With an uncertain economy, rampant inflation, and the potential for a recession as we head into 2023, the labor market is hot. Job applicants have more bargaining power than ever before, with some college graduates being offered $100K at their first job these days.
With high-income potential and bountiful job opportunities for many, there’s another trend taking shape too: “quiet quitting.” What is it you might be thinking? Well, let’s jump into the details and talk about what quiet quitting means, and why half of U.S. workers admit to being quiet quitters.
What is Quiet Quitting?
It’s pretty simple: according to the Wall Street Journal, quiet quitting is the idea that you remain an employee in good standing, but you don’t go above and beyond your regular responsibilities.
Quiet quitting, in other words, is not really about quitting. It’s more like a philosophy for doing the bare minimum at your job without getting fired, and rejecting the classic American hustle culture.
The concept first went viral when an American TikToker @zaidleppelin from New York City recently posted about the concept and argued for work reform:
@zaidleppelin On quiet quitting #workreform ♬ original sound – ruby
In addition to this TikTok exploding across social media, this new concept may very well have been born out of an overworked and underpaid workforce who stayed home during the pandemic and actually worked significantly more from home than from the office. How’s that? Well, at home it can sometimes be tricky to define healthy boundaries for yourself when it comes to starting and stopping times each day as well as the total number of hours worked. When you’re at home, the lines between work life and home life become easily blurred.
Employees who were able to work from home during the pandemic are feeling burned out, overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. Especially when they know that people who change jobs in the current job market are earning significantly more than they currently are. So instead, people are just doing their work and making no extra effort other than the duties outlined in their job description.
Should You Join the Quiet Quitting Trend?
This depends on a number of factors. Here are a few to consider before making the decision to quiet quit:
- Is your goal to be promoted at your current organization?
- Do you want to get promoted so you have an opportunity to negotiate a higher salary for yourself?
- Are you willing to forego a new opportunity to job hop for a higher income?
- Is your free time more important to you than your work life?
After more than two years of the pandemic, many people have realized that they enjoy working from home because it gives them more time to spend with their loved ones, more time to sleep, and eliminates the expensive and time-consuming commute.
Pros and Cons of Quiet Quitting
Navigating how you should best approach your work-life balance these days can be tough so here are some pros and cons when it comes to quiet quitting:
- Less stress
- Ability to enjoy your free time more
- Decrease your chance of burnout
- An improvement in your overall mental health
- Potential to be on the chopping block if layoffs become more common ahead of a likely recession next year
- A potentially lower chance of being promoted during annual reviews
The Bottom Line
The “quiet quitting” trend only seems to be growing, especially as some employers are requiring a return to the office at least 1-3 days per week. My take? This trend is going to continue upward unless employers accommodate the demands of employees, especially if they wish to work from home full-time. At the same time, it’s important to set boundaries at work, whether it’s from home or in the office.
If there’s anything good that came out of this pandemic, it’s the new found realization that if you work on a computer all day, there’s no real need to be in an office setting if you don’t want to be. So, go ahead and quiet quit or not – the choice is yours!