Quiet quitting…it’s a buzzword that many might misunderstand that has seen increasing virality on social media. Let’s take a few moments to honestly evaluate what quiet quitting really means, and what it means for your business.
First, let’s clear up what quiet quitting actually refers to.
Let’s consider an example of what quiet quitting looks like in practice:
Laura arrives at the office on time, logs in, and works on the tasks she has been assigned. She takes her breaks, pauses work to eat her (usually) healthy lunch, and signs out at the end of the workday and leaves.
And that’s it. That’s all quiet quitting really is—it's an employee setting boundaries so that they can maintain a healthy work/life balance and aren’t taken advantage of in the workplace. At times, this also means that a participating employee will politely resist having additional responsibilities or workloads being added to their agendas without commensurate adjustments to their pay. This practice has helped to encourage the term “act your wage” to also pop up in the social media lexicon.
In essence, “quiet quitting” is nothing more than a rejection of the hustle culture that many workplaces try to instill in their employees, a polite refusal to go “above and beyond” their job duties as many employers may encourage them to go.
Considering that the terminology was born on social media—specifically, TikTok—many might assume that it's the younger generations who are leading the charge. However, while this group might be more vocal about the concept, they are far from the only ones subscribing to the practice. Some people who have been in the workforce for longer will follow the same principles where their own work/life balance is concerned…it just took them a little longer to get there.
It also needs to be said that the workplace shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have likely contributed to this shift in priorities as well. After all, remote work made it much easier for employees to see if and when their jobs were (dare I say) overstepping into their personal lives.
While most of the evidence is anecdotal, many of those who have participated in this workplace behavior have seen benefits. For instance, many cite their quiet quitting as what has helped to protect them from burnout…and as a result, their workplace performance improves.
Again, all quiet quitting really is, is the reinforcement of boundaries between an employee’s work time and their personal time. It’s an employee saying “no” when asked to do something outside the terms of their employment, electing to reschedule for the next available opportunity during their regular working hours or renegotiating their pay to reflect their increased responsibilities. It’s an employee silencing work notifications once they are no longer on the clock.
Here’s the thing: this is the wrong goal to have. An employee who respectfully establishes boundaries and doesn’t hold work above and beyond everything else in life is one you want to have. They’re more likely to be engaged while they are working, less likely to suffer the impacts of burnout, and again, it isn’t as though they are actively quitting. You still have an employee working for you.
No, a better goal would be to make sure that you are making the most effective use of your employees’ scheduled time. What might this look like?
Well, you could first consider what they are spending most of their time at work doing. Are they focused on important tasks that ultimately help to build revenue or forward another one of your organization’s goals, or are they being tied up by rote, menial tasks? Using today’s technology to automate as many of the latter tasks as possible will help free up more time for the former, allowing your team to use their time more effectively and ultimately accomplish more. Ensuring that your team members have the tools they need to collaborate effectively is another way to speed up their work, as is ensuring that your business’ infrastructure is reliable enough to keep up with their needs, as they need them.
That’s where we come in.
We can help equip your business with the IT that will allow your employees to do as much as possible with the time they are working. Give us a call at 724-473-3950 to learn more about what we can do.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.