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The Great Resignation of 2021: What Do the People Really Want?

December 3, 2021

By Hannah Shain

Without stating the obvious, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the national psyche as it relates to socializing, health and security, work, and more. 

By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Great Resignation,” which is loosely defined as a global trend in resignations across every industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 4 million Americans quit their jobs in September 2021, piggybacking on previous months of resignations. 

What’s behind this trend? It depends on the industry, but across the board, workers consistently report emotional burnout. Many have realized the benefits of working in a remote setting and have decided that, after 18 months, commuting to an office is no longer desirable. 

The big question many people seem to be asking themselves concerns their relationship to work. Perhaps our focus shouldn’t be on the resignations but rather the adjustment from the mindset of “work comes first” to “life comes first.” Many people are feeling like life is too short to do work that doesn’t satisfy financially, personally, or both. Companies who adjust to meet the needs of their employees are going to win this decade. 

What about you? Have you had an adjustment in your relationship to work in the past 18 months? Are you a marketing or PR professional, web developer, designer, or content specialist interested in learning about how you can prioritize a “life comes first” mindset while also pursuing a fulfilling career? 

Read on for a few ideas we have going on at SmartBug to create a culture of inspired work, impactful results, and the flexibility to live the life you want.

Work from where you want.

When you imagine sitting down at the perfect spot to begin your workday, where are you? At your home office looking out the window at a few beautiful trees? At your favorite coffee shop drinking their newest blend? What about Maui? Yeah, you read that right. We have SmartBugs who live in Maui and who visit Maui too

With SmartBugs in nearly each of the 50 states and at least three countries, SmartBugs are able to work from the comfort of their homes or decide to take a trip across the country so that they can work during the day and sightsee in the evenings and on weekends.

Plus, because the company is 100 percent remote, we’re able to recruit from a worldwide talent pool, which means you get to work with the best of the best—not just those available in the physical location of the organization. 

Work a flexible schedule. 

Although most of the action at SmartBug takes place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., our flexible work hours policy allows SmartBugs to work in a way that is most productive to them

Maybe you want to avoid the after-work rush and get a workout in around 2 p.m. when fewer people are at the gym. Or maybe you’re working on a task, and you suddenly hit a wall. Rather than forcing yourself through it, you can take a  15- to 20-minute break to do a few chores around the house or go for a walk around the block. This not only helps with burnout, but it can also help you refocus so that when you come back to your desk, you can jump back into a task with a fresh mind.

The work schedule at SmartBug is technically from midnight Sunday to 11:59 p.m. Saturday. Before you read into that, we’re not saying you’re expected to work on Saturday or Sunday. Rather, you have the choice to. Say, for example, you’re going to a big outdoor concert on Friday at a venue a few hours away, and you’re expecting some traffic. At SmartBug, you can put in the extra hours on Sunday and take off a few hours early on a Friday without using your paid time off. 

Engage in ongoing remote training. 

Are you a total nerd when it comes to your job? Us too. We’re all about ongoing education, so much so that we have weekly training sessions that focus on client-facing strategies, technical skills, updates in our clients’ industries, and more. 

We also have office hours dedicated to programs and technical skills. These sessions are held like Q&As or open-forum discussions. Marketers are encouraged to hop in with a quick question or stay for the entirety of the session. It’s all about sharing knowledge and growing together.

Speaking of growing together, each quarter, SmartBug shuts down the company to focus on training, with each person spending uninterrupted time on their professional growth. We dedicate thousands of hours a year to upping our game.

Stay connected. 

Just because we’re remote doesn’t mean we aren’t connected. By utilizing the right digital tools, our SmartBugs stay connected through daily communications, monthly virtual happy hours, fun gift exchanges such as favorite coffees, new employee get-to-know-you meetings, and Slack groups based on interests such as one for pet lovers. When they find themselves in the same city, SmartBugs meet up for IRL hangouts. 

Finally, the big event all SmartBugs look forward to each year: SmartBugapalooza is our annual conference where SmartBugs enhance their skills, have some laughs, and energize the whole team. It’s one day of work and three days of fun, a you’ll-remember-this-when-you’re-old-and-gray kind of event.

Create great memories; do good work. 

Life is about creating great memories. Work is about achieving your goals. At SmartBug Media, we make both happen.

Interested in becoming a SmartBug? Take a look at our open positions


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Topics: Hiring a Marketing Agency, Remote Work