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Quiet Quitting - What, Why, and Ways to deal with it in 2024

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Anh Vu 20 December, 2023 8 min read

It is easy to see the word “quiet quitting” on social media platforms. Produced by a TikTokker @zaidlepplin, a New Yorker engineer, the video about “Work is not your life” immediately went viral on TikTok and became a controversial debate in the social network community.

The hashtag #QuietQuitting has now taken over TikTok with more than 17 million views.

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Here is what Quiet Quitting truly is...

What is Quiet Quitting?

Despite its literal name, quiet quitting is not about quitting their jobs. Instead, it is not about avoiding work, it is about not avoiding a meaningful life outside of work.  When you are unhappy at work but getting a job, resignation is not your choice, and no other alternatives; you want to be quiet-quitting employees who are don’t take their work seriously and still perform the bare minimum necessary to avoid being fired. And it is no longer for quiet quitters to help with additional tasks or check emails outside work hours.

What is silent resignation? | Quiet quitting define. Image: Freepik

The Rise of the Silent Quitter

The term "burnout" is often thrown around in today's work culture. With the ever-increasing demands of the modern workplace, it's no wonder that more and more people are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. However, another group of workers is quietly suffering from a different kind of work-related stress: the silent quitters. These employees silently disengage from work, often without any prior warning signs. They may not overtly express dissatisfaction with their job, but their lack of engagement speaks volumes.

On a personal level, silent quitters often find that their work life no longer aligns with their values or lifestyle. Rather than putting up with a situation that makes them unhappy, they walk away quietly and without fanfare. Silent quitters can be difficult to replace for the organisation due to their skillset and experience. In addition, their departure can create tension and damage morale among their coworkers. As more and more people choose to silently quit their jobs, it's essential to understand the motivations behind this growing trend. Only then can we begin addressing the underlying issues causing so many of us to disconnect from our work.

#quietquitting - This trend is on the rise...

Reasons for Quiet Quitting

It has been a decade of a long-hours working culture with low or little extra pay, which has been expected as a part of a variety of jobs.  And it is even increasing for the young workers who are struggling to have better opportunities due to the pandemic.

In addition, Quiet Quitting is a sign of dealing with burnout, especially for today's youngsters, especially the Z generation, who are vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and disappointment. Burnout is a negative overwork condition that has a strong impact on mental health and work capacity in the long term, becoming the most significant reason for leaving job.

Although many workers require extra compensation or a pay rise for extra responsibilities, many employers put it in a silent answer, and it is the last straw for them to rethink of contribution to the company. Besides, not getting a promotion and recognition for their achievement can raise anxiety and demotivation for improving their productivity.

quiet quitting
Quiet quitting - Why people quit and feel so happy afterwards?

The Benefits of Quiet Quitting

In today's work environment, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With deadlines to meet and targets to hit, it's easy to feel like you're always on the go.

Quiet Quitting could be a means for employees to create some space for themselves to disconnect without the need to trouble anyone. Taking a step back and focusing on work-life balance is essential for maintaining mental health. 

On the contrary, there are many benefits to quiet quitting. Having the space to disconnect from time to time means you'll have more time to focus on other areas of life. This can lead to a more holistic sense of well-being and greater satisfaction with life.

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Dealing with Quiet Quitting

So, what can companies do to deal with the silent resignation?

Working less

Working less is an optimal way for work-life balance. A shorter working week could have countless societal, environmental, personal, and even economic benefits. Long-hour working in offices or manufactures doesn’t guarantee high productivity of work. Working smarter, not longer is the secret to boosting the quality of work and profitable companies. Some big economies have been testing a four-day working week without a loss in pay such as New Zealand and Spain.

Raise in bonus and compensations

According to Mercer's global talent trends 2021, there are four factors that employees expect most, including Responsible rewards (50%), Physical, psychological, and financial well-being (49%), Sense of purpose (37%), and Concern for the environmental quality and social equity (36%). It is the company to rethink to deliver better responsible rewards. There are many ways for the organization to build up giving bonus activities to reward their employee with an exciting atmosphere. You can refer to Bonus Game created by AhaSlides.

Better work relationships

Researchers have claimed that happier employees at the workplace are more productive and engaged. Significantly, employees seem to enjoy the friendly working environment and open work culture, which enhance higher retention rates and lower turnover rates. Strong bonding relationships among team members and team leaders considerably account for greater communication and productivity. Designing quick team building or team engagement activities may help to strengthen co-worker relationships.

Check it out! You should join #QuietQuitting (instead of banning it)

Beautiful LinkedIn Post from Dave Bui - CEO of AhaSlides

You have probably heard about this trend by now. Despite the confusing name, the idea is simple: to do what your job description says and nothing more. Setting clear boundaries. No “going above and beyond”. No late-night emails. And making a statement on TikTok, of course.

While it’s really not a brand-new concept, I think the popularity of this trend can be attributed to these 4 factors:

  • The transition to remote work has blurred the line between work and home.
  • Many have yet to recover from burnout since the pandemic.
  • Inflation and the rapidly rising cost of living all over the world.
  • Gen Z and younger millennials are more vocal than previous generations. They are also a lot more effective in creating trends.

So, how to keep the interests of the employees towards the company activities?

Of course, motivation is a huge (but thankfully very well documented) topic. As starters, below are some engagement tips I found helpful.

  1. Listen better. Empathy goes a long way. Practise active listening at all times. Always look for better ways to listen to your team.
  2. Involve your team members in all the decisions that affect them. Create a platform for people to speak up and take ownership of the matters they care about.
  3. Talk less. Never call for a meeting if you intend to do most of the talking. Instead, give individuals a platform to present their ideas and work things out together.
  4. Promote candour. Run open Q&A sessions regularly. Anonymous feedback is OK in the beginning if your team isn’t used to being candid (once openness is achieved, there will be much less need for anonymity).
  5. Give AhaSlides a try. It makes doing all of the 4 things above so much easier, whether in person or online.

Read more: To all managers: You should join #QuietQuitting (instead of banning it)

Key Takeaway for Employers

In today's work world, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is more important than ever. Unfortunately, with the demands of modern life, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the grind and become disengaged from the things that truly matter.

That's why employers must allow their employees to regularly take some time off from work. Whether a paid vacation day or simply an afternoon break, taking time to step away from work can help refresh and rejuvenate employees, leading to improved focus and productivity when they return.

What's more, by nurturing a healthy work-life balance, employers can foster a more holistic approach to work that values employee well-being as much as bottom-line results.

In the end, it's a win-win for everyone involved.

Conclusion

Quiet Quitting is not something new. Slacking and watching the clock in and out has been a workplace trend. What has become trending is the changing of employee attitudes towards jobs post-pandemic and the increase in mental health. The massive reaction to Quiet Quitting encourages each organization to provide better working conditions for their talented employees, especially a work-life balance policy.

Take action and earn your employee respect, by different templates available on AhaSlides Library

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Quiet quitting a Gen Z thing?

Quiet quitting is not exclusive to Gen Z, but appears in different age groups. This behavior is probably associated with the focus of Gen Z on work-life balance and meaningful experiences. But everyone doesn't practice quiet quitting. Behavior is shaped by individual values, workplace culture, and circumstances.

Why did Gen Z quit his job?

There are many reasons why Gen Z might quit their job, including not being satisfied with the work they can do, feeling overlooked or alienated, wanting a better balance between working and living, looking for opportunities to grow, or simply pursuing new opportunities.