Quiet quitting: A new phenomenon is emerging

Perhaps you have already come across the term: Quiet quitting. Right now, the phenomenon is spreading worldwide, and in short, it means that more and more employees choose not to engage more in their work than what they are paid for. Understand the new phenomenon here.

Quiet quitting might sound like a way to leave your job – in a quiet, discreet way. But in fact the term refers to a current battle against a way of working and being in work.

It’s about mentally making a choice that work is not your whole life, and therefore you only do exactly what you are hired for – no more and no less. As examples, you don’t check your emails after working hours, you don’t arrive at work before working hours start and don’t leave after they end. Or you demand your right to eat lunch in the canteen and not at your desk. And when the screen is folded and you leave the workplace, work must not be disturbed in any way until you come back in.

Thus, the reason for choosing to “quietly quit”  does not need to be caused by dissatisfaction with the work or a controversy with the boss . The trend should instead be seen as a quiet battle with the work identity that many have strived for, especially before corona, where many employees prioritized the workplace community higher than leisure life, family life and private life. Now more and more employees choose to prioritize a life outside of work. And it must be done quietly in order for the other employees to not be disturbed.

It is thus not a large, dramatic and visible battle, but rather a quiet movement that has gained traction on the labor market over the past few years – all stemming from an American TikTok account.

From TikTok video to work trend in a post-corona era

The concept of Quiet Quitting started on Tik Tok in August 2022, when the American Zayad Khan posted a video with the message “work is not your life”. By this he meant that you don’t have to engage in your job more than what is absolutely necessary.

Thus, the concept arose right after the Corona pandemic where many employees experienced changes in their daily routine and life in general. Many people discovered that work didn’t always have to take place at the office, and that the daily routines you had never questioned might not be the right ones for you.

This gave rise to rethinking whether the work needed to take up so much space? And whether the work/life balance could be fine-tuned.

A condition for the future or a passing trend? 

It’s impossible to predict whether the phenomenon is just a passing trend, or whether we will continue to see more and more employees reducing their work commitment and prioritizing more leisure time

On the one hand, many companies are allowing their employees to work remotely more often after COVID-19. Primarily to give employees a better balance in everyday life and to retain them in a time where many people are questioning whether they are using their (working) time properly.

On the other hand, other companies choose to return to the way of working before corona, where full attendance at the workplace was required every day. For example, Goldman Sachs has recently announced that “they are officially back to normal” and thus require employees to work from the office every day of the week. This indicates that they believe that productivity decreases if employees work from home and that physical presence is beneficial for the growth of the company.

Is it really about motivation?

There can be several reasons why employees choose to “quiet quit”, and lack of motivation can be one of them. Therefore, employers should create a positive workplace that offers opportunities for personal and professional development, good management and an appropriate workload.

At the same time, it is important to remember that employees also have a responsibility for keeping up their own motivation. They can, for an example, search for opportunities for development, communicate with their managers about their career goals and working conditions, and reflect for themselves on what their lack of motivation is caused by, and how it can be found again.

Ultimately, the responsibility to create a working environment where employees thrive and are motivated to contribute lies with both the employer and the employee.

Source: Danskindustri.dk, Danskhr.dk

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