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Quiet Quitting Is On The Rise. Here’s What It Means

Updated: 6 days ago

Table of Contents -

  • What Is The Meaning Of Quiet Quitting?

  • How Did Quiet Quitting Trend Emerge?

  • When Do Employees Quietly Quit?

  • How To Identify If An Employee Is Quietly Quitting?

  • What To Do If An Employee Is Quietly Quitting?

  • For Employees

  • Conclusion

The internet is flooded with what is called ‘quiet quitting’. The internet is also divided, is quite quitting good or bad? Should you try it or will it land you in trouble? Once you know the true meaning of this term and why it is so popular in workplace trends, you will be able to make an opinion for yourself.

A paper and pen. Text on paper is quite quitting

What Is The Meaning Of Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting literally means doing not more than what is expected of you through your job description. Basically fulfilling all the role requirements that were assigned to you but here’s the catch, not doing a tad bit more. Employees are now no longer going above and beyond to contribute to the company.

Have you gone the extra mile at work? Have you put in so much extra effort that you've worn yourself out? Or have you taken on additional responsibilities to demonstrate your value to the leadership but weren't compensated, leaving you to question your value at work?

All of these scenarios may have happened to you; sometimes you may look back and regret it, but other times you may see the value in it.

How Did Quiet Quitting Trend Emerge?

Quiet quitting is a part of a larger trend whereby workers are readjusting their own goals for a position. This grew during the COVID-19 pandemic during the Great Resignation and has persisted as workers begin to come back to work. It's often completely understandable for a worker to feel this way, especially if they believe they aren't being heard at work, that their time isn't respected, or that they won't be able to advance in their position and reach their professional goals.

Many TikToks have been made on this quiet quitting and are trending. Employees are using quite quitting as a rebuke to the popular hustle culture. Hustle culture also referred to as burnout culture and grind culture, is the belief that one must work nonstop in order to achieve their professional objectives.

Quiet quitting as a practice is not new, though the coined term may be. It is particularly well-liked in Europe, where the average workweek is shorter than in places like Australia and the US. Quiet quitting is all about workers finally accepting the fact that you don’t live to work, you work to live. Anyway, making your work your life is an unhealthy practice that leaves you no time for your loved ones, your hobbies, yourself, etc.

When Do Employees Quietly Quit?

To understand the true meaning of this workplace trend, it is important to get into the psyche of the employees. Quiet quitting is not just another trend that everyone is following blindly. It has emerged from employees who -

  • Feel overworked, overwhelmed with work, and unappreciated.

  • Lack of motivation in work within your company.

  • Do not feel at ease setting boundaries with you.

  • Don't know why they are working or what they are attempting to achieve.

  • Don’t have an understanding of your company’s mission and vision.

How To Identify If An Employee Is Quietly Quitting?

Before you take an action on an employee that might be quiet quitting, it is important to understand how to identify this behavior and know for sure.

In today’s remote work setups and hybrid work cultures, it can be a bit more challenging. With the lack of face-to-face meetings and office interactions, it is not as easy to understand what the employee must be going through. Video calls, emails, and virtual meetings are a setback here.

This doesn’t just go for people in managerial positions who are trying to identify such employees. This is also true for remote working employees who might find it difficult to relate to the company’s mission and vision. They may lack motivation at work as they are unable to align themselves to their and the company’s goals.

Keeping all of these things in mind, there are some indicators that can still help you to identify if an employee is quietly quitting. Lack of motivation or engagement at work is the first likely sign of quiet quitting. This may be observable. Find out if a worker isn't enquiring about and looking for new tasks like they used to.

Do they seem attentive during meetings, or are they just there to show up? Over the past few months, have they consistently rejected new duties or responsibilities? These can also be signs that something may be going on in an employee's personal life, but they may also be signs that they are no longer motivated to work for you and your business.

What To Do If An Employee Is Quietly Quitting?

What can be done if one or more of your employees are quiet quitting? Is there something that you can do to prevent it? How can you make sure your employees are not lacking motivation at work resulting in quiet quitting?

Here are a couple of things that you can keep in your mind while dealing with your employees -

Understand and clearly define what responsibilities you are assigning to your employees and if it is aligned with their position, experience and even pay.

  • Check in with your employees to see their workload and help them manage their priorities.

  • You can even start conducting small corporate sessions where you can have open discussions with your employees about their roles and responsibilities and how their tasks contribute to the overall success of the company.

  • Make them feel that you value and appreciate their contributions and not take them for granted. Remember, it is not always about making employees feel worthwhile through appraisals.

  • Be approachable so employees can come to you when they feel overwhelmed with their tasks and help them solve their issues.

  • Respect the boundaries of your employees. Don’t expect them or push them to work extra hours. Sometimes there can be an exception, like a very important meeting ahead. But if you are asking an employee to overwork, make sure you both are on the same page.

  • Being clear with your employees from the start. If you have expectations for them that go beyond their current workload, make sure to communicate that to them early on. So when they take on additional responsibilities, they will know that it was always part of the job description.

For Employees:

If you feel like you need to set a boundary, that’s okay! It is completely understandable to feel that you are overworked and missing out on crucial moments of your life. It is true that hustle culture has glorified overworking but if you feel the need to follow quiet quitting due to this, there are some things that you can consider first instead.

Set your routines and make priorities. Understand that while it is important to give your 100% to work, it is equally important that you give your 100% to other aspects of your life. You do not live to work, but you work to live, and it should be like that. Respect your work, complete your job responsibilities and take on new challenges if they thrill you, but not to the point that they overwhelm you.

When you respect and take interest in your work, you automatically feel the need to understand the purpose and be aligned with it. But if none of these interests you and the purpose does not mean much to you, then you must find your purpose in something else.

Perhaps the reason that you are quiet quitting is that you don’t feel joy in the kind of work that you are doing and feel like it's an obligation. If that's so, we strongly recommend you do some soul searching we will give you the cliche but true, follow your passion advice. You can also talk to your managers about adjustments that might need to be made.


Quiet quitting is not a subject that is often discussed or openly discussed between managers and employees. But, like any other workplace trend, it is both significant and important to be aware of.

Employees who are feeling overwhelmed or undervalued at work often resort to quiet quitting. It is a sign that they are unhappy with your employment and want to leave the company.

Quiet quitting also shows that your employees are able to set boundaries in their personal lives. If you feel that an employee is trying to push themselves beyond the boundaries of their position, there may be a reason behind it. This could be a sign that they are feeling overwhelmed, unappreciated, or unhappy. If you notice the same behavior coming from other employees, it could be a sign that they are quietly quitting.

In order to prevent this, your first step should be to have conversations with them about what they are feeling and what might be happening in their life. Maybe they need time to themselves. Maybe they need more flexibility at work. Maybe there is a family emergency. Maybe they just don’t feel like working anymore.

Once you know what’s going on, you can take steps to help them stay engaged in their work. Offer new opportunities and encourage them to set boundaries. Also, make sure to show them that you value their contributions.

While it can be difficult to know exactly how to react when an employee is quiet quitting, as well as why they might be doing so in the first place, it is important to be aware of this trend and how you can help your employees when it does happen.

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