‘Quiet quitting’ helping to keep you sane at work? Experts say not so fast – and offer surprising solution
- Over the past year, 4 million people have left their job each month, Department of Labor reports.
- Quiet quitters will be ‘at the top of the list’ for layoffs, executive says.
- Career experts say communication is the key to address quiet quitting and burnout at work.
“Quiet quitting,” the trend of professionals weighing the rewards of going the extra mile at work – and then opting out – has career coaches and recruiters warning that it’s not really the ultimate solution to burnout.
For employees, quiet quitting is about refusing to do more work than they’re being compensated for. The movement is aimed at creating boundaries between work and personal time for employees, according to an Insider report.
But as it gains popularity in offices across the US, career experts are urging workers to consider the consequences of joining the trend.
Senior vice president of an outplacement firm Andrew Challenger said employees should remember that they won’t always have the luxury of not caring about getting fired.
“If the labor market turns, those people (who quietly quit) will be at the top of the list” of layoffs, he said to USA Today.
Atlanta teacher, Maggie Perkins told NBC News, for her, quiet quitting is a “survival tactic.” After the birth of her daughter in 2018, Perkins began quiet quitting her job as a middle school teacher.
“Within education, above and beyond isn’t compensated or often even recognized,” she said in the report. “I don’t have to work 60 hours a week.”
Since setting more boundaries at work, Perkins said her career has gained “more life.”
An August survey of 1,000 Americans from ResumeBuilder.com found that 21% of workers said they only do the minimum at work while 5% do less than what they’re paid to do. And of those workers taking a step back, 52% say that they aren’t that concerned about their employer noticing the change in productivity.
“The risk of getting fired isn’t motivating them to change their behavior,” Stacie Haller, career strategist and coach, said to USA Today.
Employees are realizing the power they hold in a labor market where there are nearly two job vacancies for every unemployed person, according to the Labor Department.
“Everybody’s thinking, ‘They’re not going to fire me because my warm body is better than nobody,'” Mark Royal, senior client partner for a recruiting and human resource consulting firm, told USA Today.
But the Weekday Remedy account dedicated to discussing all things careers on TikTok still slammed quiet quitting.
“Quiet quitting does not benefit you at all,” Emily Smith said in a posted video. “You’re wasting your time, and that’s not going to get you where you want to go.”
Media consultant Ed Zitron said stemming the trend is really in the hands of employers because it was sparked by labor exploitation and overworking employees.
“If you want people to go ‘above and beyond,’ compensate them for it. Give them $200. Pay them for the extra work,” Zitron told NPR. “Show them the direct path from, ‘I am going above and beyond’ to ‘I am being rewarded for doing so.'”
The Manager Method account on TikTok is coaching managers on navigating conversations about quiet quitting with their employees at a time where nearly 4 million people are leaving their jobs each month, according to Labor Department figures.
“I bet a ton of executives are having this same conversation, but not raising it to employees,” Manager Method poster “Ashley” said.
Her recommendation? Taking the “quiet” part out of the equation because “managers have to be open to finding ways to have conversations about productivity (and) having their own lives.”
“What if you were to ask employees, ‘What do you think about quiet quitting?’ Many might be shocked that you’re bringing it up at all.”