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MUMBAI : S. Arshana, a Bangalore-based tech worker, is sitting on two job offers. Since she is satisfied with her current employer, she is awaiting details on the new employers’ work-from-home (WFH) policy from 2022 before she takes a call.

“The pandemic has made me prioritize my life, and I do not want to travel two hours to work every day. Besides, our company clocked a good profit over the past year. That means WFH is a workable model, and I think people who want to work from home should be allowed that option," she says.

If Arshana indeed resigns, she would join the Great Resignation Age. Headhunters say India Inc. is in the middle of the highest attrition in five years, and this is expected to continue. The current attrition firms are facing is around 15% higher than in 2019. “The Great Resignation has seen many employees quitting jobs for better rewards, incentives, work flexibility and reasons critical to holistic well-being, prompting them to prioritize mental health and their families," said Yeshab Giri, head- specialties and Randstad Technologies at Randstad India. He said employees are looking for a sense of purpose and seeking out employers who can provide them with that.

The Randstad Employer Brand Research report says potential employees now consider work-life balance, attractive salary and benefits and covid-safe work environment as top three drivers before accepting offers. Many companies, especially large IT giants and startups, are offering double bonuses, expensive gifts and hikes of 30-40% to prevent poaching by rivals.

HR service providers say resignations are high in junior to mid-level positions as the millennial and Gen Z workforce prioritize work-life balance. Their need for flexibility at work and other perks like ‘no-questions-asked’ leaves, ‘no-meeting Fridays’, situation-specific leaves (e.g., covid leave, bereavement leave with no specified duration, extended maternity leave with job security), mental health support and learning and development allowances have encouraged them to look for jobs that particularly offer these.

“Apart from monetary benefits, we are asking managers to invest time in team members and understand their style of work. If people are not comfortable coming to work, we are considering if that can be a solution. We are also asking employees to spread the good word about our company and how we have been supportive," a top HR official of an IT firm said on condition of anonymity.

Though IT firms made headlines with their record attrition rate of up to 21% last quarter, against around 12% in the first quarter, education, logistics, manufacturing, insurance and hospitality sectors are also seeing employee exits. The tech sector, however, may see resignations touch 1 million by 2021 end, according to Randstad.

In a bid to retain staff, many firms are trying to move closer to the workers rather than workers migrating to cities. “This retention strategy had never been practised before the pandemic. This trend allows staff to manage family responsibilities along with working seamlessly, thereby reducing turnover significantly," added Giri.

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