‘Quiet Quitting’ – You may have seen this phrase popping up in news articles and social media feeds a lot recently. It’s a controversial new working practice and it’s got people divided. But what is it?
‘Quiet Quitting’ is a phrase coined for people who refuse to go above and beyond for their job. They stick to the letter when it comes to their job description. They don’t go out of their way to take on big projects or help other people with their work. They keep their head down, get their own work done and leave the office on time…. Sounds fab to me!
In these stressful, post-Lockdown times, the idea of ‘Quiet Quitting’ appears very attractive indeed, especially to those of us who worked our arses off during Lockdown. The complete collapse of work/life boundaries during this time saw many of us on the cusp of burnout. Hence the idea of re-establishing those boundaries and doing the work that we’re actually paid for and requesting to be paid for the work we do fills us with a warm, fuzzy feeling akin to hope. It’s an office-based revolution!
Unsurprisingly this new trend is not particularly popular with employers. If you look closely at most job descriptions these days, they usually include a line such as, ‘at times the employer reserves the right to add additional tasks to your role’ and phrases such as ‘going above and beyond’. Employers demand a lot from their employees these days – they want more bang for their buck.
Some critics warn that employees who adopt the quiet quitter approach will find it difficult to progress their careers and limit their earning potential. They also believe that employees who are not challenged within their roles could become bored and disengaged from their workplace, but that very much depends on how fulfilling they find their jobs in the first place. On the plus side, establishing a real work/life balance could increase their job satisfaction and their productivity within their working hours.
Whatever you believe, this new attitude to work isn’t going away any time soon and is becoming increasingly widespread amongst younger people. The UK is now facing a cost of living crisis and pay is not keeping pace, particularly with interest rates at their highest levels in years. We may see a return of the ‘work to rule’ attitude of the 1970’s if employees begin thinking they are being treated unfairly. With ‘Quiet Quitting’ in vogue perhaps it’s already started…