Should You Be Worried About Your Employees Quiet Quitting?

October 11, 2022

The term 'quiet quitting' was brought to light by TikTokker Zaid Khan in one of his TikToks. Since then the term 'quiet quitting' has garnered quite a buzz, sparking numerous debates online and making its way into the world of business and HR. "Quiet quitting" boils down to rejecting the idea that one's work must take precedence over their personal life and that individuals must go above and beyond the scope of their job responsibilities for their employers. According to Metro, this might manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as declining initiatives based on interest, declining to respond to work-related messages after hours, or simply feeling less involved in the role.

The term quiet quitting, though a straightforward term, has a very broad scope for interpretation. Some define the term as doing the bare minimum to get by at work while others describe it as coasting. Leaving work at the specified time and choosing not to work after office hours for a better work-life balance is how some choose to define the term quiet quitting. But what is quite quitting and should managers really be worried about the trend? 

'Quiet quitting,' which is becoming more and more common, especially among Gen Z and millennial workers. The hashtag #Quiet quitting has recently gained enormous popularity, garnering millions of views across all videos. Quitting, however, isn't exactly a radical concept. We have long observed that people consistently coast while at work.

Despite the term, it doesn't actually imply leaving a job. Instead, people are opting to set boundaries for themselves at work and rejecting the culture of overachievement and constant hustle. Setting boundaries with their employers entails working less or just doing what is necessary to complete their tasks. 

Whether or not this is a new notion, quiet quitting is gaining popularity at a time when the balance of power between employees and employers is shifting. Think about a person who normally doesn't put in overtime and works from 9 to 5 every day. Is that individual simply really effective, or are they "doing the bare minimum"? Should someone who is fulfilling all of their duties be regarded as a slacker? Is it accurate to classify any of these as "quitting"?

Another thing we probably talk about more than we actually do is quietly giving up. In spite of the fact that a majority of younger workers admitted it sounded "appealing," a recent Axios poll of them revealed that 15% were doing the bare minimum at work.

Why are employees quiet quitting?

To Differentiate work life from life

With the pandemic forcing everyone indoors, the work-from-home culture was made mainstream. With homes converted into actual workspaces, work encroached into people's homes and thus, eradicated the physical distance between work and life. With managers requiring employees to be available round the clock and disregarding any sort of personal time stress levels in employees during the pandemic reached new heights.

According to Charlotte Davies, a LinkedIn career consultant,, In an effort to regain some balance, it's highly likely that you'll start to withdraw from work - "quiet quitting." Quiet quitting could seem like a good strategy to deal with burnout. It may be extremely discouraging if one reaches a stage in their employment when they feel like they are prioritizing work above other essential aspects of their life.

The onset of burnout can happen all too quickly. Simply put, once that line has been crossed, employees will require appropriate mental health care and time off. Thus, they resort to quiet quitting as a way to deal with the stress of their everyday work. 

Levels of job satisfaction

Numerous studies have shown that when individuals are happy with their jobs and devoted to the organization, organizational citizenship and other similar behaviors grow. People are happier and more dedicated when they have decent leaders who respect them, when the organization's procedures are perceived as fair and just, and when they are given high-quality work.

Clear goals, a supportive work environment, and a variety of challenging tasks are all characteristics of high-quality work. It refers to a position that grants employees control over their work, including the ability to decide how they complete their duties and perhaps even where and when they work. The flexibility of work timings and work-from-home options are what can give employees a sense of freedom and the ability to have a work-life balance without quiet quitting.

A lack of employee engagement 

The second quarter of 2022 saw a significant decline in employee engagement in the United States, with the percentage of engaged workers continuing at 32% but the percentage of actively disengaged workers rising to 18%. Now, there are 1.8 actively engaged employees for every one actively disengaged employee, the lowest ratio in a decade.

Beginning in the second part of 2021, engagement started to decline, which coincided with an increase in job resignations. Among other groups, managers saw the biggest decline. Many quiet quitters fall under Gallup's description of "not engaged" workers, which includes those who perform the bare minimum and feel psychologically cut off from their jobs. This applies to 50% of the American workforce.

Remote Gen Z and younger millennials under the age of 35 show a fall in engagement and employer engagement, according to Gallup. Comparing this to the years before the pandemic is noteworthy. Younger employees no longer perceive themselves as being valued or given growth opportunities as much after the outbreak.

To sum up

Many quiet quitters fall under Gallup's description of "not engaged" workers, which includes those who perform the bare minimum and feel psychologically cut off from their jobs. This applies to at least 50 percent of the American workforce as of 2022. The jury is still out on whether quiet quitting is a viable option but what we do know is that the phenomenon is very real and can end up costing firms in terms of gains and employee retention.

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