Millions Resign — What are they doing now?

How to build a new and different work-life together

I want to help anybody who wants to create a passive income portfolio to become part of this revolution. Finally, employees are demanding what people in Europe have taken for granted for the last 60 years.

Did you know that European employees have 30 days vacation/year — that’s 30 weekdays. Add to that the 104 weekend days and 12 holidays, and you have a total of 146 days/year out of 365 total.

They have an additional amount of days in case they get sick. And they don’t have to pay extra or any deductible for doctor’s visits or prescriptions. Health care is a human right and is provided by the system (paid from taxes). The 2021 statistics on medical bankruptcies in the US show more than half a million people each year file due to unpayable medical bills. If you get sick and don’t have employment healthcare, you are at risk that your financial life is over in America.

Compare that to Europe.

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If a female employee gets pregnant in Europe they have 2 years to look after their baby while the employer has to keep their job available for their return.

When the kids are 2 years old, they get what’s called “Kita Platz” in most European countries. This link describes in more detail how this works. In a nutshell, the government sponsors child care so parents can send their kids to a child care facility with professionally trained teachers. The cost is minimal and not comparable to our system in the United States.

Just to close the loop, when these kids finish school and transition to college, they basically get that for free as well. Tuition is kept to around $700/month and often includes housing and free food.

Some people claim that such a system would never work and can’t be profitable. We all know of companies like Volkswagen, Siemens, BMW, Stihl, etc. They all follow those rules and are world market leaders. There are many more we don’t know that dominate their markets and have to offer all these benefits by law. It’s is very possible and the resignation revolution might help us make some steps in that direction.

I am not claiming that most US employees or employers know about these circumstances in Europe.

At the same time, I suspect that many people, having time to reflect during the pandemic and lockdowns began wondering if life can only be lived the way we used to in America until the beginning of 2020?

On August 30th, 2021, Julius Dijulius wrote:

The Great Resignation — Employees are quitting at Record rates — and explained that a mass, voluntary exodus from the workforce is happening.

It is here, and it is quite real. Turnover is nothing new, and neither are corporate retention strategies. But the Great Resignation and extreme turnover that is happening today across industries is a different phenomenon that requires a different approach. The Great Resignation caught so many business leaders flat-footed.

Just in the second quarter of ’21 (April, May & June), a total of 11.5 million workers quit their jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. If that isn’t bad enough, a survey of over 30,000 workers conducted by Microsoft found that 41% are considering quitting; that number jumps to 54% for Gen Z.

There are numerous reasons, most originating from the pandemic that started in early 2020. According to a LinkedIn survey, 74% of respondents said the time spent at home had caused them to rethink their current work situation. More than 50% cited stress and burnout in their job as a reason for looking elsewhere. Others did not like how their employer treated them over the last eighteen months, from a lack of genuine concern to employees being forced to take concessions, while senior executives didn’t. The Work from Home (WFH) dilemma opened a Pandora’s box for many employees and has become a contentious issue for many organizations.

When I read these statements and the many articles that keep popping up about employers having a hard time filling jobs while at the same time record numbers of people quitting their jobs, I wonder what the underlying motivations really are.

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In one of my consulting and advising projects I recently became part of a discussion about a mandate the employer had communicated via email stating:

You need to prove that you are vaccinated or you will be terminated by 1st Nov 2021.

People were very angry, not because they weren’t vaccinated — more than 90% of the employees in that company are. They were angry because of the way they were told what the leadership wanted.

To make this even more offensive, the vision statement of the company includes the phrase “…putting our employees in the center of everything we do…”

I asked some of them and also did some online research and found that most of them, especially the more extrovert folks, said something like:

We have been suspecting that the top brass sees us as slaves, but now we know (now we have confirmation).

There were a few different versions with the same sentiment.

Employers totally misjudge the employees’ dependency. Now they also learn that mothers will always put their children first, especially when the government does not provide any child care options.

I believe we all learned that 18 months of reflections, some of which were during lock-downs and some due to work-from-home rules or unemployment have given many people the opportunity to pause and ask what life is, what it should be, and what they want for themselves.

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My life motto has always been: “Helping others help themselves become successful”.

As those who regularly read my articles know this help includes mentoring people who want to create a portfolio of passive income so they can reach a point on the calendar, I call “The Time Freedom Point” where they no longer need to exchange their time for money and can live the life they want, where they want and how they want.

I have the distinct impression that what my team and I do can seriously help anybody who decides to change their life by resigning from jobs that are inflexible or force you back into a cubicle when you have proven for almost 2 years that you can do your work just as well from home, etc.

This also means that things that were not really that important in the past will now rise in importance for people like me and my clients/mentees who are building these portfolios.

We need to provide room to be able to work from home — so a minimum of 3 bedrooms but, ideally 4 bedrooms for a property we consider to purchase should become standard.

In addition to good schools that have always been on our radar, child care options will play a bigger role in property selection.

Employers were typically expected to provide good internet connections so employees can work efficiently. During the pandemic that was shifted to employees who struggled with it. We as investors providing housing to these new work from home (WFM) employees and their families need to be willing to offer great high-speed internet. I personally, would love to have Starlink on each roof of the houses we rent.

Finally, and it might sound like it’s not really new — location is going to play a bigger role. Yes, I know that real estate has always been associated with the saying “location, location, location”. With this new development of people paying more attention to the quality of life and how much of their income they want to spend for living space, we need to look at this statement through a new lens.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

This new lens has to balance the rental income we can achieve and the affordability of the location for our tenants. Several of my friends have taken the reflection of the pandemic to decide that mid-size cities and areas on the outskirts of larger metropolitan areas offer a higher quality of life. What used to be called “second & third tier” locations are now becoming more and more attractive. These friends chose to move out of large cities and into these new locations and suddenly, for less expense, each month, have much more living space, a garden, and better quality of life. They don’t even mind paying more for internet service that has great performance because they are saving so much in rent that it’s a minor inconvenience.

As investors and tenants, both groups should establish new principles.

Tenants should look at the quality of life combined with good internet access and include how much of any income they need to use for rent and how they can build a passive income source long term.

Investors need to look for locations and properties that offer this quality of life tenants are seeking while keeping a good balance between the purchase price and expected rent level. I know this market makes it hard to reach the 1% rule (rent per month is 1% of purchase price) but when we aim to get as close as possible and still remain in B-class neighborhoods, we do a great service to our tenants.

With that in mind, we should all be optimistic that investors in residential real estate can be partners with the employees who resign because they want to focus on their families, their children, and the quality of life. Let’s be the ones who give them a nice place to live for an affordable and reasonable price so we can support them in this revolution of work.

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