Quiet quitting, which gained momentum on social media and beyond, refers to doing the bare minimum at work instead of going above and beyond.
The practice is reverberating through the workplace loud and clear as employees clock in less than 40 hours a week, call in sick more frequently, or start the workday hungover.
Approximately 78% of employees have taken actions that constitute quiet quitting, according to a survey of 1,000 full-time workers commissioned by Real Estate Witch.
Employees who quiet quit are typically unhappy and underappreciated at work. Although 86% of employees care about their company, 39% think their company doesn’t care about them.
They may not be wrong. Nearly half (43%) of workers said they worked harder in the past year, but of those, 29% weren’t recognized or rewarded for their efforts, according to Real Estate Witch.
That directly leads to 55% of workers coming to the conclusion that hard work will not help them get ahead in today’s workplace. They may be less likely to work extra hours or take on extra tasks as a result.
Employees who don’t feel appreciated may find it challenging to stay motivated at work.
“Self-motivation is essential, but the employee can only feel motivated once the company takes a few steps,” claims Varsha Parmar, an HR manager with more than four years of experience in IT recruitment.
Employees Blame Managers for Lack of Motivation
Management style may be responsible for unmotivated workers. About 57% of full-time employees said their managers are to blame for their lack of effort.
Omer Usanmaz, CEO and co-founder of Qooper Mentoring & Learning Software believes open and authentic communication with employees can help inspire them to work hard.
“Listen to employees’ suggestions and input, value their well-being, and create a positive, healthy work environment,” he points out.
With more duties and responsibilities, burnt-out managers may also turn to quiet quitting instead of resigning, but as leaders, they bear the responsibility of creating a nurturing and motivating environment for their employees, Usanmaz says.
Millennials, Gen Z Don’t Define Themselves by Their Work
Quiet quitting can be costly and disruptive. If large segments of the workforce quiet quit, it could negatively affect a company’s performance and lead to layoffs. To incentivize workers and prevent potential problems, greater flexibility could be the answer.
Liam Liu, chief marketing officer at ParcelPanel, says, “One way of motivating my workforce is by allowing employees to exercise flexibility – hybrid work schedules, four-day workweeks, and part-time employment for the willing.”
The workforce is dominated by millennials and Gen Z, who value their mental health, work-life balance, and remote work that allows them to move homes or travel more easily. For many, a job is just a way to pay the bills.
Only 45% of millennials and 33% of Gen Z said their job is a core part of their identity, compared to 56% of boomers. Companies that understand and appreciate this are more likely to create an environment without quiet quitters.
In-Office Workers Are Less Likely to Feel Stressed
The location where employees work is increasingly important as well. Although working from home eliminates commutes and allows for a more casual work environment, face-to-face time in the office could improve the negative sentiment employees feel toward managers and employers.
Surprisingly, according to Real Estate Witch, 40% of employees who work in an office said it’s their ideal workplace setting. Going into the office delineates work life and home life, and having conversations with managers without a screen could create a sense of camaraderie.
Data shows that employees who work in an office are 19% less likely to say their employer doesn’t care about them and 14% less likely to feel stressed at work.
Still, workers have different needs and varying responsibilities outside of work. If needed, employers should be open to changing employees’ work schedules and evaluating what type of setting creates the happiest, most productive workers.
Prioritizing office work while also giving employees ownership over their hours could be a winning combination. This gives employees a voice, which could motivate them to work at their full capacity.