What Is Quiet Quitting And Why It’s Taking Workplaces By Storm

Something called quiet quitting is covertly taking workplaces by storm. The reasons have a lot to do with lessons learned from the pandemic.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

quiet quitting employers and employees workers quit

A new phenomenon known as quiet quitting has taken the global workforce by storm. The phrase essentially refers to employees setting work-life balance boundaries by limiting their workload or doing the bare minimum. The trend, which gained popularity through TikTok, can also be seen as a Great Resignation spin-off. The latter was motivated partly by preexisting issues in the workforce, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, job dissatisfaction, low wages, and a dose of old-fashioned burnout.

The video, shared by @zaidleppelin was viewed over 3 million times. In the clip, he explains the meaning behind the phrase. “I recently learned about this term called quiet quitting where you’re not outright quitting your job but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” he told viewers on the micro vlogging site. “You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life. The reality is it’s not, and your worth as a person is not defined by your labor,” he continues.

While the phrase might make employers shudder, it’s not a cause for concern if workers feel appreciated. Closing your laptop at 5 pm after doing all the assigned tasks is not a bad thing if staffers have no incentive to do more. This is especially true when feeling unappreciated at work is coupled with soaring inflation and the cost of living crisis. Some experts say using “quiet quitting” to describe this behavior is a misnomer because it simply means that people are prioritizing themselves over their jobs. The trend is simply motivated by the desire to have more control over schedules and overall burnout.

As such, quiet quitting is the antithesis of corporate culture which states that the harder you work, the greater the reward. This often includes doing work that isn’t necessarily part of your job description or part of your contract. But while high workloads are encouraged, there often isn’t any opportunity for real-world career advancement. Salaries also remain stagnant or have minuscule raises, despite the real-world reasons for an increase. When people finally realize their input doesn’t match the reward, they are no longer motivated to work as hard.

Quiet quitting can manifest in a few different ways. Enthusiasm for the job will start to decrease. Employees may not be as active in contributing to projects. Staffers might even stop voluntarily helping out when needed without compensation. Some folks even may show up late and leave early. Others might refuse to work longer hours, especially without the promise of overtime pay. Workers might also stop responding to emails, calls, or messages after work hours.

The biggest thing employers can do to combat quiet quitting is address the issues that caused the trend. Finding ways to make employees feel valued, respected, and appreciated is a great place to start. Other tips include allowing for an appropriate level of work-life balance, valuing employees’ physical and mental health, and encouraging these values in others to avoid burnout. Providing benefits like sick days and vacation days is also a good idea. Paying employees reasonable salaries above minimum wage would be the most important, NPR reports.