Is 'quiet quitting' a thing?
"Quiet quitting" is a term that has been gaining popularity in recent months, with many people discussing it on social media. But is this trend truly something new or just a different way of describing an age-old problem in the workplace? In this article, we will delve deeper into the origins of "quiet quitting" and explore whether or not it is a legitimate trend that is here to replace "hustle culture."
Is "quiet quitting" here to replace "hustle culture"?
According to Matt Turner from Business Insider, "quiet quitting" is the new trend that is here to replace "hustle culture." However, is this truly the case? We don't think so. And here's why:
1. Quiet quitting is not new
The concept of "quiet quitting" refers to a behavior that is well-known in the workplace - disengagement. As much as we might consider it unwanted, the Gallup Engagement Index annually reports that the share of disengaged employees is tremendous! With 48% of the US workforce actively looking for a new job in 2021 and a significant number of "quit others" who are yet to gain the courage to leave their current job, it is obvious that disengaged employees are the norm rather than the exception.
No matter how we define engagement, as active or passive resentment towards a job, it seems that working with passion has always been a rare occurrence.
2. Quiet quitting is not a basic human need
Finding meaning in one's work, however, is something that is of tremendous importance for most employees today. According to a study by T-Systems International, 96% of the workforce would prefer to look for a job with a purpose. Other than "quiet quitting," self-actualization is a basic human need - everybody strives for connection and belonging, which are the pillars of engagement in the workplace.
Even if many knowledge workers still suffer the consequences of the pandemic on health, stress, and well-being, the vast majority of them are already taking steps towards finding a job with better conditions and more engagement.
3. Quiet quitting is a part of the great resignation, not its replacement
With up to 4.5 million American workers changing their jobs a month, the pandemic has raised the standards of skilled talent, but also raised awareness about alternative opportunities. With an increasing number of companies offering work from anywhere, flexible working times, unlimited vacation, or peer mentoring, the barrier to quit has never been lower.
No matter how disengaged and determined "quiet quitters" are, some will use these conditions to adjust to the situation. If not, they will adapt with time, as nothing is harder than staying disengaged and disconnected - especially in the home office.
So "quiet quitting" is not the next trend, but it matters anyway!
In conclusion, "quiet quitting" is not the next big trend, but it matters regardless. The best thing about it is how much more memorable it is than the expression "disengaged employees." It also shifts the focus from the personal responsibility for one's work to the role leaders play in creating a connected workforce. Lastly, its current visibility puts pressure on organizations to rethink the way they operate - which is fertile soil for one step closer to real new work and a sustainable economy.
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