The curious trend of quiet quitting

    Business Spotlight 12/2022
    A woman meditating in the mountains
    © Milan Popovic/
    Von Rachel Preece

    The term “quiet to quitkündigenquitting” has gone glo­bal, and it seems everyone has an opinion about it. The Financial Times declared it was “worse than nonsense”, while Psychology Today said it was “great for your mentalhier: psychischmental health”. But what does it mean exactly?​

    No, quiet quitting doesn’t refer to someone who tiptoeauf Zehenspitzen gehen, schleichentiptoes out of the office, never to return. The phrase first gained popularity on TikTok in July 2022. Zaid Khan, a New York software engineerInformatiker(in)software engineer, posted a very popular video, in which he described the term as “quitting the idea of to go above and beyondhier etwa: mehr Einsatz erbringengoing above and beyond. You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer to subscribe to sth.etw. abonnieren, hier: sich etw. verschreibensubscribing to the hustleGetümmel, hier: Arbeit unter Hochdruckhustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life.”​

    Essentially, quiet quitting involves doing what’s required in your role at work: no more, no less. Elizabeth Houghton, a beruflicher Wechselcareer transitioncareer transition coach, explains: “Quiet quitting is about boundaryGrenzeboundaries at the workplace.” It’s about making sure we get enough restPauserest, refusing to answer Teams calls and messages outside our working hours and taking regular time offhier: freioff, all of which are healthy ideas.​

    US data from Gallup to indicate sth.etw. erkennen lassenindicates that quiet quitters could make up more than half of all American workers. remoteim Homeoffice arbeitendRemote and hybridin Präsenz und im Homeoffice arbeitendhybrid workers under the age of 35 are driving this trend, but it is a global phenomenon, and the phrase is spreading around the world.​​

    Quiet quitting is direct resistance to hustle culture

    Finding a balance​

    The pandemic transformed our working lives. While some welcomed the change, others found it hard to adapt. The Deloitte Global 2022 genGenerationGen Z and Millennial surveyUmfrageSurvey found that younger employees were struggling to find a positive work-life balance — 44 per cent of Gen Z had left a job because of workloadArbeitsbelastungworkload pressure, while 46 per cent felt burned out. Together, Gen Z and millennials will make up more than half of the global workforce by 2030, and their views will certainly change how we work.​

    It’s not just the pandemic that has changed attitudes, though. One 2022 study found that 45 per cent of Gen Z feels that career and money do not define success, echoing Zaid Khan’s words about not accepting the hustle culture that’s been popularized by entrepreneurUnternehmer(in)entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk. Nadia De Ala is the founderGründer(in)founder of Real You Leadership, an organization that supports minority women in leadership positions. De Ala “quietly quit” her job about five years ago. “Quiet quitting is an antidote and direct resis­tance to hustle culture,” she tells Business Spotlight. “Working people are tired of overperforming and overworking without additional compensationVergütungcompensation and recognition of that extra labour.”​

    Many agree that quiet quitting fits into the post-pandemic zeitgeist. The Great Resignationhier: KündigungswelleGreat Resignation, a trend that began in early 2021, saw a fifth of workers planning to quit in 2022, according to PwC’s Global Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey. Statistics indicate that the trend is likely to continue.​

    Houghton believes that it is all interconnected. “I see the Great Resignation as an extension of quiet quitting,” she says. “We have had the opportunity to pause and to re-evaluateetw. neu bewertenre-evaluate what is important to us.” A UK survey by Aviva in 2022 supports her theory. It found that more workers were attracted to their current role for the work-life balance (41 per cent) rather than for the salary (36 per cent) — in 2019, it was the other way around.​​

    Is lower productivity slowing the economy?​

    In a Forbes article, management consultantBerater(in)consultant Peter Cohan said that “investors seeking alphahier: die besten Investorenalpha should put their capital in publicly tradedbörsennotiertpublicly traded companies that are more productive than their peershier: Konkurrenzpeers.” Productivity matters when it comes to business success.​

    While the disruptionStörung; hier auch: Wandeldisruption that quiet quitting causes is harder to measure than that of the Great Resignation, some data suggests that it might be to impact sth.sich auf etw. auswirkenimpacting the economy. The US Bureau of Labor StatisticsUS: Behörde für ArbeitsmarktstatistikBureau of Labor Statistics found that workforce productivity decreased dramatically in 2022. Of course, there could be many reasons for this historic drop: the record number of people changing jobs, global supply chainLieferkettesupply chain disruptions or the global talent shortageMangel, Knappheitshortage, for example. But some of the world’s biggest corporationUnternehmencorporations are worried about decreasing productivity.​

    Working with strong boundaries can be hard if you’ve never done it before

    A screenshot obtained by Insider showed that a sales executiveVerkaufsleiter(in)sales executive at Google Cloud said that there would be an “overallGesamt-overall examination of sales productivity and productivity in general” if results were not good. At Meta, too, Mark Zuckerberg told managers to take a closer look at low performers. According to McLean & Company, disengagednicht länger engagiertdisengaged employees cost companies around $3,400 for every $10,000 in annualJahres-annual salary. It’s no shock that managers are trying to improve productivity levels.​

    These accountBerichtaccounts generated plenty of headlines, with suggestions that low productivity and quiet quitting are a result of management weaknesses and an inability to communicate with and motivate employees. Houghton to highlight sth.etw. hervorhebenhighlights the importance of dialogue: “So often, I see people afraid of to raise concern(s)zu Bedenken führenraising work-related concerns with their managers,” she says. “They fear that the conversation will not go well, that their manager will not be supportive, that if you express that, in some areas, you are unhappy, your manager will interpret this as you wanting to leave.”​

    Turning things around by talking​

    Matthew Knight founded, a community that supports the mental health of the self-employed. He thinks that it isn’t just up to: be ~ jmdm. liegenup to managers — we must all learn to work differently. “Working with strong boundaries can be incrediblyunglaublichincredibly hard if you’ve never done it before. It takes self-awareness to understand what your effective working hours are, really good communication to to engage with etw. engagierenengage with your team and explain how you need to and want to work, and a relationship with your manager to ask them to help you work well,” he tells Business Spotlight. “ultimatelyletztendlichUltimately, this is a shared responsibility.”​

    Poor communication has a significant impact on the workplace. A 2021 McKinsey study on the future of remote work  found that employees who feel more included in communication are almost five times more likely to report increased productivity. This has been proven to improve customer service or increase sales, lower stress levels and raise employee moraleArbeitsmoralmorale.​

    Managers need to improve communication in the workplace, but the past couple of years have seen big changes in the way we work, and we all need to learn to adapt. Managing a healthy work-life balance isn’t easy, but if companies can do this, productivity and workplace morale will both improve.​


    Does quiet quitting mean we all hate our jobs?

    “If your withdrawalRückzugwithdrawal is a result of a growing disinterest in your role, you should consider looking for new opportunities. We spend a great deal of time at work — being disinterested in what we do will have an impactAuswirkungimpact on all aspects of our lives.”
    Elizabeth Houghton, career transition coach

    “It’s unfair to be expected to to go above and beyondhier etwa: mehr Einsatz erbringen als von etw. verlangtgo above and beyond the job description and working hours if the pay and career trajectoryberufliche Laufbahncareer trajectory don’t match it. You’re still performing your responsibilities.”
    Nadia De Ala, founderGründer(in)founder of Real You Leadership

    “Doing the hours you’re paid to work is not lazy — it’s healthy. Establishing good, healthy boundaryGrenzeboundaries, such as switching your phone off, not checking Slack or email outside of hourshier: Arbeitszeit(en)hours, and being able to step away from work at the end of your day, is essential. Not only does it mean you’ll be more productive the following day, but it helps protect individuals from burnout.”
    Matthew Knight, founder of

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