Quiet quitting is reverberating through the workplace loud and clear as employees clock in less than 40 hours a week, call in sick more frequently or start the workday hungover.
Quiet quitting, which gained momentum on social media, refers to doing the bare minimum at work instead of going above and beyond.
One-third of employees admit to quiet quitting their jobs, but the number is likely much higher. Approximately 78% of employees have taken actions that constitute quiet quitting, according to a survey of 1,000 full-time workers commissioned by Real Estate Witch.
Employees who quiet quit are typically unhappy and underappreciated at work. Although 86% of employees care about their company, 39% think their company doesn’t care about them.
Still, 43% of workers said they worked harder in the past year, but of those, 29% weren’t recognized or rewarded for their efforts, according to Real Estate Witch.
With management failing to recognize employees’ efforts, 55% of workers said they don’t believe hard work will help them get ahead in today’s workplace. They may be less likely to work extra hours or take on extra tasks as a result.
Employees who don’t feel appreciated may find it challenging to stay motivated at work.
“Self-motivation is essential, but the employee can only feel motivated once the company takes a few steps,” said Varsha Parmar, an HR manager with more than four years of experience in IT recruitment.
Employees Blame Managers for Lack of Motivation
Management style may be responsible for unmotivated workers. About 57% of full-time employees said their managers are to blame for their lack of effort.
Omer Usanmaz, CEO and co-founder of Qooper Mentoring & Learning Software, believes open and authentic communication with employees can help inspire them to work hard.
“Listen to employees’ suggestions and input, value their well-being and create a positive, healthy work environment,” he said.
With more duties and responsibilities, burnt-out managers may also turn to quiet quitting instead of resigning, but as leaders, they bear the responsibility of creating a nurturing and motivating environment for their employees, Usanmaz said.
Millennials, Gen Z Don’t Define Themselves by Their Work
Quiet quitting can be costly and disruptive, Usanmaz said. If large segments of the workforce quiet quit, it could negatively affect a company’s performance and lead to layoffs. To incentivize workers and prevent potential problems, greater flexibility could be the answer.
“One way of motivating my workforce is by allowing employees to exercise flexibility — hybrid work schedules, four day workweeks, and part-time employment for the willing,” said Liam Liu, chief marketing officer at ParcelPanel.
The workforce is dominated by millennials and Gen Z, who value their mental health, work-life balance and remote work that allows them to move homes or travel more easily.
For many, a job is just a way to pay the bills. Only 45% of millennials and 33% of Gen Z said their job is a core part of their identity, compared to 56% of boomers.
In-Office Workers Are Less Likely to Feel Stressed
Where employees work is increasingly important as well. Although working from home eliminates commutes and allows for a more casual work environment, face-to-face time in the office could improve negative sentiment employees feel toward managers and employers. Surprisingly, 40% of employees who work in an office said it’s their ideal workplace setting, according to Real Estate Witch.
Going into the office delineates work life and home life, and having conversations with managers without a screen could create a sense of camaraderie. Data shows that employees who work in an office are 19% less likely to say their employer doesn’t care about them and 14% less likely to feel stressed at work.
Still, workers have different needs and varying responsibilities outside of work. If needed, employers should be open to changing employees’ work schedules and evaluating what type of setting creates the happiest, most productive workers, Liu said.
Prioritizing office work while also giving employees ownership over their hours could be a winning combination. This allows employees to have a voice, which could motivate them to work at their full capacity.