‘Quieting Quitting’, coasting, presenteeism culture. Call it what you may – doing the bare minimum at work – it’s been around for a while.
…But after COVID, it just hits different.
After over two years of destabilizing ups and downs and lots of change, the burnout is real and tolerance for job stress is low. For most workers, Quiet Quitting isn’t about a desire to do the least. It’s a last resort to manage a career that’s constantly testing their boundaries.
The real question: Will it actually restore your work-life balance and improve your happiness? Let’s find out.
What is Quiet Quitting Exactly?
In a nutshell, Quiet Quitting is synonymous with ‘acting your wage’: doing exactly what’s in your job description, nothing more. You’re no longer that ‘yes person’ at work, picking up extra responsibilities, weekend work, or constantly working overtime without getting paid for it.
Another way to put it: you’re establishing boundaries.
Sounds reasonable enough right? We think so! But depending on your situation, there are two main ways it can play out:
(1) The ‘Hard But Healthy’ Quiet Quit: You set healthy boundaries for a better work-life balance, like leaving on time and not checking your emails outside of work. You still enjoy and care about your work, but boundaries help you say ‘no’ when your wellbeing needs it. And as a result, you’re even more on-top-of-it and engaged at work.
(2) The ‘One Foot Out’ Quiet Quit: You are completely dis-engaged and unmotivated at work. You do just enough to slip under the radar, but not enough to experience growth or moments of fulfillment at work.
The Numbers and Science Behind Quiet Quitting
Here’s what surveys and studies tell us about this newest trend:
- 50% of the current U.S. workforce are quiet quitters.
- Majority of quiet quitters are millennials and Gen Z.
- Managers are quiet quitting in greater numbers. Only 1 in 3 managers say they feel engaged at work.
- Last year, 47 million people in the U.S. left their jobs (aka the Great Resignation).
But what does it all mean?
Although everyone has their own, unique reasons for quiet quitting, the stats send a loud and clear message: People are ready for a new ‘work culture norm’ that puts health and wellbeing first.
What’s The Real Reason You’re Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting isn’t the end all, be all – it’s a symptom. The underlying source of quiet quitting can be rooted in:
- A Lack of Healthy Boundaries. A recent study shows that a blurred work-life boundary leads to emotional exhaustion and less happiness. Always saying ‘yes’ for the sake of others leaves you little time and energy to replenish your own reserve.
- The “Hustle Culture” Hangover. Working longer, harder…and even harder: this sums up the majority of corporate work life. And by now, you’ve realized that putting in those extra hours or effort doesn’t always equate to better pay, more benefits, or promotions.
- Burnout. Feeling mentally distant or negative towards your job is one of the hallmarks of burnout. Pandemic stress and chronic workplace stress left unaddressed is a recipe for exhaustion.
- Poor Management. A caring manager, growth, open communication, purpose, and meaning are a must to keep employees engaged. When these elements are missing, you can feel exhausted by constantly giving without receiving anything beyond a paycheck in return.
Once you find the true source behind quiet quitting, you can find the right solution for you.
Should You Quiet Quit or Just Plain Quit?
If you find yourself low-key quiet quitting – or you’re on the verge of it – it may be time to take a step back and reflect on what it really means for you and your career.
Is it time to quiet quit or just plain quit? The answer depends on the kind of quiet quitting you’re doing.
If it’s the ‘Hard But Healthy’ Quiet Quit, then all the power to you! For the recovering people pleasers, chronic over-givers, and ‘can’t say no’ empathetic do-ers…quiet quitting can be the perfect antidote for a better work-life balance. (And also exactly the feedback your boss needs to be a better manager.)
If it’s the ‘One Foot Out’ Quiet Quit, it might just be time to move on from your job or take some time off to rest, especially if you’re experiencing hustle culture, burnout, or poor management. According to a scientific study, the secret behind a thriving life is a sense of development, growth, and mastery – and this can only happen in your job when you’re challenged and motivated in the right way.
Either way, it’s time to set some clear boundaries around your work. Make it a priority to rest, take care of yourself, and tune into what you need right now.
Tune Into Your Stress Patterns & Pinpoint The Source of Quiet Quitting
Use our at-home biofeedback device, Reflect, to manage your career stress. Reflect monitors your bodily response, giving you an accurate snapshot of your stress and anxiety levels. Use it to pinpoint what’s stressing you out – and to find ways to bring your stress levels down. Feeling balanced and free starts with you. Reflect is here to help!