“Quiet quitting” is a term that has been making the social media rounds recently. As it does not mean actually leaving your job, you may be wondering what this term means and the impact it has on workers today. You may even have been subconsciously doing it without realizing that’s what you were doing.

Although quiet quitting has been practiced by workers for years, it only recently started to garner the attention it did. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic having changed the way we perceive work, perhaps forever. Now that a large proportion of the workforce has gotten a taste of what it’s like to work from home, we know the possibilities that are open to us. No longer are workers willing to accept harsh employment terms, and if their requirements are not met, they may make the decision to start quiet quitting.

Read on to find out more about what quiet quitting really is, and whether it’s something you can identify with.

More Than Just a Social Media Hashtag

To put it simply, quiet quitting refers to putting in the bare minimum at work and getting on with your life. Instead of going above and beyond in the pursuit of promotions and pay rises, quiet quitters simply fulfill their required job scope and leave it at that.

One benefit of this is having a better work-life balance, especially if their employer does not have measures in place to support that. It can also be described as a rebellion against the culture of going above and beyond in a job without receiving due compensation.

When employers notice a trend of quiet quitting amongst their workforce, this could be a sign that employees are experiencing burnout on a mass scale or that they are simply unhappy in their positions. Here is where employers should start to pay attention as these employees may already be on the lookout for other jobs in anticipation of a change.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic can be said to play a big part in the trend of quiet quitting. With restrictions on public gatherings and even the ability to show up at work physically, many people left their jobs between the period of April 2021 and April 2022. This trend is now referred to as the Great Resignation.

Having gotten used to the idea of remote working that was introduced during the start of the pandemic, many employees now expect better. They are no longer willing to work long hours under harsh conditions. Due to the shortage of labor that has arisen after the pandemic, many companies have to relook the type of workplace culture and benefits they can offer their employees.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, people have more time to reflect on what it is they really want out of life. They know what is possible with a job arrangement and no longer are they willing to put in long hours for a paycheck that does not reflect their contributions.

The Reasons for Quiet Quitting

Although we only know of it as quiet quitting fairly recently, this trend is not entirely new. For lots of years, employees have managed to get by doing the bare minimum on their jobs, whether that is because of poor working conditions, burnout, or a lack of opportunities for growth. Employee burnout is not something to be taken lightly: It can result in lower morale, a lower rate of productivity, and a higher likelihood of making mistakes.

Another reason quiet quitting has become such a trend is that the increase in wages has not kept up with the rate of inflation. This means that people are actually earning less than what they used to and therefore, they see no reason to put in as much effort.

Signs of Quiet Quitting

Have you subconsciously started quiet quitting your job, or do you notice a coworker who has been doing so? Below are some signs to watch out for that someone has decided to quietly quit their job:

  • A lack of enthusiasm
  • Showing up late and/or leaving early
  • A lack of or minimal contribution to team projects and discussions
  • Lower rate of productivity
  • Absence during meetings

How Employers Can Discourage the Trend of Quiet Quitting

Needless to say, quiet quitting is not an ideal situation, whether that is from the employer’s or the employee’s point of view. Employers want workers who will give their best, and employees want to reap the full benefits of being part of a workplace that can grow alongside them.

When a business notices that a large percentage of its employees quiet quitting, below are some ways to discourage it:

  • Take Another Look at Workloads

Is the workload of each individual employee manageable? An unreasonably heavy workload can end up causing employees to quietly quit. From time to time, have an open and honest conversation with employees regarding their workload and see if there’s anything you can do to ensure that workloads are kept manageable.

  • Prioritize Mental Health

Unfortunately, it’s the sad truth that employees do not get much help with stress management at work, even if this stress arises from a result of work-related issues. By prioritizing mental health, businesses can show their employees that they are invested in their overall well-being. One good way of doing this is having informal check-ins with each employee to make sure that they are happy in their role.

  • Initiate Career Path Discussions

If an employee feels that their career is going nowhere, there’s no reason for them to go above and beyond. Employers should take the time to talk to each employee about their career paths, find out their goals, and support them in reaching these goals with actionable steps.

Quiet Quitting Isn’t Going Away

The only way quiet quitting is going to go away is if employers take steps to make their employees feel valued and promote a healthy work-life balance. As an employee, you may be looking for an employer who ticks all your boxes in this regard. If you are in the advertising, marketing, or creative industries, start your job search at ColorComm Search today! Find out how it works and create an account to save your favorite listings now.