Many years now, hustle culture has dominated workplace discussions. Burnout has been viewed as a byproduct of the daily grind, with high productivity and the monetisation of every minute held up as the standard for job success.
TikTok postings describing employees performing the bare minimum to accomplish their responsibilities, leaving the office on time, and muting alerts or emails after hours – sometimes known as “silent quitting” or “quiet quitting” – have gone viral in recent weeks.
“You’re not abandoning your work outright, but you’re losing the notion of going above and beyond,” user @zkchillin noted. “You’re still doing your job, but you’re not buying into the hustle culture and idea that work has to be your life.” The fact is that it isn’t, and your worth as a person isn’t defined by your productivity.”
The notion of “quiet leaving,” or mentally checking out from work, is thought to have originated with #TangPing, a now-censored Chinese hashtag that means “lying flat” and was established in response to the country’s stressful work culture.
A member on the Chinese discussion forum Tieba argued that “lying flat” is a “smart movement” in a post that has since been removed. “Only by laying down can humans become the measure of all things,” the user added last year, according to the BBC. When the term was shared on another popular site, Sina Weibo, it soon became a “buzzword.”
According to experts, the “quiet leaving” trend is linked to low work satisfaction. According to Gallup’s newly released State of the Global Workplace study, just 9% of UK workers are enthusiastic about their work and workplace, compared to 16% in Germany and 33% in Romania.
The campaign comes on the heels of tales of a nationwide “great resignation” inspired by the epidemic, with individuals adjusting to new methods of working during lockdowns and beginning to rethink their jobs as a result.
Career experts have cautioned workers who want to “quietly quit” to avoid being regarded as “slacking off,” especially if they had previously “over-extended” themselves.
“Speak with your manager. Inform the supervisor of your feelings. Inform them that you are depressed but would like to find a means to fix the situation. “Discuss ideas for improving your employment,” recommended Forbes contributor Jack Kelly.
Sue Ellson, a Melbourne-based author and career development practitioner, told the Daily Mail.
“At the end of the day,” she says, “the connection between employee and employer must be one of mutual respect, empathy, and dedication.” “The implicit ‘law’ of silent resigning is that you nonetheless finish the work.” Never lose sight of the importance of value exchange.”
Jill Cotton, a Glassdoor job trends specialist, gave similar advice in an interview with Metro. “Before deciding to quietly go, consider what isn’t gratifying you and why you’re making this decision – may whatever is generating your unhappiness be remedied by just expressing your issues to your manager?” she said.
“Whether your work-life balance isn’t appropriate, your income isn’t fulfilling your demands, or there’s no support to earn the promotion you desire, talk to your manager before deciding to leave.”