A stressed man sits at work computer kneading the bridge of nose

The “Quiet Quitting” Phenomenon, Explained

The surge of Americans who quit their jobs during The Great Resignation wasn’t the only workforce phenomenon that occurred post-COVID. In 2021, the concept of “quiet quitting” also surfaced to influence employees and employers alike.

“Quiet quitting” isn’t the actual act of resigning (although the confusion is certainly understandable). Quiet quitting is the decision to reject the culture of workaholism that our nation has fostered for decades now. Rather than quit the job itself, employees are quitting…well, other things. Some examples include kicking habits like:

  • Working late or on weekends without compensation or recognition
  • Keeping up with work communications over the weekend
  • Agreeing to do “favors” or extra projects they don’t have bandwidth for
  • Going the extra mile to impress upper management or earn a promotion
  • Putting the company above their personal lives (such as marriage or health)
  • Accepting burnout and poor sleep in order to “be a team player”
  • Enabling the company to put profits over people

The Origin of “Quiet Quitting”

It can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends in modern America. Many people are baffled by this new age where video “shorts” reign supreme and attention spans continue to drop at an alarming rate. But before you jump to any conclusions, it might be worth hearing what Gen Z has to say about it.

Believe it or not, the younger generation is capable of far more than going viral on TikTok or Instagram Reels. When it comes to the American workforce, many young professionals are doing more than changing the game—they’re redefining it.

Many young employees are insisting on fundamental changes in the professional world, leaving companies struggling to hire and retain employees. This has left many employers wondering what Gen Z wants in a career…and more importantly, how employers can provide it.

Companies from coast to coast are desperate to find and hire top talent to stay afloat—let alone succeed—after The Great Resignation and many are starting to realize that they must face the music to do so. If employers wish to appeal to these young up-and-comers of the American workforce, there might just be one thing to do: listen.

How Gen Z Is Shaking Up the Workplace (For the Better)

In a nation that tends to focus on generational differences instead of things that unite us, it can be easy to look past the dancing and lip-synching on TikTok, or our nation’s ever-growing smartphone dependency.

But at the end of the day, people of all ages have the same fundamental wants: to be treated respectfully, to lead fulfilling lives, to have a healthy work-life balance, and to do work they genuinely enjoy.

Thankfully, the continued influx of young professionals into the post-pandemic workforce has led to many positive changes, such as a growing awareness of employee rights, toxicity in the workplace, employment discrimination, and the pay gap (yes, it still exists). While every generation has their quirks, it’s hard to deny that Gen Z is reshaping the professional landscape for the better—at least when it comes to our mental and emotional wellbeing, healthy work-life balance, and fair compensation.

If you’re wondering whether “quiet quitting” is a good or bad thing, you’re not alone. If Americans stop to consider the powerful ways that we’ve benefitted from an evolving post-pandemic workforce (change largely credited to Gen Z) we might be surprised to learn how we really feel about quiet quitting.

Quiet Quitting: The Antidote to the Hustle Culture

It appears that quiet quitting might be the solution to another troubling phenomenon in the American workforce: hustle culture. Commonly referred to as workaholism, this societal pressure to “rise and grind” (and shun those who won’t) has existed for decades.

But this phenomenon doesn’t just involve working long hours. There are many negative effects of Americans’ tendency to overwork. Consider these common issues that employees face when they cave to the hustle culture:

  • Neglecting family, relationships, and friendships
  • Accepting poor mental, physical, and emotional health
  • Experiencing irritability, anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping
  • Being unable to “turn off” their work brain during evenings and weekends

The above items are just a few of many detrimental outcomes that stem from America’s overwork culture. All things considered, it’s possible that quiet quitting could be an antidote to the harmful effects of workaholism on employees and their families. Despite its curious name, it might be time for America to embrace quiet quitting as a signal of hope in the post-pandemic workplace.

Whether you work to live or live to work, no employee deserves to be disrespected, underpaid, or taken advantage of in their career. It turns out that our nation’s workforce can afford to learn a thing or two from the younger generation—and we’re not talking about making TikToks. Setting healthy boundaries, prioritizing our mental health, and learning to stay no to discriminatory employers is an excellent place to start.

Polaris Law Group Can Help Ensure Your Voice Is Heard

Are you stuck in a toxic work environment? Do you need to set healthy boundaries with your boss, but aren’t sure how? Our firm can help. With over 25 years of employment law experience, our skilled attorney is passionate about protecting the rights of wronged employees like you.

Don’t fall victim to an unhealthy workplace. Call (888) 796-4010 or contact us online to request your free consultation today.

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