❌ How many employees are quiet quitting? ❌
A majority of workers (67%) do not consider themselves quiet quitters, but 78% have taken actions that constitute quiet quitting.
How Many Are Quiet Quitting? | Quiet Quitting Behaviors | Hours Worked per Week | Incentives to Work Hard | Hardest-Working Generation | Laziest Generation | Workplace Culture | Does Hard Work Pay Off? | Quiet Quitting vs. Resigning | Workplace Preferences
The Great Resignation showed no signs of slowing in 2022, with nearly 47 million Americans quitting their jobs last year. But as fears of a recession grow, workers may think twice before walking away from steady employment in 2023.
Now, dissatisfied workers are embracing a new phenomenon called quiet quitting that, despite its name, doesn’t actually involve quitting. Rather, the trend refers to employees who say no to hustle culture by doing the bare minimum at work instead of going above and beyond for their employer.
About 1 in 3 employees (33%) admit to quiet quitting at work, according to our recent poll of full-time American workers, but the real number is likely much higher. Although a majority of workers (67%) don’t consider themselves quiet quitters, 78% have taken actions that constitute quiet quitting.
We found that quiet quitting is often a direct response to how employees are treated at work. Although 86% of employees say they care about their company’s success, 39% say their company doesn’t care about them.
More than half of workers (56%) say they are underpaid, and 40% say they are underappreciated at work.
Without incentives to work hard, more than half of employees (57%) say they have not increased their efforts at work in the past year. Among those who have worked harder, nearly 1 in 3 (29%) weren’t recognized or rewarded for their efforts.
When employees fail to see the benefits of their hard work, they quickly become disillusioned. A majority of workers (55%) don’t believe hard work will help them get ahead in today’s workplace, and many may resort to quiet quitting as a result.
🤫 Quiet Quitting Statistics
- 1 in 3 workers (33%) currently consider themselves quiet quitters, and 39% have quiet quit at previous jobs.
- Although a majority of workers (67%) do not consider themselves quiet quitters, 78% have taken actions that constitute quiet quitting.
- Shockingly, about 1 in 11 employees (9%) have started the workday hungover.
- Although 86% of employees care about their company’s success, 39% say their company doesn’t care about them.
- More than half of employees (57%) have not put in extra effort at work in the past year.
- A majority of employees (55%) don’t believe hard work will help them get ahead in today’s workplace.
- Employees may feel emboldened to quiet quit because 39% say their manager hasn’t noticed their lack of effort.
- Although the average full-time employee gets paid to work 40 hours per week, two-thirds (68%) spend less than that actually working, with the average number of hours worked dropping to 34.
- More than 1 in 3 employees (36%) wouldn’t work harder for more money.
- Although inflation is causing prices to rise, 58% of employees would actually take a pay cut if it would guarantee they’d be happy at work.
- About 1 in 5 employees (20%) would accept a pay cut of $20,000 or more.
- More than one-third of respondents (36%) say millennials and Gen X are the hardest-working generations.
- A majority of Americans think Gen Z works the least hard (55%) and is the most disloyal to their company (55%).
- Almost half of Americans (48%) admire workers who refuse to take on extra work, with millennials (53%) and Gen Z (56%) 2x more likely than boomers (26%) to admire those employees.
1 in 3 Workers Admit to Quiet Quitting
Employees phoning it in at work is nothing new, but the idea is catching fire in the social media space. Since a viral TikTok video introduced millions of people to quiet quitting last summer, the practice has reverberated around the workplace loud and clear.
Approximately 88% of full-time employees have heard of the term quiet quitting, but fewer than one-third (29%) actually know the definition. More than half of respondents (52%) wrongly think it means leaving a job without giving notice or secretly looking for a new position.
Among employees who understand that quiet quitting refers to doing only what’s required at work, 1 in 3 (33%) currently consider themselves quiet quitters, and 39% have quiet quit at previous jobs.
Quiet quitters are most likely to be young workers. About 1 in 3 zoomers (32%) and 1 in 4 millennials (27%) purposefully underachieve, making them 2x more likely than boomers (13%) to do so.
The phenomenon did not start with the young, however. Gen X actually coined the term “quiet quitting,” and 1 in 5 of them (20%) refuse to go above and beyond at work.
More than half of full-time employees blame managers and executives for unmotivated employees (57%), but managers are just as likely to quiet quit (27%) as individual contributors (25%).
In fact, only 16% of full-time workers think management works harder than lower-level employees. Managers, however, tend to give themselves more credit. One-fourth (25%) say they work more diligently than their subordinates.
More Than 3 in 4 Employees Have Exhibited Quiet Quitting Behaviors
Although a majority of workers (67%) don’t consider themselves quiet quitters, about 78% have taken actions that constitute quiet quitting.
Quiet quitting includes a range of behaviors, but the most common is socializing more with co-workers during the workday (29%). This is particularly prevalent among in-office workers, who are 26% more likely than remote workers to be sidetracked by colleagues.
Besides more frequent socializing, employees quiet quit by:
- Distracting themselves during work by being on their phones or watching TV (19%)
- Taking longer breaks (18%)
- Calling in sick when they’re healthy (17%)
What’s more, a shocking 1 in 11 employees (9%) have even started the workday hungover.
Employees may feel emboldened to quiet quit because more than one-fourth (29%) say their manager doesn’t keep track of the work they do. Additionally, 39% of those who have reduced their efforts over the past year say their manager hasn’t noticed.
With less direct supervision and more distractions in their workplace environment, remote workers are slightly more likely to quiet quit. Approximately 81% of remote workers have quiet quit in some way, compared to 76% of in-office workers.
Remote workers may quiet quit more often in an effort to protect their mental health. It can be difficult to separate professional and personal time while working from home, and remote workers (38%) are 12% more likely than office workers (34%) to say they have an unhealthy work-life balance.
As a result, remote workers (13%) are about 2x more likely than in-office workers (7%) to quiet quit by removing email and communication apps from their phone.
Remote workers (17%) are also 70% more likely than in-office workers (10%) to say they’ve applied to other jobs when they were supposed to be working.
2 in 3 Employees Work Less Than 40 Hours per Week
Nearly three-fourth of employees (73%) say they regularly work extra hours, but in reality, most don’t even work the full 40 hours per week for which they’re paid.
More than two-thirds of full-time employees (68%) spend less than 40 hours per week working. After taking breaks, socializing, and distracting themselves, the average number of hours employees actually work drops to 34 per week.
What’s more, 1 in 8 full-time employees (12%) essentially work part time, clocking in 20 hours or fewer per week.
Although many employers are making employees trudge back into the office, fully remote workers are just as productive as in-office workers. Each spends about 34 hours per week, on average, actually working.
With employees working fewer than 40 hours overall, 85% would support a four-day workweek.
More Than 1 in 3 Employees Wouldn’t Work Harder for More Money
Quiet quitters aren’t beyond re-engagement, but a majority of workers (53%) won’t do additional work without additional pay.
The most effective way to motivate workers is to give them a raise, with nearly two-thirds of employees (64%) saying they could be persuaded to apply more effort for more money.
However, more than 1 in 3 workers (36%) wouldn’t work harder for more money.
In fact, more than half of employees (58%) would actually take a pay cut if it would guarantee they’d be happy at work — with 1 in 5 (20%) saying they’d accept a decrease of $20,000 or more.
Although inflation has caused prices to soar in the past year, the percentage of workers who would accept a pay cut is up slightly from the 56% of employees who would have done the same in February 2022.
The percentage of workers who would accept a $20,000 salary decrease has also risen 25% since February 2022, when 16% of employees would have taken a pay cut of that amount.
Besides pay, employees could be persuaded to work harder for:
- A promotion (40%)
- More schedule flexibility (37%)
- More time off (36%)
- Better health care and retirement benefits (33%)
Although traditional incentives such as higher wages and better benefits remain important, less tangible perks can also elicit hard work.
More than 1 in 4 employees would work harder if their supervisor provided more praise (27%), if company culture improved (27%), or if they had a better supervisor in general (22%).
OK Boomer, Millennials Are Considered the Hardest-Working Generation
As empty shelves, reduced hours, and long wait times for goods and services become the norm amid the U.S. labor shortage, half of frustrated consumers (54%) — including 61% of boomers — think today’s employees just don’t want to work anymore.
Ask most Americans over 50, and they’ll specifically blame “lazy” and “entitled” millennials for every problem plaguing the labor market. However, more than one-third of full-time employees (36%) say millennials are the hardest-working generation, alongside Gen X (36%).
Interestingly, these two generations are also the most likely to believe that hard work pays off, with 45% of millennials and 47% of Gen X saying that working hard helps employees get ahead in the workplace.
Millennials may be the hardest-working generation, but how they approach work looks much different from their older counterparts. Hard work, for example, isn’t defined by time spent in the office. Millennials only work about 35 hours per week on average — about two hours less than both boomers (37) and Gen X (37).
That doesn’t deter today’s employers, who have mostly abandoned the “butts in seats” mentality. Nearly half of American workers (45%) say that if they were a hiring manager, they’d prefer to hire millennials — making them the most employable generation.
Millennials are in their prime working years and bring many advantageous skills to the workplace. They’re highly educated, tech savvy, and mission driven, with 88% saying they care about their company’s success.
They’re also loyal to companies that treat them right. Contrary to the claim that millennials job hop, Americans think millennials (29%) are just as loyal to their companies as boomers (29%).
1 in 5 Zoomers Don’t Think Hard Work Helps Employees Get Ahead in the Workplace
Complaining about “kids these days” is a cycle humans are doomed to repeat. Although millennials endured criticism for killing everything from wine corks to bars of soap, they’ve joined forces with older generations to attack Gen Z’s work ethic.
A majority of Americans (55%) think Gen Z is the laziest generation and the most disloyal to their company (55%). Interestingly, Gen Z recognizes its own disdain for labor, with nearly half of zoomers (46%) saying their own generation is the least hard working.
More than three-fourths of Gen Z employees (76%) work fewer than 40 hours a week, with the average zoomer actually working just 33 hours in that timeframe — the lowest number among all generations.
Despite working the fewest hours, zoomers are the most likely generation to experience fatigue. Half (50%) say they are burnt out, and 43% say they have an unhealthy work-life balance.
Tired of feeling exploited, some zoomers have become jaded and disillusioned about work. Gen Z may be less inclined to work hard because 1 in 5 (20%) believe that it rarely helps workers get ahead in their careers.
In all likelihood, zoomers do work hard — they just refuse to do so in a toxic environment that older generations created. Nearly half of zoomers (48%) think their company takes advantage of its workers, and 45% don’t believe their company cares about them.
Given those beliefs, it’s no surprise that Gen Z is more likely than other generations to deliberately underperform. About 1 in 5 zoomers (20%) don’t take pride in doing a good job at work — making them 3x more likely than boomers (7%) to say so.
Nearly Half of Employees Say Workplaces Are Getting Worse for Workers
As the labor shortage persists, many employers have increased pay, improved benefits, and addressed workplace culture to attract and maintain top talent. Yet 44% of employees say workplace culture in the U.S. is generally getting worse.
Despite efforts to improve employee wellness, almost half of employees (45%) still feel stressed at work, and 41% feel burnt out.
The cause of their frustrations is often rooted in bad managers. About 40% of employees feel underappreciated by their supervisors — especially when 43% say they’ve exerted more effort at work over the past year.
More than half of workers (54%) have regularly gone out of their way to help colleagues with their work, and about a quarter (22%) have attended non-mandatory meetings or work functions.
Others have sacrificed their personal time to go above and beyond for their company:
- 1 in 3 employees (33%) regularly answer communications outside of office hours.
- 1 in 4 employees (28%) regularly work during PTO and holidays.
- 1 in 5 employees (18%) regularly work unpaid overtime.
Yet nearly one-third of employees (29%) who put in extra work have not been recognized or rewarded for their efforts — causing some to quiet quit as a result.
Almost Half of Americans Admire Employees Who Refuse to Do Extra Work
It’s no surprise employees quiet quit when more than 1 in 3 (37%) say their job negatively affects their mental health.
Rather than sacrifice their personal well-being, 81% of employees are consciously setting healthy boundaries at work — which may mean saying no to extra work.
Almost half of Americans (49%) admire workers who refuse to take on extra work.
This is especially true for young employees, who saw their parents work hard only to be treated as disposable assets during tough economic times. Millennials (53%) and Gen Z (56%) are 2x more likely than boomers (26%) to admire employees who say no to extra work.
Conversely, more than half of managers (54%) think workers who refuse to go the extra mile are making a bad choice.
As employees recalibrate the role of work in their lives, they’re detaching their identities from their professional titles.
A majority of workers (55%) say their job is just a way to pay the bills and make money, while a majority of managers (54%) say their job is a core part of their identity.
Many of these managers are baby boomers, who experienced increased competition for jobs as the population rose. As they rose through the ranks, many derived self-worth from beating the competition to attain their professional goals.
More than half of boomers (56%) say their job is a core part of their identity, making them 70% more likely than Gen Z (33%) to define themselves by their work.
82% of Unsatisfied Workers Will Stay at a Job They Hate
Nearly 1 in 6 employees (17%) aren’t satisfied with their job, and 1 in 4 (26%) resent their position. Yet most workers would rather quiet quit than resign.
Even in a labor market with abundant opportunities, 82% of employees who are unsatisfied with their job or salary will stay at a job they hate.
The most common reason workers stay at jobs they hate is because it’s risky to accept a new position, which could be worse than the one they have now (38%). Employees may also keep working jobs that make them unhappy because:
- They don’t have time or energy to search for a new job (23%)
- They don’t want to feel rejected (21%)
- They’re not qualified for a better job (14%)
Although unhappiness at work is pervasive, just one-third of workers (31%) are considering leaving their jobs.
With 1 in 3 employees (32%) saying their job does not meet their professional goals and 1 in 4 (27%) saying no one at work cares about their development, these workers may leave to find positions that provide better training or align with their career path.
Others may channel their current frustrations into “rage applying” to multiple new jobs with higher pay, better benefits, or better working conditions.
Similar to quiet quitting, rage applying is simply a more active way for workers to respond to job dissatisfaction. The term may be new, but it’s not an unusual concept. More than 1 in 3 employees (36%) say they’ve been so upset with their employer that they’ve “rage applied” at least once in their careers.
Most Employees Don’t Want to Work in an Office Full Time — Even Though They’re More Productive There
Quiet quitting has gained momentum as employers ignore workers’ opinions regarding where they want to work. More than half of employees (56%) work full time in the office, but only 40% say it’s their ideal workplace setting.
More Americans want to work in remote or hybrid settings, but surprisingly, 3 in 4 employees (74%) would like to work in the office at least some of the time.
The office remains appealing to workers, who generally say they still feel the most productive in an office setting. Just one-fourth of employees (24%) say they’re most productive working fully remote.
Besides feeling more productive, employees who work in the office may experience other benefits, such as feeling more positive about their jobs than remote workers.
In-office employees are 19% less likely to say their employer doesn’t care about them, 14% less likely to feel stressed at work, and 10% less likely to say they have an unhealthy work-life balance.
Working from home can make it more difficult for employees to set boundaries that separate their professional and personal lives. Under increasingly invasive work conditions, remote workers may experience more stress and greater feelings of resentment toward their employers.
Still, more than 1 in 4 employees (26%) want to work from home full time — 53% more than the 17% who currently work full-time remote positions.
The proprietary data featured in this study comes from an online survey commissioned by Real Estate Witch. One thousand Americans who work full time (at least 30 hours per week) were surveyed Jan. 18-19, 2023. Each respondent answered up to 20 questions related to their occupation, work habits, and opinions on workplace-related matters.
About Real Estate Witch
You shouldn’t need a crystal ball or magical powers to understand real estate. Since 2016, Real Estate Witch has demystified real estate through in-depth guides, honest company reviews, and data-driven research. In 2020, Real Estate Witch was acquired by Clever Real Estate, a free agent-matching service that has helped consumers save more than $70 million on realtor fees. Real Estate Witch’s research has been featured in CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, Chicago Tribune, Black Enterprise, and more.
More Research From Real Estate Witch
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Toxic Company Culture Is Fueling the Great Resignation: Before there was quiet quitting, millions of workers resigned from their jobs in a national movement known as the Great Resignation. Find out why employees quit their jobs.
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What is quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting refers to employees who say no to hustle culture by doing the bare minimum at work, instead of going above and beyond for their employer. Learn more.
What are the signs of quiet quitting?
More than three-fourths of employees (78%) have taken actions that constitute quiet quitting, with 29% socializing more with colleagues at work, 19% distracting themselves, and 18% taking longer breaks. Learn more.
Does hard work pay off?
A majority of employees (55%) don't believe hard work helps them get ahead in today's workplace. Learn more.
How many workers are rage applying?
More than one-third of employees (36%) are so upset with their companies, they are "rage applying" to other jobs for higher pay. Learn more.