Updated: Sep 11
"We work jobs we hate, to buy things we don't need, to impress people we don't like." - Tyler Durden
Since few days, I have been observing new term “Quiet Quitting” or "Quit Quitting" every here and there on the internet. Out of sheer curiosity I read few articles and understood:
“It means doing only what’s required of you at work without going extra miles in order to manage stress and enhance mental wellbeing due to investing less of yourself in your job.”
The term “quiet quitting” emerged early in 2022 on social media platform ‘TikTok’ to describe the phenomenon of workers refusing to go above and beyond at their jobs and instead simply meeting those jobs’ basic requirements. Typically, these workers hailed from fields known for under-compensating extra employee efforts and encouraging hustle cultures that left little time for finding meaning, purpose, or cultivating relationships outside of work. But as quiet quitting became increasingly popular, employees from practically every profession started taking notice — and wondering whether they should quietly quit, too.
Why Employees Are Quietly Quitting?
Many employees are fed up with not receiving wage increases or promotions congruent with the amount of effort they’re putting into their work. Others are tired of not having enough time and energy for non-work endeavors, like family, friends, hobbies, and other activities that improve their wellbeing. Many quiet quitters have personally experienced (or witnessed in others) the repercussions of skipping on sleep, exercise, and quality time with loved ones in order to “get ahead” at a job and they’re refusing to incur any further damages to their physical and mental health by repeatedly pushing themselves too hard.
“True intelligence is self-awareness — including a sense of just how wrong you likely are most of the time as a result of your biases.” — Peter Joseph
What are the acclaimed benefits of Quiet Quitting?
Many quiet quitters claim that forgoing the extra mile(s) at their jobs is a means of offsetting or managing this burnout, since doing only what’s required is thought to lower the pressure to perform and prevent workers from taking it personally when they don’t get promoted or don’t get a raise.
Effectively setting boundaries at work — think: actually taking a lunch break or declining extra asks from higher ups and co-workers that exceed your job’s defined roles and responsibilities — is proven to help boost worker wellbeing and prevent burnout. Not answering work emails, calls, or texts after a certain hour and not checking work messages during vacations and sick days are two very important strategies to help uphold this latter boundary.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst”. William Penn
The Core Issue
The dogma of the workplace tells us that hard work gets you paid, but the reality is that hard work at the right time in a way that is visible to the right person is what truly matters. Bosses bank on people working harder for a nonspecific reward. Managers fail to set realistic expectations for what a worker does, which means the worker never truly knows what “enough” is. This works very well for the company, as it’s able to start piling nonspecific expectations upon you, rationalizing them as “being a team player” and “proving you want it.” It dangles promotions and the possibility of more pay as incentives for working longer hours, taking on responsibilities beyond your job description, and generally eating crow to make your manager look better. But employees have become wise to this, and the “quiet quitting” freakout is managers and bosses crying foul because they’re having to actually staff for those needs or pay employees more to do the work that management had expected to get for free.
“The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power.” — Auliq Ice
This is particularly true for people with salaries. Hourly workers know that extra assignments or burdensome work will have to be compensated with overtime, but bosses have used salaries to abuse knowledge workers by blurring the expectations of these workers’ actual work product and working hours. By not paying you hourly, the company gets a better deal, selling the illusion of job security while setting up an amorphous structure where it’s hard to refuse extra work or log off.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair
The reason that all of this is so painfully dissonant for management is that they have lost control of the narrative. For years, workplace dogma framed as “office culture” allowed them to extract more labor through direct and indirect forms of abuse, and without it, workers are realizing there is no moral good in working hard. Work is an exchange of money for labor, and if bosses want more labor from workers, they should be prepared to pay for it instead of making up meaningless policies to frame hardworking people as slackers.
After the pandemic, workers actually knows their worth and they have other options available except sitting on one corporate career.
Read my article CORPORATE, to know how to perform quit quitting tactfully and practically.
Thanks for reading…
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