What is 'Quiet Quitting'? Next Phenomenon In The Employment World After The ‘Great Resignation’

What is 'Quiet Quitting'? Next Phenomenon In The Employment World After The ‘Great Resignation’

New Delhi: After ‘great resignation’ gained momentum in 2021 since the job market started opening globally in the post-pandemic era, the buzz phrase at the work place is now being replaced with ‘Quiet Quitting’. Both the phenomena at work place in a post-pandemic world point out at the changing mind set and the way people perceive work. Even as workers continue to resign, it may not be an option for many which led to the trend ‘quiet quitting’. Some experts claim that ‘Quiet Quitting’ has been more effective than ‘great resignation’ and improves one’s mental health and work productivity significantly. 

Here’s all you need to know about it

What is ‘great resignation’?

A 2021 report by Microsoft called The Next Great Disruption is Hybrid Word–Are We Ready? revealed that 54 per cent of Gen Z workers, approximately 41 per cent of the global workforce, are on the verge of handing in their resignations, according to the World Economic Forum report. People leaving their jobs at a record pace, also referred as the Great Resignation, was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management in Texas, stated the report. In May last year, Klotz said a wave of resignations was coming as people digested the lessons of lockdown and reimagined what normal life should look like.

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After working from home for months, with no commute and more time with family, many people have decided it’s time for a change. This trend was mostly seen in the US. 

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Stating the reason behind the trend, Klotz told Bloomberg Businessweek there have been “pent-up resignations” that didn’t happen in the worst of the outbreak when many people felt stressed and insecure. ‘Some people may have made the decision in light of generous government benefits put in place during the pandemic, and others were probably just hunting for a better salary,” he added.

What is Quiet Quitting?

For many workers resignation may not be an option, so several youngsters today are resorting to ‘Quiet Quitting’. The trend simply speaks about doing the bare minimum expected at work. Going by the Deloitte study, “young people are increasingly seeking flexibility and purpose in their work, and balance and satisfaction in their lives.” And many are rejecting the live-to-work lifestyle, they want to continue to work but is not allowing the job to control them, according to an author column in news agency PTI .

The concept of ‘quiet quitting’ basically means that workers perform only the duties prescribed in their job description and shrugs any responsibilities beyond that. Employees also rejects work longer hours and stick to the timing necessary for their role.

The quiet quitting movement find its roots in China where it started trending after an online post in April 2021 went viral. An Internet user in China criticised the country’s mindset of prioritising work over their wellbeing. This is commonly referred to as ‘tang ping’ or lying flat. The lying flat trend also extended to other countries, where it became known as quiet quitting. In Australia, hundreds of Reddit users shared their experiences of adopting to the movement’s principles.

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Earlier this month, TikTok posts about employees just doing the bare minimum to complete tasks, logging out from work on time and muting notifications or emails after hours, typically referred to as “quiet quitting” or “ghost quitting” have won the Internet. 

What makes Quiet Quitting appealing?

Working less improves mental health: A work-life balance is linked to mental health, several studies have pointed out. And this trend basically aims to restore balance where work has crept into your personal time, according to a Nilufar Ahmed, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, CPsychol, FHEA, University of Bristol. In the article Ahmed said, ‘It can also help to separate your self-worth from work. When all you have is work, it is hard not to derive your sense of value from it’.

Protects from burnout: In 2019, the World Health Organization has recognised burnout as an occupational phenomenon characterised by feelings of depletion, exhaustion, cynicism, mental distance from work and poorer performance. Burnout is a significant risk of overwork and can have long-term physical, emotional and mental health impacts.  Too much work and no attention to self can result into burnout, which can be harmful to both the employee and the employer.

“Many people with burnout end up taking time off work, or at least working at less than full capacity. Quiet quitting can create a better balance of work and personal life and so could protect against burnout before it happens,” she explained.

Helps build better work relationships: If employees are happy, then productivity is usually higher. This can even mitigate against feeling distracted or not wanting to be present. Moreover, when people are happy, they are less uptight and can easily make friends at work.

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Another impact of the trend of Quiet quitting’s is that just doing your job removes the negative impact of constantly feeling in competition with peers.

Experts believe that instead of getting perturbed over the loss of productivity, employers should take advantage of the quiet quitting movement to support the well-being of employees and offer a conducive environment.