IT navigates the ‘Great Resignation’

With the pandemic causing many to reevaluate lives and career, IT organizations must embrace creative work models and source from new venues to stem an escalating talent crunch.

IT navigates the ‘Great Resignation’

At Pegasystems, the past year and a half spent navigating the COVID-19 crisis has created a tale of two organizations and two types of employees: one itching to get back to normal office life and the other determined to hang on to the flexibility and freedom of working from wherever.

Rather than align with one side over the other, Pegasystems is moving forward with a plan that accommodates both. It’s become more flexible with remote work arrangements and allowing people to live where they choose while also modernizing existing offices with open spaces designed to promote collaboration. The dual-track approach, conceived based on extensive employee feedback, is Pegasystems’ salvo against an on-going IT talent crunch and the nationwide trend of workers making unprecedented life and career changes as part of what some are calling a post-pandemic midlife crisis.

“What COVID-19 has done is created this perspective that there are options for people — they don’t have to live in the same city, drive into the office five days a week, or live in a high-cost area,” says Ken Stillwell, chief operating officer and CFO at Pegasystems, a maker of enterprise software. “We’re trying to create as much accommodation as we can to cover both scenarios — have an office where there is a buzz and let people live in Omaha, Nebraska, [if that is their preference]. We’re trying to help people feel like we’re hearing all the different perspectives, but it’s not easy and we’ll never make everyone happy.”

Pegasystems is not alone in rethinking traditional IT organizational structure and culture. As the world prepares to emerge from pandemic stasis, companies are contending with what many are calling “The Great Resignation,” as huge swaths of the workforce rethink their lives and livelihoods, moving away from cities, pursuing new job opportunities, and in many cases, changing careers altogether.

In April, the U.S. Labor Department reported that nearly 4 million people quit their jobs, with most exits happening in the retail, professional and business services, and warehousing sectors. A Microsoft survey of more than 30,000 respondents found that 41% of workers planned to quit or change professions this year, while the number of remote job postings on LinkedIn spiked by 5X during the course of the pandemic. A similar trend was uncovered by a Robert Half International survey of 3,800 workers, where nearly a third (32%) said they plan to look for a new role in the next few months, mostly driven by the desire for a salary boost or greater opportunity for career advancement.

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