When the pandemic hit, Sprout stepped in and helped companies to implement a remote work setup for companies who needed to implement them, Sprout ensured secure 201 files from its cloud-based system and assured a seamless transition to remote work.

Sprout Solutions is Philippines’ first people platform designed for the future of work. Its goal is to help small, medium-sized, and large enterprise Philippine businesses grow through its suite of backend solutions that address end-to-end HR challenges - especially with the new normal of hybrid work. It enables businesses to bring their People Experience to the next level with analytics, engagement, performance and learning management, recruitment automation, and benefits like salary advance and wellness services.