This is one example of quiet
quitting, a trend that has been dominating social media and
especially Tik Tok. In July, Zaid Khan, a 24-year-old
engineer from New York, posted a video about quiet quitting, and
it went viral. Since then the trend has spread like wildfire
with hashtags like quietquitting, quitting, and
quieting. Does anybody want to work
anymore? Then the mainstream media became
covering it. Like working overtime? No,
thanks. Late Night emails, ignore those. Quiet quitting is a really bad
idea. If you're a quiet quitter, you're not working for me. The world is changing. And the
way of work is changing. Even people saying I'm not going back
to the office. And if I do, I'm definitely quite quitting until
I find a job that is a lot more flexible.
Covid was the ultimate reset.
Covid was that moment where people start to ask a bigger
question, what do I want from my life? Do I want to continue
working the way that I have? Or do I want something different?
Do I want to continue to work, which is awesome. But do I also
want to be able to enjoy my family? Do I also want to be
able to enjoy my life. So I think all of these things are
coming in stages. And I think quite quitting is just the trend
that's come as a result of the ultimate reset, which is Covid. Something like 40% of workers
are now saying they plan to change jobs this year. The pandemic also triggered the
great resignation. …to retain people, but they're
really running scared. Millions of Americans quit their
jobs in 2021. Some for better opportunities. Some for a career
break. The pace of quitting continued well into 2022.
chart tracks job openings and labor turnover in the US
economy. JOLTs for short. We do think that quiet quitting
is part of the great resignation story. So it fits into the
general story of having a high level of quits over the past
year, year and a half, and certainly a very tight labor
market. And in that type of a labor market, it makes a lot of
sense that workers may not be willing to work as hard as they
have in the past because it's very easy to get alternative
employment. So the question is what is quiet
quitting? Quiet quitting is referring to a situation where
employees are making a choice to not necessarily go above and
beyond what they're being asked to do. It doesn't mean that
they're not doing their job.
They're just not going above and
beyond. Back in my day was called
coasting. For me. My last time quiet
quitting was five years ago, I used to be in tech sales. What I
did was work less. I wasn't putting in the 40 hours anymore.
I wasn't giving into the drama anymore. I wasn't giving into
work gossip anymore. I wasn't answering emails or texts or
slack messages. You know, DMs after the work days, and
weekends were free. They were mine. Even though it's millennials and
Gen Zers who are actively talking about on social media.
Quite quitting has been happening amongst Gen Xers,
which I'm part of the Gen Xers for the better part of two to
The anti work movement is not a
new trend. In 2021, the ‘lying flat’ or ‘tang ping’ movement
took off in China, many viewed it as an anti work phenomenon.
This is a labor protest movement in China against the country's
relentless work culture. Some argue that quiet quitting is
similar to the lying flat movement. In the US, quiet
quitting could also be a backlash to hustle culture, the
24/7 Startup Grind popularized by figures like Gary Vee, and
others. I think it is almost direct
resistance and disruption of hustle culture, honestly, and I
think it's exciting that more people are doing it.
When it comes to hustle culture
and quiet quitting. We're seeing from Gen Zers, especially that
they're really focused on ensuring that they have that
work life balance, and really mission driven purpose when it
comes to work. And we see this across Millennials as well. People are being more honest
about the fact that they just don't want to give beyond the 40
hours of work that they normally would get because they're tired. There has been a tsunami of job
resignation. In 2021, the Great Resignation
dominated the economic news cycle on or need to remain in
their roles. So in the second quarter of the same year, US
productivity data posted its biggest ever annual drop.
some economists blame workers leaving jobs or not trying hard
at their current jobs for the hit to productivity. Quiet quitting is probably part
of the reason for the slowing in labor productivity. It's hard to
tell from aggregate data exactly why labor productivity has
slowed so much over the course of the pandemic, but it's
certainly one of the reasons that you would expect to be
weighing on labor productivity right now. Employee engagement also appears
to be declining. A recent poll from Gallup showed employee
engagement in the US dropping for the first annual decline in
a decade, dipping from 36% engaged employees in 2020 to 34%
in 2021. Disengagement, not being
engaged, that's affecting the productivity. Mentally, they're
just not there. And they really aren't giving it their all
anymore, and they are just trying to stay under the radar
and they are disengaged, that's very much been impact
productivities. I do think quiet quitting is a
part of the great resignation. People are so burnt out, we've
just gone through and are still going through a pandemic.
recognizing that life can be so fleeting and so short, and we
want to spend it doing something we love. And that doesn't mean
work has to be our dream job. I think that myth of the dream job
is slowly or rapidly dying. People that shut down their
laptop at 5, want that balance in life, want to go to the
soccer game, 9 to 5 only, they don't work for me, I can tell
you that. Labor demand remains a red hot
in 2022. That's despite the looming risk of a recession.
Economic downturn could make quiet quitting a short lived
trend. Well, if the labor market were
to turn it, you'd imagine that quiet quitting would become less
of a phenomenon.
While the risk of you are quiet
quitter is that the economy would slow and then you could
find yourself in a situation where you're in a job where you
haven't been given the most effort that you can, and it puts
you at a disadvantage in terms of moving forward at that job.
If others have been giving more effort, they're more likely to
have a greater job security than otherwise. So certainly as the
labor market slows, and if we were to go into a recession
could potentially put those workers at a disadvantage. In addition to talking to
thousands of employees per year, I talked to thousands of leaders
per year, all the way from your supervisor all the way up to
your C-suite CEOs.
And I will tell you that they are bothered
by this trend, because it speaks one of two things. One, we have
employees who are doing their job, but they're not going above
and beyond. Two, what have we done as an organization to these
employees that make them feel like they can't give their best
effort. We're evolving as a culture,
we're evolving as a people and the workplace is evolving. And
we need to be okay with it. Because it's the same concept
for me as people saying just because I didn't have it, means
you shouldn't have it too. You should have to work hard.
Just want to be careful about
just saying that quiet quitting is the the, you know, the Gen Zs
and the Gen Ys. I think that it can be happening all over the
place. And the more we stay engaged and connected and share
our purpose, the less of an issue disengagement will be and
then hopefully the quiet quitting term will start fading
to the background and we'll see both employees being productive
and well engaged and employers being very successful.