Recently I was introduced to the concept of quiet quitting.
By now we’ve all heard about “The Great Resignation.” When businesses reopened after the pandemic lock down a lot of people resigned instead of going back to work. Some found other things they’d rather do and found ways to make it happen. Others enjoyed working from home so much they quite companies that would not allow remote work anymore. The reasons for the mass resignations are many and I don’t think we have a complete picture of it yet.
Then we have the people who, for whatever reasons, can’t or don’t exactly want to resign. A lot of those people learned some hard lessons. For some it was simply a desire for a better work/life balance. Others came to the conclusion the rat race wasn’t worth it. While they needed a job they didn’t want to give their whole lives over to work. It’s a hard lesson to learn your loyalty to the company is a one way street.
So these people don’t actually resign; they quiet quit. Basically they do the bare minimum to avoid getting fired. No more coming in early and leaving late. No more volunteering for extra hours. No more favors for the boss. No effort put into career advancement. It it isn’t absolutely required they ain’t gonna do it.
In a fair labor market we’d never see this sort of thing. It’s probably a backlash from company bean counter’s focus on getting more and more for less and less. Heck, they found they don’t actually have to pay people for work. For me, the worse offenses started with unpaid interns. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, they learned they could charge people for internships. How absurd is that?
Getting 12 hours of work for 8 hours of pay became normal is a lot of places. You might have a fancy useless title, but it’s still working for nothing.
No wonder there’s a backlash. In today’s tight labor market it looks like the workers are getting away with it. No wonder unions are becoming more popular too. If unions weren’t good for workers management wouldn’t spend so much time and effort trying to prevent their formation. Companies might be better off paying a fair wage and getting workers who are actually interested in working. That has to better than people who quiet quit and are only going through the motions.