Quiet quitting: a term that didn’t exist pre-pandemic. However, in 2022, it’s something that we hear increasingly often, and it’s considered to be a negative trend. This is something that completely baffles me! To me, the mindset change behind quiet quitting is hugely positive and I hope it’ll last far longer than most passing trends. Here’s why you, your organisation, and your team members should embrace it.
What is quiet quitting?
Unlike what you’d imagine from the name, it has nothing to do with actually leaving your job. Instead, it’s when someone chooses to stop going above and beyond the requirements of their job role. They arrive and leave on time on time and do everything their job description asks of them but no more. They will no longer do additional hours as standard or take on responsibilities outside of their job. It’s a firm ‘no’ to burnout culture and unhealthy behaviours like not taking enough time to recover when ill.
In a nutshell, they’re doing their job: exactly what they are employed to do.
So, why is “just” doing your job getting so much attention?
What’s wrong with quiet quitting?
Those unpaid extra hours soon add up. It’s estimated that, in 2021, UK workers put in £27billion worth of unpaid overtime, which equates to 3.8 million people working an additional 7.6 additional hours per week (on average). Overall, that’s 1,498,150,018 hours for the year! That’s a lot of time lost for businesses so you can understand why they’d be worried about losing that time and/or hiring extra people to replace that lost time.
Then, there are the people who still believe that slogging your guts out at work is the only way to get ahead. For example, Pattie Ehsaei, a workplace decorum expert, believes that quiet quitting is akin to being content with mediocrity.
@duchessofdecorum The universe rewards hustlers! #workplacedecorum #femaleempowerment #feminism #success #finance ♬ Luxury fashion (no vocals) – TimTaj
I respectfully disagree!
Embracing a work-life balance will pay off in the long-term
We firmly believe that you need to stop assuming that longer hours = greater productivity as that’s not the case. In fact, longer hours are associated with decreased productivity, poor performance, health problems, and lower employee motivation. Equally, the number of hours you work isn’t a measure of how good you are at your job. How can it be? This is why we encourage you to bring flexibility into the workplace: you need to balance the reality of life with the needs of your organisation.
Unsurprisingly, we also emphasise that you need to have real conversations with your team members so that you understand what matters to them. Once you know this, you’ll be able to support them in maximising their productivity while leaving on time. For us, the ideal situation is where people love their job so choose to go above and beyond when needed, but that is the exception, not the rule.
Maybe it’s time to review how your organisation views productivity? Get in touch and we’ll help you to make that happen.