Marcus Bowles

A rising number of employees are leaving their jobs because they feel they aren’t trusted by their leaders, according to a workplace expert.

Dr Marcus Bowles, director at The Institute for Working Futures, said the dynamic between workplace leadership and the current workforce had become more strained.  

He told an audience at Launceston’s Freelance Festival, one of the problems people face is they do not want to work under leaders that do not support them enough.  

“Most people leave their leaders, not their companies. The leaders lack trust; they want direct visibility of everything one does, everyday which makes people want to leave,” Dr Bowles said.  

He estimates workforce dynamics at play include:  

  • Around 60 per cent of the Australian workforce is yet to return to the office.  
  • 42 per cent of the workforce would quit work for another opportunity.  
  • At least 10 per cent of the workforce is actively looking for other work that gives them a better work-life balance.  

He said it showed there is a definite growth in the freelance world.  

“There is an emergence of new-collar jobs where there have never been jobs before,” he added. “The jobs have no title and are all digital. They are created by the fact that when we automate jobs, we automate the bits that are the human component that can be done by machines.

“The jobs that are made are the bits that cannot be automated which are squished together, are robot-proof that we call the new-collar jobs. These are the jobs where we tell technologies and data to do something.”  

He said the world of work is changing constantly, with people moving towards increasing independence, upskilling themselves and looking for work that defines them in a better way with leaders that are trusting and supportive. The pandemic had played a huge role in this and changed a lot of things around the way people think about the work culture.  

‘Job neighbourhood,’ a term that defines the new jobs that will be created in the future, references existing jobs. These have nothing to do with the titles or verticals – where people are moving in a particular direction in their careers as these directions do not exist anymore.   

“When we talk about job neighbourhood, we are not interested in the title of the job, we are interested in the skills, the knowledge and what we call the cognitive efficacy,” he said.

“Opportunities, in the current freelance scenario do not exist in a particular swim line.”

Main image of Dr Marcus Bowles by Krutika Kale. 

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