What Is Quiet Quitting and How Does It Benefit Mental Health?

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There’s a new phrase growing in popularity thanks to TikTok — “quiet quitting.” It’s a newly coined term for an existing problem.

So, what is it? Find out what quiet quitting is below.

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting (or Work-to-Rule) is the passive-aggressive act of doing the absolute bare minimum work that’s required of them by their employers. Some employees do it as an act of defiance in the workforce when they’re subjected to work in a competitive environment, to accomplish cutthroat and unfair requirements, or when they don’t believe they’re paid enough. Contrary to the term, quiet quitting isn’t really about quitting — at least not actively. According to TikTok user Zaid Khan, quiet quitting is about “not outright quitting your job, but quitting the idea of going above and beyond.”

Many quiet quitters would refuse to initiate taking on more job responsibilities and they’re unlikely to communicate with their bosses or colleagues unless they’re left in a situation where they have to. Quiet quitters only work on what they were primarily asked to and they’re not likely to work overtime or show up early for the job.

What Type of Employees Are Likely to Quiet Quit?

It’s found that Gen Zs tend to have the most quiet quitters compared to the previous generations. There are several (but not clear enough to pinpoint) reasons for this. Some theorize that it could be the post-pandemic burnout, the recession and the overall economic crisis, and others believe that times are simply just evolving for the worse — and Gen Z being the newest addition to the labor pool are the most affected by this “work life” quality decline.

Quiet Quitting: Advantages and Disadvantages

There’s always a negative connotation that’s connected to the word “quitting” but quitting isn’t always so bad when you’re walking away because you have to — this is not to say that quitting should always be on the table either.

Here are the pros and cons of quiet quitting.

Pros

Your mental health can potentially benefit from a quiet quitting work style. If you’re not subjecting yourself to grueling tasks day in and day out, you’re less likely to be stressed out from your job.

Refusing to take on additional tasks or responsibilities can help you have a better work-life balance. You don’t have to take on calls on weekends and the chances of you being asked to work overtime is minimized. Instances where you have to communicate with your boss or colleagues can also be reduced — which is potentially a good thing especially if you work for an intimidating employer or you’re in a competitive department.

Cons

Quiet quitting is not always an ideal option for an employee. Quiet quitters may find temporary relief in not actively engaging in their job or workplace but it doesn’t tackle the underlying issue that they may be avoiding. More often than not, it’s the lack of satisfaction in their job.

People who quiet quit also close the door for growth. When these people don’t make an effort to take on more responsibilities, they’re less likely to learn something new — they also shun the possibilities of promotions, bonuses, and salary raises.

How to Prevent Quiet Quitters in Your Workforce

It’s not easy to be responsible for someone’s livelihood — and it’s definitely more difficult when you’re dealing with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees. Any employee has the potential to quiet quit. As the employer or boss, your management skills should play a huge role in preventing quiet quitting from happening in your workforce.

Communication is always your best business partner. Ask your employees if they want to discuss anything that could potentially hinder, interfere, or degenerate the quality of their performance and help them find a solution to it. If the situation doesn’t work for you or your employee, you can encourage them to take on a path that’s better suited for them.

Heed their sentiments. Even if it’s only a few members of your manpower who express the wish for improvement, do your best to embrace their definition of what “betterment” is — find a common ground and stick to it. Give them reasons to enjoy work just as much as you do.

Analysis

Quiet quitters probably won’t get an “Employee of the Month” award. It can be “okay” to not give your 110% but it comes with its disadvantages. Sometimes, however, quiet quitting is only a temporary fix. Until the root cause for the act is acknowledged and resolved, quiet quitters will, unfortunately, continue to be present in the industry.

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