Is it ever OK to ghost your job—to leave work one day and never go back?

  • One firm in the US noticed a 10-20 percent increase in staff leaving roles without a word. But in the gig economy, with so little respect extended to employees, perhaps this isn’t surprising.
- HANNAH JANE PARKINSON

Jun 24, 2019-

Until recently, it was a practice more or less confined to the dating realm. Ghosting—when one partner suddenly goes silent on a suitor after a period of communication or maybe a couple of dates—was thought to be a product of our tech-driven, dispensable approach to romance. It is the hook-up version of leaving a party with nary a backwards glance (also known as, depending on your allegiances, a French exit or an Irish goodbye).

Now this disappearing act favoured by millennials has spread to the workplace. Employees leaving their jobs without proper notice has become such a widespread occurrence that the US Federal Reserve has flagged it as an issue. One firm had noted a “10-20 percent increase” in it happening.

But, while opinion on ghosting dates differs (Rude? Annoying but harmless?), can anyone really blame downtrodden employees for giving bosses a taste of their own indifferent medicine? It seems highly unfair to ask a put-upon generation to give their bosses a level of respect they are not afforded themselves, considering employees so often undertake “gig” roles in an economy that frequently offers zero job security, employment rights, career progression and poor wages.

Young people are also getting wise to the fact that they are a generation growing up less well off than the one before them. They are saddled with the debt burdens and crises of the mistakes made by their forebears. Of course it makes sense that patience with corporations has dwindled and loyalty has diminished. Millennials and generation Zers, often mocked for a hatred of making phone calls, are used to making decisions via a swipe and, in many cases have an app instead of a line manager. Nomadic working has also picked up. If employers treat their young workers with disdain then, like bad Tinder matches, they run the risk of a swift comeuppance. Sucks for you, bosses, but, sorry: you started it.

—©2019 The Guardian

Published: 24-06-2019 09:32

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