Quiet quitting is the latest workplace buzzword.
It was made popular by a now-viral TikTok video by content creator Zaid Khan in which he points out that your productive output at work does not define your worth.
The concept of quiet quitting has mixed reviews. The reason is that some think of quiet quitters as lazy, while others think of quiet quitting as just doing your job. The definition changes depending on who you ask.
Those that think of quiet quitters as lazy tend to define “quiet quitting” as doing the bare minimum to get by at work. Some employers may extend the definition further by adding that “quiet quitting” also includes being emotionally or intellectually disengaged and only showing up at a job for the paycheck.
For others, mostly the employees participating in “quiet quitting,” it’s more complicated than that. Like Khan says in his TikTok,
“You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life.”
So, where did the concept originate?
In short, the concept is not a new one. It just finally got a name. During the pandemic and after, a shift in employee expectations happened. It’s hard to pinpoint one single factor that led to what we now know as “quiet quitting.”
It’s really the combination of two things:
Remote working/WFH options:
No desk, no problem. Thanks to technology and work-from-home capabilities, work expectations have been seriously impacted. Boundaries became non-existent since work could be done anytime from home, on your phone at your kid’s sports game, or even while traveling.
Employees feel pressure at work due to the “Great Resignation” movement and the fact that many employers are opting for a leaner workforce. The employees that decided to stay are expected to maintain the same productivity levels even though their workloads have increased significantly. According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly 90% of workers have experienced burnout.
The term “quiet quitting” is not just a catchy new buzzword. It is a term that, in its essence, encapsulates what burned-out employees are feeling. Simply put, they’re over it. They have had enough of the “hustle-culture” lifestyle.
“Quiet quitting” is a silent movement where employees have taken back control of their lives, not defining who they are by what they do but by the quality of their life. Think of the concept more like setting strong boundaries regarding work/life balance than actually “quitting.”
Onward and upward to 2023
As you search for the right fit for your work/life balance needs, a Forbes article suggests job seekers start their search in January. It reads, “The start of a new year universally ushers in a warm feeling of promise and new beginnings. Mentally and emotionally, it feels right to start searching for a new opportunity.”