The Big Quit is a reclamation of worker power

The Big Quit is a reclamation of worker power

Between the rise of job-threatening AI, strict return-to-work requirements, and sweeping layoffs, it feels like bosses are clawing back what little remains of employee power.

The mood has changed from excitement over employee-first initiatives like the four-day week, remote work, and a wave of and strict office mandates.

Companies had become concerned about keeping employees happy, said Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the Wharton Business School.

The Great Resignation, also called the Big Quit, might have created workers enlightenment, but how much they actually won is up for debate.

The economic trend began in early 2021 in the wake of the pandemic and saw millions of workers quit their jobs. At the time, the trend was hailed as a reclamation of worker power, but now some aren't so sure.

Cappelli said he was not satisfied with the decision.

Several economists previously told Insider that only certain workers gain any true bargaining power and soaring inflation largely canceled out any wage increases.

Or else, back to the office.

The charge is mostly being led by Big Tech and banks, with varying degrees of severity and pushback.

s like, ll just get people to quit, he said.

flexible work options could boost a company's retention rate and boost hiring, but layoffs, paired with an uncertain economy, seem to have emboldened employers to quit.

It's going to make it harder to retain and recruit, said Stanford economist Nick Bloom, referring to RTO mandates. He said that he is not actively looking to expand headcount.

But they may be risking their own bottom line.

'S the risk these leaders face if they want to force this comeback-everyday model down the throat of everyone,' he said.

The generative AI boom has been a result of the launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT late last year.

The tech's ability to work with multiple employees has been praised by some bosses. In May, the CEO of Octopus Energy, a UK-based household energy provider, said AI was already doing the work of 250 people at the company.

The employees are questioning whether they have been traded into the buzzy new tech.

Although the tech is not infallible, it has already caused several PR headaches, but there are some cost-saving and efficiency opportunities that make some level of risk worth it for many employers.

It looks like a recession to you, he said.