There is this new phenomenon called “quiet quitting.” This is a practice where employees will stop going above and beyond for their minimum wage-paying job. This helps get people out of a work cycle that is purely labor-oriented, making employees take a step back from all they do for their company and realize that they deserve to enjoy a life that isn’t modeled around their nine to five.
According to NPR, government data shows that there has been a decline in productivity recently. This can be a result of things like supply chain issues or the pandemic, but it can also be attributed to the practice of quiet quitting.
The people who support it claim that it improves the mental health of employees and helps them prioritize their friends and family. They also claim that it prevents burnout.
But there are other people who claim that quiet quitting is harmful. Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive, said that “quiet quitting isn’t just about quitting on a job, it’s a step toward quitting on life.”
There are also people who support the idea of quiet quitting but think that this practice is too passive and won’t actually result in any major changes.
Kami Rieck for The Washington Post argues that people who are greatly affected by the type of burnout quiet quitting is supposed to prevent — predominantly women and minorities — should advocate for themselves and their well-being instead of taking an unassertive approach.
“‘Quiet quitting’ sounds like a good idea, but it could hurt your long-term career prospects,” says Rieck. Lower-level employees with big aspirations might not be able to “quiet quit” due to fears that it might negatively affect any promotions or job opportunities headed their way.
I think that quiet quitting can be an important practice especially for people in minimum wage positions, like retail and customer service. However, as employees move further up the chain of command or move into professional jobs, it’s important for employees to set boundaries with their employers to avoid overworking themselves.
Though, I also think that employers need to recognize this as an issue and do better at listening to and understanding their employees.
“People who shut down their laptop at 5… they don’t work for me,” says Kevin O’Leary, Chairman of O’Shares investments, according to NPR. This kind of mentality from an employer is harmful to those working under them.
I understand that sometimes there are special circumstances where work must be done at home, especially in certain professional fields. Though being expected to work, essentially all day every day, is extreme and undoubtedly harmful to an employee’s well-being.
As a college student preparing to find a job in a professional setting, I wouldn’t want to have to take my work home with me just for a chance that my employer might see my potential. I would rather do more meaningful work on-the-clock then feel required to take it home for a shot at recognition.
Photo courtesy of Tima Miroshnichenko, Pexels