1. About Quiet quitting:
- Over the last couple of months, a new trend known as ‘quiet quitting’ has dominated social media platforms.
- The phrase doesn’t refer to employees leaving their jobs, but instead, doing the bare minimum required of them.
- This could entail leaving work exactly at the end of one’s shift, demanding additional pay for extra work, not signing up for ambitious projects, separating one’s identity from their job, and/or setting clear work-life boundaries.
- While some acknowledge the need to strike a healthy work-life balance through quiet quitting, others consider it to be lazy, disloyal and potentially indicative of an overall downward spiral.
- “Quitting quietly isn’t just about quitting on a job, it’s a step towards quitting on life.”
- Quiet quitters may have legitimate concerns driving their actions, but according to most workplace experts, although doing less may be tempting in the short-run, in the long term, doing so could harm one’s career and adversely impact company productivity.
2. Quiet quitting: Why is it happening?
- Quiet quit is characterized as a “great rethink” in which people evaluate their lives and workplace options.
- The pandemic introduced a slate of challenges that both increased what is demanded of employees and allowed them to reimagine what alternative work systems could look like.
- Remote work has fuelled the quiet quitting movement in several ways.
- Further burdened by working from home because although some activities become more convenient, work also becomes potentially all-consuming.
- Secondly, while employees have shown varying levels of productivity for decades, remote work has allowed these employees to slack off unnoticed.
- Additionally, for some, remote work has introduced novel concepts such as Fridays off, digital meetings, and flexible work hours. After experiencing the benefits of such arrangements, workers may be reluctant to go back to the old way of doing things.
- Now that many companies are asking their employees to return to the workplace, those employees may react to the lost freedoms by disengaging from their professional responsibilities.
- The challenges of the pandemic have also contributed to dissatisfaction among employees who believe their managers have little concern for employee welfare.
3. Does quiet quitting have an impact on companies?
- Employees acting on their dissatisfaction by being disengaged at work cost the global economy $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.
- With worries of an impending economic slowdown swirling, productivity levels are a serious concern for employers. In the second quarter of this year.
- In response to declining overall productivity, companies like Google are signalling that layoffs are imminent. These layoffs are detrimental to both workers and employers with the cost of laying off one employee being equal to 200 per cent of the employee’s salary.
4. Impact on employees?
- Slacking off at work can cause rifts between employees as some are left to compensate for others. This in turn fuels a toxic workplace culture that could further exacerbate employee dissatisfaction.
- Staying in a miserable job and putting in the bare minimum could mean giving up the prospect of moving to a better, more fulfilling job.
- In terms of the latter, quiet quitters are also risking their prospects. With HR services being outsourced and digitalised, underperforming employees could develop a negative reputation that will follow them for the rest of their careers.
- Quiet quitting may prove to be a short-lived internet sensation but it stems from real challenges that employees face every day.
- To ensure the best outcome for everyone involved, all parties should consider Gulati’s approach to rethinking work culture, both by accepting that there is a problem and by committing to fix it instead of abandoning it altogether.