Is ‘Quite Quitting’ the Answer to Perfect Work-Life Balance?

quiet quitting

Followed by the great resignation, a new workplace trend is taking over the internet: Quiet Quitting.

The trend is shedding new light on the world of employment for Gen Z and has reignited the conversation about our relationship with work.

So, what is quiet quitting? How is it affecting the workplace? Can business escape it? And, what’s the way out?

What is Quiet Quitting?

Unlike what the name might suggest, quite quitting does not mean silently resigning or slipping your resignation letter under your manager’s door. Instead, quiet quitting advocates exactly the opposite of the “hustle culture,” it is about quitting the idea of going above and beyond your key responsibility areas.

The trend is only about doing the minimum requirements of your job and putting in no more effort, enthusiasm, or time than is absolutely necessary, and it is being endorsed as a revolution against overworking.

For the longest time, this is what the employees were told not to do in the workplace. But, today, GenZ is embracing the idea of doing the bare minimum.

For example, a poll from Generation Lab and Axios found that quiet quitting is “extremely appealing” to 82% of Gen Z workers. Whereas 15% of the participants are already doing it.

But, how healthy is quite quitting?

Is Quiet Quitting Healthy?

On paper, quiet quitting sounds like the perfect mantra for the ideal work-life balance: Clocking in and out on time, getting better sleep, and having enough time for family and friends.

In practice, however, quiet quitting is just the opposite.

There is a fragile line between setting healthy boundaries and being disengaged at work. It is healthy not to take on more work than you can do, but it’s unhealthy to duck to the side of work.

Companies do not want lackluster workers. And managers can quickly tell if the employees are crossing this line, thus putting their job in danger.

Work, by its very nature, is transactional. If you don’t give in enough, your employers will not hand you the best opportunities. That’s why quiet quitting leads to stagnation, and your bonus letters will reflect this inaction.

Is Quiet Quitting Only a Social Media Trend?

The #QuietQuitting hashtag has racked up over 17 million views on TikTok. News articles have publicized the term, and the noise has spread to Linked, Twitter, and all other major social media platforms.

The post ranges from sincere opinions on work-life balance to sarcastic jokes. But studies on the evolving nature of workplaces suggest that quiet quitting is more than a simple social media trend.

Moreover, a recent Gallup estimate classifies 50% of the American workforce as quiet quitters, which makes up over 80 million employees.

Why are Gen Z Employees Quiet Quitting?

The COVID pandemic transformed our relationship with work, particularly for the younger employees, who have fueled backlashes against the ‘hustle culture.’

For example, in the poll by Generation Lab and Axios, most respondents ranked wellness, family, friends, and hobbies as higher priorities than employment.

Image: Edelman Trust Barometer 2022

Moreover, studies confirm that burnout is a significant concern in the job for GenZ workers.

The World Economic Forum placed “youth disillusionment” ninth out of ten imminent threats in its 2021 Global Risks Report. The results show that, since the epidemic began, mental health has declined, leaving 80% of young people globally prone to sadness, anxiety, and burnout.

Therefore, experts also blame the pandemic-incudes burnout as one of the primary culprits behind the enormous popularity of quiet quitting. And this is especially for Gen Zer, who joined the workforce and endured the worst of these bizarre times.

Can Business Escape Quiet Quitting?

At first glimpse, quiet quitting might not look like a big issue. Employees are still working, completing their projects, and clocking out of the workplace on time. So, how can it harm businesses?

Turns out, it can.

According to Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace study, disengaged and dissatisfied employees have cost the global economy $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.

In the current turbulent economic environment, employers are worried about labor productivity. Moreover, the modern workplace value impeccable results more than employees’ clocking in and out time, which can be tough to achieve with highly disengaged employees.

Therefore businesses are using different strategies to deal with the escalating trends of soft quitting. The most popular of which include:

Quiet Firing

Quiet quitting has heaped the attention on slacker employees, thus also popularizing ‘quite firing‘ amongst employers.

The phrase, also known as ‘constructive discharges,’ has garnered interest online and connations ranging from employers who purposefully make working conditions terrible to push employees to quit.

The adage can also be applied to managers who ignore or otherwise deprive their staff of time, opportunity, or resources in an effort to get rid of them without actually firing them.

Incepting Solutions

On the other hand, many leaders are also innovating their business strategies to reduce employee discontent.

Businesses are enforcing new workplace policies to reduce stress and burnout while encouraging flexible working schedules.

Quiet Quitting: A Risky Road

For a short while, quietly quitting could be an effective strategy, especially if you also start seeking a new position or job.

It’s far simpler to establish limits right once you begin a new job, — eliminating the need to resign quietly.

But, if you use quiet quitting as a long-term strategy without taking any other steps to try to alter the workload of your position, you might end up losing the job. Therefore, you need to talk to your manager to make modifications if you want to continue working in the same company but feel less stressed. 

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