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Quiet Quitting: The Value of Doing the Bare Minimum

The viral trend of quiet quitting makes us consider the importance of work-life balance and especially a healthy workplace.

A woman holding a coffee cup bored with her numerous duties at work

Tired of giving more than their 100%, workers have decided that “quiet quitting” is the key to a healthier lifestyle. However, it does strike a greater conversation on toxic work environments today.

Quiet quitting erupted across social media after a viral TikTok discussed the idea. Essentially, the action of quiet quitting has nothing to do with leaving your job; instead, it’s the opposite. With most people preferring the term ‘working your wage,’ it requires you to do exactly what your job asks of you, nothing more. It means saying no to those extra hours with no pay or taking up more projects with the expectation of an increment.

The pre-pandemic idea of hustle culture now just succeeds in burning out many millennials and gen-z, who are struggling to achieve the bare minimum. The overall message that has spread is the idea that it’s not the employee’s job to forgo their personal lives for a company that doesn’t care about their well-being anyway. Yet, does the term ‘quiet quitting’ truly represent what is really wrong with workplace practices today?

Is quiet quitting worth it?

Having a work-life balance is the main objective of quiet quitting. It allows you to feel empowered enough to know your boundaries and work accordingly to adjust for your well-being. Experts claim that this can also help workers to increase efficiency, as frequent breaks and socializing are key to improving your mental health. Tania Taylor, in an interview with Healthline, states:

“As well as that, switching off from work for several hours at a time gives your brain a chance to process the events of the day and can help you to problem solve from different perspectives

 Victoria Stokes, Healthline

Companies today are doing the bare minimum when it comes to their employees. Today, people value the importance of a work-life balance, and quiet quitting, in this sense, establishes the idea of taking off the pressure when needed.

Yet, although quiet quitting proves a rightful way to justify your wage and treatment, it may not have the best long-term value. Experts worry that starting quite quitting early in your career could cause you to stop seeing value in your work in the future. There may be no interest in progressing further in their careers or developing new skills. “Quiet quitting removes any emotional investment you might have from your work, which is sad given the fact that most of us spend so much of our time at work,” claims Kelsey Wat, a career coach, in an interview with CNBC

For minorities in the workplace, quiet quitting is risky action as well. People of color and women find themselves facing harsher punishments and workloads. By this, quiet quitting would pose a greater threat of losing their jobs. Hence, this trend may not work for everyone, especially those who constantly need to prove their worth at work.

Any time a person of color or a woman tries to establish healthy boundaries for themselves, they are much more likely to be seen as troublemakers

Kami Rieck, The Washington Post

Is it really about employees?

While it’s easy to see the pros and cons of this trend, there is a root cause that propels it. The term quiet quitting instills the idea of giving up or slacking off when working. Rather, it makes it seem that those who suffer in silence should also retaliate in silence.

On the contrary, the biggest recommendation for employees is to have an open conversation with their employer. Managers’ attitudes have a direct effect on the employees. Since 2020, according to data gathered by the Harvard Business Review, the least effective managers have at least four times as many disengaged workers. Thus, letting your managers know you’re feeling burnt out is essential for your well-being. If it doesn’t work, quiet quitting may be a waste of time, and it would be better to just leave.

However, considering those bosses who make work conditions so terrible that workers are forced to resign is a grim reality. Quiet quitting, unfortunately, doesn’t do much to help. The discourse around it calls for employees to take action, but what about the ones in power? Quiet quitting should encourage employers to engage with their workers and make them feel valued.

Employers should do more than the bare minimum. They ought to go above and beyond what the law requires. Cultivating a culture of inclusion is the right thing to do, and it will benefit their bottom line and mission.

Risa Isard, Adweek

Managers can create a workspace that allows for an open, positive relationship with employees. It launches a foundation of happier and more inclusive workspaces where people are rewarded for their efforts. After all, it’s those at the top who quietly stand by and quit acknowledging those who make their companies great. Yet still, it’s those at the top who can make the bigger difference.

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