Many Workers Have Quit or Plan to After Employers Revoke Remote Work

New FlexJobs survey highlights the high value employees place on remote work, mental health support, and company culture

Boulder, CO, September 13, 2021 – According to FlexJobs’ survey of over 4,600 respondents, 44 percent know at least one person that has quit or is planning to quit because their employers are requiring them to return to the office. 29 percent are actively looking for a new job because they want to work remotely, while 17 percent have quit a job because it did not offer remote work options.

“It’s a job seeker’s market right now, and workers are more empowered than ever to leave job situations that aren’t ideal, or leave companies that aren’t allowing them to work the way they want to,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “As our latest survey highlights, workers are placing an extremely high value on the option to work remotely, and they’re committed to finding companies that are embracing remote work as a long-term workplace model and have a healthy company culture to support it,” Sutton concluded.

Remote Work Matters:

  • 44% know at least one person that has quit or is planning to quit because their employers are requiring them to return to the office
  • 29% are currently looking for a new job because they want to work remotely
  • 17% have quit a job because it did not have remote work options
  • 21% would give up some vacation time, and nearly a quarter (24%) would take a 10-20% cut in pay in order to work remotely as much as they want
  • Post-pandemic, 58% prefer a fully remote job, and 39% want a hybrid arrangement that combines both office and remote work; only 3% report wanting to return to the office full-time
  • However, 42% report that post-pandemic, their employers will require them to be in the physical office; 27% will have hybrid work arrangements; 17% will be fully remote; the remaining 14% were unsure of their company’s plans

Other key insights from the survey:

Mental Health Matters:

  • 70% say a permanent remote job would have a huge improvement or positive impact on their mental health
  • 81% of respondents said having better work-life balance is the #1 factor for wanting a job with a flexible work option
    • Other reasons for wanting a flexible job include commute stress (50%), family (47%), and exposure to illnesses (43%)
  • Lack of healthy work-life boundaries would cause 57% to not apply, not accept, or to quit a job
  • Nearly one in five (18%) said not offering mental health support was a big mistake their company made during the pandemic

Company Culture Matters:

  • Toxic culture would cause 73% of respondents to not apply, not accept, or to quit a job. Other reasons include:
    • Micromanaging boss (58%), lack of healthy work-life boundaries (57%), and not allowing remote work (55%) or flexible options (50%); the top reason was a low salary (79%)
  • Poor communication from leadership was the biggest mistake made by employers during the pandemic (30%). Other top-reported mistakes included:
    • Not fully understanding the stress of work-life conflicts during the quarantine (25%)
    • Unrealistic expectations about productivity during quarantine (22%)
    • Poor management of workers overall (22%)
    • Being too rigid with schedules (17%)

For those that are considering leaving their job, FlexJobs’ career coaches offer these eight tips on how to stay professional when quitting a job.

  1. Give Proper Notice

The traditional two-week notice is still very much encouraged for anyone quitting their current job. Giving more than two weeks is fantastic, but otherwise, two weeks is standard.

Notify any immediate supervisor(s) first, and then tell coworkers. Schedule a time to meet with your manager to give your resignation. For remote workers who regularly meet with bosses virtually, an online meeting is preferable to an email. Once you’ve given your supervisor notice, it’s generally acceptable to tell coworkers. Follow up to the meeting with an official resignation letter to both HR and your boss that details when your last day will be.

  1. Offer Transitional Help

Before leaving, offer to help train your replacement or help the team transition to work-life without you. It isn’t necessary to stay solely to train the new person, but this can be a great way to leave on a positive note. If a replacement isn’t hired by the time you leave, preparing documentation on processes and other important information will likely be appreciated.

  1. Finish Your Projects

If there are overdue projects that should have been done already, or tasks that you have a unique perspective on, try to tie up loose ends before your last day. However, when your projects are proceeding on target and there are other people involved with them, it’s not necessary to stay late or work weekends to wrap them up. Update your teammates and boss on the status of the project and connect any contacts with the person they’ll be working with after you’ve exited.

  1. Document Your Processes

After quitting a job, work on compiling a detailed list of responsibilities and current and ongoing projects to ensure nothing gets dropped or forgotten in your absence. It’s also a good idea to document all processes, especially if you’ll be gone before a replacement is hired and trained. List out everything done on a daily basis. If anything on the list would leave your team scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do, take some time in the final two weeks to write out simple instructions for the task, and store the information in a place where everyone on the team can easily find it.

  1. Don’t Gloat or Spread Gossip

Treat colleagues with the proper respect when leaving. Regardless of the situation, hold off on spreading gossip, negativity, or rumors. Also, you don’t need to give people on your team all the details about why you’re leaving, especially if you have grievances -that’s between you, your manager, and HR.

  1. Clarify Details With Human Resources

Leaving a job on a good note means making sure that all of the HR aspects of the job are settled. Talk with the human resources department about when ending tenure, as well as when to expect a final paycheck, in what form you’ll be paid (paper check or direct deposit), and how much you’ll be getting. Also, find out what will be the best way to return company property and what is needed to close out your benefits.

  1. Emphasize the Positive

In both the resignation letter and exit interview, emphasize all the company has done for you and the ways you have grown while working there. It’s best to stay brief but show appreciation and express gratitude, even as you’re heading out the door. Keep your exit professional and upbeat to build lasting personal and professional relationships that can endure long after you’ve moved on.

  1. Write a Goodbye Email

Writing a thoughtful goodbye email to your manager and colleagues is the perfect way to control the message of your leaving and wish your team well. This opportunity can also provide everyone with your contact information to stay in touch. Former coworkers can become valuable networking connections in the future.


*FlexJobs created the survey, which was promoted to general audiences and its subscribers/members primarily through social media and newsletters. FlexJobs used a multiple choice and multi-select question format via SurveyMonkey’s online platform. The survey ran from July 21, 2021, to August 9, 2021.

Demographic breakdown of the 4,612 respondents: Gender: women (76%), men (23%), prefer not to identify (1%); Generation: Gen Z (7%), millennial/Gen Y (32%), Gen X (39%), baby boomer (21%), silent generation (1%); Education: less than a high school degree (1%), high school degree or equivalent (8%), some college but no degree (17%), associate’s or bachelor’s degree (49%), graduate degree (25%); Career level: entry-level (17%), experienced (54%), manager (18%), senior-level manager (11%); Time out of the workforce: less than one year (41%), one to two years (30%), three to five years (12%), five to seven years (6%), eight+ years (11%). Thirty-six percent had children 18 or younger living at home with them.

For more information, please visit or contact Kathy Gardner at

Tags: remote work, resi, talent retention

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