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The Great Reshuffle: How Companies Can Use Coworking Spaces to Retain Top Talent

"Despite the picture statistics and data try to paint, employees aren’t running from work. Instead, workers seek job opportunities and careers that check off every box and fulfill more than just salary or PTO requests."

Last year, the American job market took a severe hit that it’s still trying to recover from. Aside from the pandemic altering how and when we work, it’s also shifted how employees view work, with many professionals reassessing their lives altogether. The viewpoint shift resulted in the Great Resignation – a term coined by Texas A & M Professor Anthony Klotz when he predicted the rise in voluntary resignations in May of 2021. Of the 68.9 million job separations recorded in 2021, 47.4 million were voluntary quits – a historic, unprecedented number for US jobs.[1]

Many factors led to millions of people leaving their jobs, including pandemic burnout, a primary factor for employees on the frontline in healthcare, retail, and hospitality. These factors are unique to the pandemic, and some of them are making the coveted “return to normal” more challenging than employers are prepared for. Despite the picture statistics and data try to paint, employees aren’t running from work. Instead, workers seek job opportunities and careers that check off every box and fulfill more than just salary or PTO requests.

Coworking Spaces in The Great Reshuffle

In addition to office space, coworking spaces can be the perfect bridge between companies and employees. As the workforce rebrands, Ambition Center MKE and other coworking spaces can:

  • Give employees a flexible option for remote work outside of their homes

  • Assist companies in attracting talent in other cities

  • Reshape the relationship between employer and employee to improve career fulfillment

Flexibility for Employees

The mass labor exodus took off in mid-2021. After vaccination rates improved and cities reopened, offices across the country looked to initiate a “great return,” calling all employees back to in-person work. At this point, most employees had experienced the mild freedom of remote work. Whether they worked from home or opted for something more structured via a coworking space, professionals had their taste of work with flexibility and autonomy. The pandemic saw a substantial boost in the number of professionals using coworking spaces to fill some of the gaps created when we left the office. With the transition to being back in the office, more professionals prefer the remote work and coworking space. Companies mandating employees return to the office only encourages employees to leave their jobs for companies with more flexibility.

Companies Can Attract Talent in Other Cities

The coworking community has done an excellent job at filling the need for professional office space without the complications and inflexibility of going into your actual office. With the push for remote work, now companies can find a perfect fit in professional talent that might not live in the same city, let alone the same state. The days of packing up your entire life and moving across the country for a job opportunity are dead.

Reshaping the Employer-Employee Relationship

When the pandemic hit and rapidly claimed so many lives, people paused. Everyone stepped back to reflect. We had time to wonder if we were actively participating in our lives, doing the things that bring joy and fulfill us. Ultimately, this shined a light on the lack of job fulfillment for a remarkable number of employees, and the resignations reflect that.

To achieve career fulfillment, in large, satisfying numbers, workers are demanding wage increases, better work-life balance, and improved benefits in exchange for their skills, expertise, and time. In other words, yesterday’s price is not today’s price. For employers to attract top talent, they must come to the table willing to compromise – and accept that some things are no longer up for negotiation, like flexible working arrangements. Workers are eager to return to work, but not the office, and they will turn down an offer at a company that mirrors what they left during the Great Resignation. Employers willing to let workers at the table to negotiate what their return to “normal” looks like have a better chance at keeping their talent and building a better connection to its employees.

Employees have the upper hand in the job market right now. This trend upsets corporations and companies that are used to calling the shots and dangling unattainable carrot sticks in front of their employees to keep them tied to the rat race (i.e., unlimited PTO with a strong social pressure never to take it). As we seek some semblance of normalcy in a post-pandemic world, companies can no longer string employees along, demanding they give everything to a job that will never return the favor. The Great Resignation was a sign that many people were dissatisfied and unfulfilled by their work and only needed the right circumstances to do something about it.

Fast Forward to 2022, when we’ve all but returned to normal, and the number of job seekers is climbing. You only need to do a cursory Google search to see how many hours and resources job seekers put into their job searches to know the demand for work is high. However, despite people’s desire to work, companies across industries struggle to hire and retain talent. The demand is present on both sides, but corporations are hesitant to bend to job seekers' requirements.

Employees having this level of control is challenging for companies, but if employers can shift their understanding and perspective, both sides of the aisle can gain. As 2022 marches on and The Great Reshuffle continues, top professional talent will go to corporations and employers who are wise enough to detach from the “normal” the pandemic left behind and, with the input and help of its employees, restructure a new normal that rises to job seekers’ growing standards.

The health and growth of the job market depend on employers and employees agreeing on what work looks like moving forward. We may never return to a market where job seekers take any available job that sounds good to the ears and look good on paper. Jobs must offer real, tangible benefits. Working in an office isn’t the only or most popular way to work anymore. In this Great Reshuffle, we can all walk away with a win and coworking spaces, like Ambition Center MKE, are in the prime position to support professionals with remote office space, networking opportunities, and other business resources.

What is Ambition Center MKE?

Ambition Center MKE Coworking, located at 530 E. Vienna Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212 is the most diverse and inclusive, and northernmost private office and coworking space in Milwaukee. We provide coworking space and a multitude of business resources for Milwaukee's professionals, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. We offer daily tours and our team would love to meet you ... book a tour today!


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