Is it the right time? 5 questions to ask before jumping ship

In a new survey by Robert Walters, 2 out of 3 Irish professionals report that they are highly likely to leave their jobs this year. The reason? A lack of sufficient face time with leaders.

There seems to be a link between morale and a decrease in output, when professionals see their manager less than once a week. Both output and morale increase where two days or more are spent in the office with a manager. That’s a fascinating finding.

In the survey, professionals believe that a lack of contact with their line manager has a negative impact on them:

  • 44% say they have been overlooked for opportunities
  • 37% for career progression, and, 
  • 26% for training.

We’ve seen a lot of attention given to WFH, hybrid work, and The Great Resignation – the large migration to more flexible working conditions that meet our desire to spend less time in 9 to 5 jobs.

There is a collective realisation that better things may exist … it as well be called the great re-evaluation with employees prioritizing more flexibility, more control and more influence over their career trajectories as we enter the brave new world of work in a post-pandemic society.

Forbes Contributor David Armano.

But is there a chance that we have over-egged the benefits of remote work, and that we need to balance the benefits of flexibility with differing individual needs for human connection?

Connection is not only good for bonding and wellness, it also helps when we feel a majority of things to be outside of our control. Margaret Heffernan insists that for good ideas and true innovation, human interaction is critical. We know from Gillian Tett’s Anthrovision work that decision making is a social process too – we rely on the cues of the group to assist us in what we think is a linear and logical process of arriving at the actions we will take.

It may seem that we use logic, planning, plotting, discussing, and rejecting to do our best work. But as it turns out, humans also absorb and rely on many non-verbal cues and signals in their sense-making process. We are constantly reading the environment, navigating through trial and error. Offices are the ‘sense-making’ vehicles for us, where we can swap embodied non-verbal cures, read the room, and as a group, process and think.

From  3 Skills for Leaders

If we are thinking about leaving our jobs in search of greater freedom and control, we should look into the terms of the trade that will serve us well over time. We don’t want less of the good quality human connection that defines our humanity and invokes our creativity at work. Robust, random and informal debate has often been cited as spurring on our best and biggest ideas and action.

To set some better terms of the trades we make, here are 5 questions we can ask ourselves (preferably before jumping ship):

  1. How visible am I? How many touch points do I have that allow for meaningful interaction and recognition of work? How many are virtual, and is there face to face interaction?
  2. Can I ask for the resources I need to job my job well? That could be tech, flexible pop-up space, software, and even training on how to use tools available.
  3. What drag exists in my workplace? These are old practices slowing down the transition to new ones. How can I limit, stop or improve these?
  4. What drama exists in my workplace, and am I feeding it? As humans we aim to please, and to be recognised. These desires can leave us in the throws of appearing to be productive when actually we’re not producing anything of value.
  5. Is our policy around hybrid working clear?  What room is there for tailoring to meet individual / shifting needs?

If the time has come for you to make a move, take these questions with you. They can form the basis of an honest and exploratory conversation with a future employer.

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