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“Quiet quitting” is ironically causing a lot of noise...

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As is always the case, there is a new viral TikTok trend taking the working world by storm; “Quiet Quitting”.

Contrary to its name, this trend does not involve actually quitting your job, and as it's now a global philosophy, it's anything but quiet!

But what is it? And why is it so appealing to the current workforce?

I tried to do some reading about this phenomenon and there are a few working theories as to the actual definition – but the gist is that it’s about doing just enough in your job to get by. It’s about choosing to clock off at 5pm, declining those extra unpaid tasks and quite simply deprioritizing your job. In a bid to keep that feeling of being overwhelmed at bay, people are now “working to live, not living to work”.

Psychologists call it a refusal to undertake occupational citizenship behaviours, which are defined as individual, discretionary actions by employees that are outside their formal job description. These actions are those that many people in the workforce consider to be the norm.

Interestingly, “quiet quitting” is actually claimed to be a solution to burnout; and in a weird way, it might well be!

A recent report by Gallup about the global workforce showed that only 9% of workers in the UK were engaged or enthusiastic about their work, ranking the UK 33rd out of 38 European countries. This goes hand in hand with The Lawyer Monthly reporting that Lawyers are the second most stressed professionals in the UK - so the risk of burnout is very high.

The workplace has gone through many changes over the past few years, including the “Great Resignation”, but the biggest shift is that the way people are feeling about work has changed.

With ridiculous rises in salaries, especially for the legal profession, and with over 69% of legal professionals experiencing mental health issues due to work, current job seekers are searching for something more. The conversation about CSR, ESG and DE&I is more prevalent than ever, and it’s become more commonplace for people to openly seek a role or employer which has a higher purpose. Is this because we all collectively had 2 years of navigating genuine life/death situations – quite possibly!

Enlightened companies are trying to counter this new disengaged workforce with the introduction of flexible and casual working policies and environments, brightly coloured offices, break out sofas and free food and drink – think Google! – but does it solve the underlying lack of purpose? Ultimately efforts like this are at risk of feeling like corporate swag wrapped up in the rhetoric of mission and purpose and today’s workforce of highly engaged and astute Gen Z and Tiktokers see through this - more than ever before.

Either way, whatever the reason, “quiet quitting” is clearly not a mindset that a productive workforce needs and it also begs the question, if you are at the point where you are considering “quiet quitting”, or feeling the effects of burnout – why not just actually quit, and get another job?

Get in touch with the team and we’ll see if we can offer you a solution.