Updated: Jul 11
Quiet Quitting is a term used to describe the recent trend of employees making a choice to self-preserve their well-being when it comes to work-life balance. It doesn't mean that there is a mass of people quitting their jobs quietly, no way. However, it means that more and more employees are making a choice to be small-minded about their jobs, their tasks, and the time they spend at work, in order to improve their wellbeing.
This trend is being associated with the outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the realization of people that life is much more than just work. People no longer want to take on additional workloads, that impact their personal lives, and they choose to perform only the minimum required by their job description. Although it seems this trend is relatively new, it has been here a long time ago, at least during my 30 years in the tech world.
We all have a good understanding of why people reach that point when they make a decision to put less effort and time at work, and "act their wage". The "wake-up call" usually arrives when we see the prices we pay in our personal lives. Burnout, fatigue, impatience, anger, anxiety, dissatisfaction, lack of self-fulfillment, and more, can result in loneliness, depression, and a feeling you are wasting your life. But there is something additional in this current trend that seems to be a result of something else, something a bit different from what we already know. And that is fairness.
Let's face it, the employee is no match to the enterprise, organization, or company. Employees often hear the statement "no one is indispensable", and if they don't, they are still smart enough to feel it. That is in case this is the "atmosphere" at work. It looks like the formula in which the employee needs the employer, while the employer can get a replacement for any of its employees is now being cautiously challenged, and instead of announcing "no more", and risking their jobs, the employees try to balance the formula on their own. By doing that, the employees create a more reasonable relationship between themselves and the employer, without actually asking the employer.
Quiet Quitting reveals a fundamental deficiency in the relationship between the employee and the employer, and it is the responsibility of the employer to resolve it. It is the responsibility of the employer to establish relationships based on trust, respect, and openness with their employees. It is the responsibility of the employer to create a culture at work in which everyone feels safe to express their thoughts and opinions and be open even about sensitive issues such as work-life balance.
Quiet Quitting proves that the employees are afraid to share their feelings that there is a substantial amount of unfairness in their relationship with their employer and that they are "taking the justice into their own hands" to fix that, without any confrontation with the employer. Employers who will make a choice to improve their relationship with their employees will have the chance to create a more engaging culture in their organization.
*The author is a certified corporate coach and a software engineer with 30 years of experience in the corporate world.
Corporate Coach for employee engagement and diversity and inclusion