It’s viral, it’s the latest work trend, and it’s called Quiet Quitting. It is the idea of refusing to work overtime and not taking calls after work. Quiet Quitting has many workers rethinking the value of their jobs and the time and attention they assign to them. This trending topic is generating a lot of debate and here is what you need to know about it – if you want to stay connected to workplace culture.
WHAT IS QUIET QUITTING?
Quiet Quitting may sound like you are bowing out officially from your job, but instead it means quitting the overworking culture but staying on the company payroll. Viewed in its most positive light, the concept encourages employees to maintain an appropriate separation between work and personal life and break away from hustle culture.
Whether it’s the phenomenon of Quiet Quitting or not, a lot of people are feeling disconnected from the purpose of their jobs. According to a 2022 Gallup survey, 60% of employees report being emotionally detached from work; 19% report being miserable. Only 33% say that they’re engaged at work. “So if we think that the other 60% are emotionally detached — maybe the emotional detachment is the quiet quitting”, says Rebbeca Knight, Senior Correspondent of Careers and the Workplace at Insider.
WHERE DID QUIET QUITTING COME FROM?
The phrase Quiet Quitting has been generating millions of views on the social networking platform, TikTok. TikToker Zaid Khan made “Quiet Quitting” a huge hit on the internet. Zaid has been quoted saying that Quiet Quitting is “quitting the idea of above and beyond for your job”. They are doing only what they are paid to do. In a nutshell, it is a shift to focus on life beyond work and its commitments, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant mental health problems and burnout.
WHO QUIET QUITS?
According to a Resume Builder survey, ‘1 in 4 of workers are ‘quiet quitting,’ saying no to hustle culture. Maggie Perkins is a teacher who began quiet quitting in 2018 when her daughter was born. In a discussion with CNBC, Perkins said she chose to work only her minimum contracted hours so she could make it to her daycare pickup on time and avoid late fines. Some news coverage have suggested that Quiet Quitting is primarily done by Gen Z or people in their early 20s. But Fast Company pointed out recently that Gen X-ers, now in their 50s, were also called out for deciding there were more important things than work.
IS IT GOOD OR BAD?
Well, it depends on who you ask. It’s either a healthy boundary or an example of the worst sort of passive-aggressive behavior you can bring to work. Asley Lutz’s Fortune article explores how Americans have normalized this trend and the passive-aggression that comes with it. Plenty of backlash to the trend exists, and the argument is that silent, quiet, withdrawal is one way to burn bridges and leave your boss and coworkers demoralized and dissatisfied.
WHY SHOULD MANAGERS BE PREPARED FOR IT?
Since the trend is spreading like wildfire, managers who want to deal with staff shortages and meet their organization’s goals should be ready for Quiet Quitting. While work life balance is a priority for Gen Z and Millennials, finances are also a cause of worry. Burdened by inflation and rising cost of rents, many Quiet Quitters are simply not willing to work without pay.
WHY IS IT A CONCERN?
Since the occurrence of COVID, there has been a significant transformation in the workplace. From the rising popularity of shared workspaces to the talk of a four-day workweek, the rules for the new workplace are still being written.
Managers can maximize retention and meet deadlines more effectively by giving employees the work they enjoy and letting them decide how to spend their time on it. Simone Ahuja, a Fortune 500 strategic consultant who focuses on fostering innovation, suggests managers ask employees about their progress. She recommends managers understand how employees feel about their workload, and ask how they will balance it with everything else on their plate. A collaborative approach among employees to achieve team and individual objectives with breathing room for their personal life can be fruitful for employee retention.
To break out of the Quiet Quitting mindset, Allison Peck, a career coach suggests that people find a job, manager, team, or company that better aligns with them in order to stay motivated.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Corporate space planners, managers, and executives need to work together to keep employees driven at their workplace. Space Planners can bring utilization metrics to the table to build better spaces that can improve employee satisfaction and help employees feel better about their work environment.
Nupur Patra contributes to the Blog and Social Media channels for Lambent. She is currently a graduate student at Northeastern University in the Digital Media program.