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Debunking the Myth of Quiet Quitting (and Why It Might Be Confusing)

“Quiet quitting” has become a buzzword in recent weeks. Here’s what it really means, and what it should tell you about your business.

Quiet quitting… a buzzword that has seen increasing virality on social media. Let’s take a few moments to evaluate a less harsh view point, and what it could mean for your business.

First, let’s take a softer stance on what quiet quitting may refer to.

Establishing Boundaries could be interpreted as Quiet Quitting.

Let’s consider an example of what quiet quitting may look like in practice:

Laura arrives at the office on time, logs in, and effectively completes tasks she is assigned. She takes her breaks, pauses work to eat her (usually) healthy lunch, and signs out at the end of the workday and leaves.

Laura is setting boundaries.  She’s not taking on more than she can handle, and she’s not taking work home.  She’s maintaining a healthy work/life balance and separating work from her personal life. At times, she may choose to politely resist having additional responsibilities or workloads being added to her agenda. but she acknowledges compensation increases may be accompanied with more responsibility. This is in line with the social media lexicon, “act your wage”.

In essence, “quiet quitting” may be nothing more than a rejection of the hustle culture that many workplaces try to instill in their employees, a polite refusal to go “above and beyond” their job duties as many employers may encourage them to go.

Who is Quiet Quitting, and Why?

Considering that the terminology was born on social media—specifically, TikTok—many might assume that it’s the younger generations who are leading the charge. However, while this group might be more vocal about the concept, they are far from the only ones subscribing to the practice. Some people who have been in the workforce for longer will follow the same principles where their own work/life balance is concerned.

It also needs to be said that the workplace shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have likely contributed to this shift in priorities as well. After all, remote work made it much easier for employees to see if and when their jobs were stepping into their personal lives.

The Truth Is, Many Aspects of Quiet Quitting are Mutually Beneficial

While most of the evidence is anecdotal, many of those who have participated in this workplace behavior have seen benefits. For instance, many cite their focus on work/life balance as what has helped to protect them from burnout…and as a result, their workplace performance improves.

Again, one definition of quiet quitting could be the reinforcement of boundaries between an employee’s work time and their personal time. It’s an employee electing to schedule tasks during their regular working hours or communicating increased responsibilities should accompanied with increased compensation. It’s an employee silencing work notifications once they are no longer on the clock.

Should Employers Fight Quiet Quitting?

As long as there is clear understanding of expectations, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with an employee respectfully establishing boundaries and not holding work above and beyond everything else in life. In fact, all employees with a defined work/life balance may be better engaged while they are working and less likely to suffer the impacts of burnout.  Honest communication is critical.  For employers, it’s always better to have happy, engaged employees, and for employees, it’s better to have employers who are on the same page.

For everyone, the objective should be to make the most effective use of scheduled work time. What might this look like?

Well, first consider what everyone is spending most of their time at work doing. Are they focused on important tasks that ultimately help to meet the goals of the organization, or are they being tied up by rote, menial tasks? Using today’s technology to automate as many of the latter tasks as possible will help free up more time for the former, allowing the team to use their time more effectively and ultimately accomplish more. Ensuring that team members have the tools they need to collaborate effectively is another way to speed up their work, as is ensuring that a business’ infrastructure is reliable enough to keep up with today’s fast-paced environment.

That’s where we come in.

We can help equip your business with the IT that will allow your employees to do as much as possible with the time they are working. Give us a call at 860.251.8003 to learn more about what we can do.