Is it time to take career quibbles into your own hands?
It’s the phenomenon that has taken the professional world by storm: ‘Quiet Quitting’.
Quiet quitting is the practice of rejecting the expectation of ‘going above and beyond’ in a job. It often involves working only within the defined working hours and reducing the amount of effort applied to one’s professional responsibilities. Other indicators of quiet quitting include abandoning ambitions for advancement. The term implies that the practice is committed in secret or without disclosure to one’s boss.
The origin of the phenomenon is believed to be the COVID-19 pandemic. During lockdown, the workplace and working habits were radically altered. For many, the uncertainty, and isolation of working from home have had a permeant effect on work performance. In particular, the trend of deprioritising work in favour of other aspects of life has been noted as being the predominant driver behind office-based disengagement.
In a recent article published LinkedIn News, Reporter Editor Brandi Fowler described quiet quitting as “turning down projects based on interest, refusing to answer work messages outside of working hours or simply feeling less invested.” Fowler also explained how the pandemic was a wake-up call, with employees realising the importance of no longer letting work control their lives.
Quiet quitting is often discussed in the same context of ‘anti-ambition’ and the ‘Great Resignation’ – the widespread trend of leaving one’s job during COVID-19. The palpable shift in workplace culture has resultingly left many employees disillusioned about how to go about creating a healthier work-life balance.
So, what are the active steps available to navigate quiet quitting? Below we share 3 key ways to take control of quiet quitting and make it work to your advantage.
1. Practice Transparency
Do not suffer in silence. When it comes to feeling overworked it is important to keep open lines of communication with your manager. Your manager will need to know if workplace stressors are starting to have a detrimental effect on your performance and overall well-being.
No one likes to feel like they are giving up and your manager can provide support in establishing a healthier set of priorities to work with. Good managers are good listeners. And a good listener will be sympathetic and understanding of how you feel.
Check-in regularly with your manager to (re-)establish active engagement and build a solid working relationship.
2. Set Healthy Boundaries
Employees tend to mentally check out because of ‘hustle culture’. Disproportionate commitment to work is not healthy and will often transform quiet quitting into actual quitting. It is therefore necessary to outline what you will and will not commit yourself to in a professional setting.
Knowing when to draw the line is key to setting healthy boundaries, and more importantly preventing overwork. So have a conversation with your manager or boss to propose a more realistic workload and establish what you need from them. This in turn will foster a more personalised work dynamic and culture.
3. Stress the Need for Appreciation
Feeling unappreciated often comes with feeling overworked. Recognition is a staple of any positive work environment. It is a way for employers to demonstrate the value of their employees and their contribution. However, it can often become an afterthought when there are deadlines to meet and goals to hit.
If this has happened to you, it may be worth bringing it to your manager’s attention. No one wants to feel underappreciated, and a good employer will want to make sure their staff are receiving rightful praise.
If you think you may be in the grips of quiet quitting, just know that there are options available to you. Shock resignations can be risky and can leave both employee and employer feeling confused and disgruntled.
Why not address the problem head-on? Taking proactive action in communicating your concerns may provide a better alternative than having to look for a new job.
Voicing your needs can be the first step in taking back control over both your professional and personal life. It may even start a company-wide conversation about improving employee satisfaction.