Quiet Quitting; Too Busy Making a Living and No Time to Make a Life

Quiet Quitting may be the latest buzzword out there on social media, but it’s not such a novel idea. Since the pandemic crisis, many have started to reflect on what is important in their lives and to question their approach to work. Becoming exhausted from the excessive work load and from the lack of work-life balance has led to less job satisfaction and people mentally checking out of their jobs. They feel undervalued, unappreciated, and unmotivated. 

Quiet Quitting is a rebellion against the hustle culture where people are rewarded for making their job the sole focus of their lives in terms of putting in extra hours and always going above and beyond the call of duty while being punished if they don’t. It’s not about quitting your job, it’s about quitting the idea that you can’t do a good job unless your job is all you do. Zig Ziglar says, “You can’t truly be successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”

 People need to feel valued and appreciated. Richard Branson always states that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients. The secret is to treat employees as you would like to be treated. The pandemic has caused a shift in power from the employer to the employee. The concept of work is not only about the paycheque, but it is also about wanting to improve the quality of life by incorporating a work-life balance. This is essential for creating more energy, more peace of mind, and more job satisfaction, as well as creating long term success for both workers and employers.

There is nothing wrong with people wanting a life.

Quiet Quitting is about sticking to your job description and what is expected in terms of your job requirements. It’s not about being lazy or slacking off; it’s about being fully engaged and getting the job well done. No more taking work home. Since the pandemic and technological advancements have shifted the workplace to the home, most employees are expected to work longer hours without recognition or compensation. It has become easier to work around the clock and more difficult to disconnect from work. Being constantly connected to work puts you at risk of feeling overwhelmed and depleted of energy; all the more reason to learn how to set healthy boundaries for your work.  

After the Great Resignation last year, we saw major cutbacks and layoffs. The mass exodus of workers caused understaffing and the remaining staff to work overtime, thus resulting in occupational burnout. 

While Quiet Quitting may provide a short-term solution to avoid more burnout, employers need to find a more long-term solution to fix the underlying causes. Both employees and employers need to re-examine their work practises and find ways of working smarter, not harder.

The work field has changed and employers need to update their workplace policies by incorporating a more human approach and by seeing the value for their employees in having a more balanced lifestyle, thus creating a more healthy and flexible work culture. Asking employees for unrealistic, inhumane productivity is unsustainable in the long run for everyone.

In essence, it’s about building a better relationship between the employer and the employees based on mutual trust and respect. There is life outside of work. Employers need to encourage this and not make employees feel guilty or bad about it.

Quiet Quitting is about conscious choices and shifting your mindset; making room and time for a healthier, happier life with family and friends; and following other pursuits other than just working. The focus is on making work an integral part of your lifestyle and personal well-being and not the only part of your life.

It’s time for everyone to get on the same page and start adapting to the wave of change; every setback or unexpected development can be turned into an opportunity for better understanding, improved insight, and effective action.

The employer needs to understand and align their core values with those of their workers. By reexamining and upgrading work practices, better procedures can be put into place that prevent burnout and make transitions easier and less painful. And last but not least, is to make it an enjoyable place to work. 

Since the hybrid workplace is here to stay, the employer needs to develop more flexibility in overcoming challenges and give employees more control of their work along with fair wages.

Fostering employee health and well-being can lead to enhanced work performance and overall productivity. Forward-thinking employers find ways to facilitate and encourage employees to seek out work-life balance as they are not mutually exclusive. 

In the last couple of years, we have seen office buildings shut down as many people have discovered a taste for new-found freedom from working at home, However, a few new building complexes that opened in the last year have adapted to our new working reality by providing green spaces, childcare facilities, a gym, a bistro with healthier food options, an outdoor hockey rink or basketball court, as well as rental offices suited to your needs, be it for a day, a week, a month, or whatever the required amount of time.

Employees, on the other hand, need to become more efficient and maximize their time spent at work. They need to maintain a positive attitude, take ownership of their job, and realize that in order to be proficient at work, they have to define their boundaries. They can perform their professional duties without compromising their well-being.

Although Quiet Quitting may be a trending topic right now, it does bring into question the old systems that may no longer be effective in today’s workplace. It is time to rethink our definition of work, reconnect with our true values, and find more meaning in life. Working long hours may end up being counterproductive, impair your health, and create unnecessary stress. We need to prioritize how we spend our time and how to become more efficient with our time. It’s a matter of quality, not quantity. 

It’s time to forge new partnerships with employees and employers. We need to take a more active role in our work and take control of where we want to be heading in our lives. This all boils down to striving to find balance between our work and life so that we can pivot from feeling undervalued and stuck to feeling empowered and able to move forward.  

“There’s only one thing worse than to live without working, and that’s to work without living.”

Antoinette Giacobbe