Publication of the article “crise du travail ou crise du sens?” (Work Crisis or Crisis of Meaning?)

4 May 2021
Publication of the article “crise du travail ou crise du sens?” (Work Crisis or Crisis of Meaning?)

The April-May 2021 issue of Projet magazine features a special dossier: ‘Employment, Where Are We Going?’ One year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the job market is in an ‘unprecedented in history,’ situation according to the International Labour Organization. The 114 million jobs destroyed by the pandemic call for a re-evaluation of the role of work in our societies. Between the temptation of a fresh start and the return to business as usual, this dossier explores the situation and future prospects through the perspective of experts in the field.

Work Crisis or Crisis of Meaning?

Several studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic show a rise in job dissatisfaction, with the loss of meaning being one of the primary reasons. To shed light on this phenomenon, the article ‘Work Crisis or Crisis of Meaning’ which I present in this issue of Projet magazine, summarizes the results of an exploratory qualitative study I conducted in April 2020. One month after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I interviewed ten professionals who had questioned the meaning of their work before the pandemic. Their answers allow us to distinguish between questions related to their own work situation and those that were added due to the crisis.

The survey reveals that, alongside the health and economic crisis, the pandemic has also triggered a crisis of meaning in work. The unprecedented and unpredictable environment, lockdowns and remote work have shifted our life priorities and the way we work. The gap between the meaning sought by workers and what organizations offer has widened even further. This article invites us to rethink work organization and job appreciation to provide new perspectives of meaning for the post-crisis era.


Access to the full issue: “Emploi, où est-ce qu’on va?”. Revue Projet, numéro 381, avril-mai 2021.

Direct access to the article: Chevallier, É. (2021). Crise du travail ou crise de sens ?. Revue Projet, 381, 28-31.

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