Quietly leaving a job is the new buzzword at work. Even though it sounds like someone is giving up work, this popular TikTok trend is actually a protest against the culture of overwork.
And it’s because, after the COVID-19 pandemic, some people have been giving serious thought to how they feel about their jobs. But it’s not just about quitting jobs; it’s also about wanting to reduce the amount of work.
What is quiet quitting?
Quitting quietly doesn’t mean that an employee is leaving their job. Instead, it means that they are only doing tasks that are in their job description so they don’t have to work longer hours. In other words, it’s about doing just enough to get the job done and setting clear limits to improve the balance between work and life.
Employees still do their jobs, but they don’t follow a “work is life” (or “wear your t-shirt”) mentality to advance their careers and stand out to their bosses. They do what’s in their job description, and when they go home, they leave work at the office and focus on things that don’t have to do with work.
But if someone quits quietly, it could mean that they are unhappy in their job or are burned out. Quietly leaving is a way for an employee to deal with burnout and get some stress relief. It could also mean that they are looking for another job or are ready to switch jobs.
People have started to think more about their jobs, salaries, and how they are treated at work in the past few years. A Pew Research Center survey found that the top reasons Americans quit their jobs in 2021 were not being able to move up, getting paid too little, and not feeling valued or respected.
Why do people do quiet quitting?
Quitting in a quiet way sounds like something new, but it’s not. People have done this at their jobs when they are looking for something new, whether it’s because of low pay, too much work, burnout, or not enough room for growth.
Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work report says that seven out of ten employees have felt burned out in the past year. The results also show that employees who are burned out are less interested in their jobs, make more mistakes, leave their jobs, and are more likely to have low morale.
The pandemic turned the work culture on its head and made it cool to quit without making a fuss again. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022 report, more people had time to think about and question their careers and look for a better work-life balance.
People are now using social media to talk about how unhappy they are. TikTok has been a great place for many people to talk about how unhappy they are and how work doesn’t have to be their life.
Gallup found that only 36% of people were interested in their jobs in 2021. A LinkedIn survey found that some people stay at their jobs and look for new ones while making a steady salary and getting health insurance or other benefits.
Working from home has also changed the way employees and managers talk to each other. For example, online meetings on platforms like Zoom or Teams have changed the way employees and managers talk to each other. These interactions can feel more formal than office chats because they have to be planned ahead of time and not just happen. Few meetings can make it hard for employees and managers to get along. Employees can lose the regular support and praise that makes them feel important and like they belong.
People may not want to put everything they have into their careers because they want to make more money. Because of inflation, people are making less money, which makes them wonder why they should work so hard.
Signs that you are doing quiet quitting
The signs of a quiet resignation can be very different, depending on why the worker wants to leave. If an employee is truly unhappy, it may be much easier to tell than if they are just trying to find a better balance between work and life.
Some signs are:
- Not attending meetings
- Arrive late or leave early
- Reduced productivity
- Less contribution to team projects
- Not participating in planning or meetings
- lack of enthusiasm
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