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Quiet Quitting: What Do You Need To Know?

Published August 19, 2022 (last updated February 9, 2023) - Face2Face Field Service Manager

There has been a significant change in the way people approach work. They are rethinking what work means to them and how they can make their job align with their personal lives. This has led to new trends emerging among stressed out or burnt-out employees, such as ‘Quiet Quitting.’

tired employee staring at laptop

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting work is when an employee is physically present at work but has made the decision to perform the bare minimum amount of work to remain employed and collect their paycheque. As the term suggests, you are not outright quitting but giving up on going the extra mile for work. This behaviour can be seen as a reaction to the hustle culture, which basically suggests that work must be your life, one must constantly work and be productive.

Considered an old phenomenon, quiet quitting has been around for a while but has recently gained traction on TikTok as young professionals discuss their frustration and exhaustion. These videos display insights of employees who have entered the workforce during tumultuous times including blurred boundaries between personal and professional lives. Some have applauded this phenomenon as they believe its time to normalise things like not answering work calls in non-work time, giving staff the flexibility they need to adjust their hours, accountability of output rather than hours spent at your desk, working from home regularly, and avoiding micromanaging.

Why are people quietly quitting their jobs?

Research has suggested that employee engagement is declining. Employees feel untethered, they believe that their work lacks purpose. This lack of purpose and passion has led to employees feeling detached. Quiet quitting does not mean anything changes on the surface. It is just that employees don’t push themselves, overextend themselves, or say yes to additional projects and responsibilities.

Benefits of quiet quitting

It’s easy to assume that quiet quitting your job encourages people to be lazy. That’s a common misconception. In fact, quietly quitting reminds people to not work themselves to the brink of exhaustion and stress.

  • Preventative Measure- It can act as a preventative measure for many employees. If you are in tune with your mental state and understand that it’s the job or work that is making you stressed. By quiet quitting, you can take a step back and revaluate your priorities and focus.
  • Reduces stress in employees- When employees leave the stress of the office at the office, they enable themselves to be fully present in their personal lives. It also gives them an opportunity to recalibrate and put quality over quantity.

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Disadvantages of quiet quitting

There are obvious disadvantages to quiet quitting for employers and employees.

For employers:

  • Lack of employee effort- Quiet quitting is often a sign that an employee doesn’t want to take the efforts anymore.
  • Passive- It can feel like a passive reaction that can make employers feel powerless as they can’t change the situation.
  • Loss of trust- As an employer you lose trust in your employees if you feel they are quietly quitting.

For employees:

  • Temporary fix- Quietly quitting is often a sign of something deeper that needs to be changed. It is a temporary fix for stress and burnout.
  • Loss of trust- Some employees choose to quietly quit when they feel they can’t trust their employer or workplace anymore.
  • Easy way out- By refusing to have a conversation with your employer about the stress or what needs to change, you are taking the easy way out that most likely won’t help your career or mental health in the long run.
  • Lose on career progression- Employees who quietly quit, shut themselves off from the potential career progression, promotions, or pay rises.

How could quiet quitting transform your workplace?

If employees start to quietly quit, that is a sign that they feel overburdened and burnt out. They will lose motivation and focus. It can make your workplace feel negative and stressful. This may eventually force other employees to reassess their role and commitment to the team.

What can leaders and managers do to better support employees?

Is there anything leaders or managers do to avoid or prevent the quiet quitting phenomenon?

  • Open communication- As an employer, the key is to communicate openly and honestly. What do you need them to do? What do you need from them during times of crisis? Is there anything you can do for them?
  • Understand employee challenges- Why are your employees feeling the need to quietly quit? Do you give them the opportunities they need to rest and recover? Can they come to you with their concerns? Does the business offer wellbeing days or leave?
  • Design their work accordingly- A good leader should know how to design work, so employees don’t feel stressed. Give them enough breaks and time to relax. If your business has the option, allow for flexible working or remote working.

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