If you’ve been on LinkedIn or checked your email recently, you likely have seen this term floating around. Is Quiet Quitting really a new trend or is it a tale as old as time? Perhaps you are guilty of quietly quitting in the past, before there was a term for it. Maybe you have personally seen the signs in your workplace. Either way, it’s important to recognize the signs of quiet quitting, the reasons behind it, and the solutions for both employers and employees.
What is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting is the new corporate buzzword, following other workplace passivity such as the Great Resignation and labor rights movements riding on the post-pandemic wave. To clarify, quiet quitting doesn’t actually mean one is quitting their job. Quiet quitting means employees are only putting in the bare minimum of work required for the job.
Similar to everything else that seems to go viral these days, an Engineer named Zaid Kahn drew attention to the term quiet quitting on the app TikTok.
Referring to quiet quitting, Kahn states, “…You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond. You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life.”
Know the Signs and Underlying Factors
Covid has changed much of the workplace, from where we work to how we interact with each other. Over the course of lockdowns and quarantines, people have found passions and purpose in other areas of their lives outside of work. After adapting to workplace normality, people are struggling to find meaning in their work. In our post-pandemic economy people are forced to take jobs to make ends meet. This is leading to disengaged workers performing in the acts of quiet quitting. So, what are the signs?
Worker’s May be Quiet Quitting If They Are
- Lacking in enthusiasm
- Rejecting additional workload or new projects
- Deterring from workplace conversation and relationships
- Refusal to take work home or respond to emails after 5pm
- Avoiding mandatory meetings and events
You may be thinking of a couple quiet quitters in your workplace, but is this truly a revolutionary act? It’s quite simply that there are three types of people: those who consider their job their life, those who choose to have a life outside of work and those who are somewhere in the middle. There are many underlying factors as to why an employee has chosen to withdraw from going above and beyond in the workplace. For example, avoiding work communications or events after hours may be because an employee values their time at home or with their family more than additional time at work. Another example is an employee may reject projects or tasks because they are realistically managing their workload, knowing they have a full plate. Finally, a disengaged worker could be lacking purpose or gradually giving up on a job.
The Right Response
The last few years have led us all to disconnect in the workplace, among a drastic shift in priorities and values. Employees are coasting through their positions while feeling a lack of passion towards their jobs. Meanwhile, in an unkind labor market, employers are more than willing to hire a quiet quitter. This is a call for employers to step up their game and employees to break the cycle. The solution for all is to find a sustainable balance between professional and personal lives.
- Encourage employees to pursue citizenship crafting
- Create a culture where employees feel connected, engaged and valued
- Know the signs of Employee Burnout, a common denominator of quiet quitters
- Redefine core job responsibilities to accurately separate necessary tasks from extra ones
- Don’t show up and do the minimum, risking your job and your reputation
- Distinguish aspects of your job that fills you up with passion and pursue them
- If you can’t find meaning in your job, search for one that aligns with your passion and skills
Recently discussed in an NPR article, in Japan, there is a concept called shokunin. This refers to an artisan who is deeply dedicated to their craft, always striving for perfection in what they make. Quiet quitting is like the opposite of that.
Perhaps there is a healthy middle ground where employees are divorcing their ego from their career and not striving for perfection at all cost. Setting boundaries and simply completing the tasks and goals assigned within the time given — with no extra frills. One thing is for sure… the traditional workplace seems to be changing. Workaholism is out and work-life balance is in.
Are you ready to start your confidential job search for a passionate career? Do you need more dedicated and reliable workers on your team?