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'Quiet Quitting' Is All the Rage - Or Is It?

This article is published in collaboration with Statista

by Felix Richter

While “the Great Resignation” is still underway, with millions of Americans quitting their jobs each month, the next workplace trend has already emerged, and it’s called “quiet quitting”. As opposed to those who leave their jobs in search of higher pay, better working conditions or more promising career options, “quiet quitters” don’t actually quit though. The latest trend is more about abandoning the idea of going above and beyond for your job, a perspective on work particularly popular among young Americans whose unwillingness to put work above everything else is often perceived as entitlement or plain laziness by their older compatriots.

And while “quiet quitting” appears to be all the rage, with articles on “the latest workplace trend” popping up left, right and center, a recent YouGov poll suggests that it may not be quite the mass phenomenon that it’s sometimes made out to be. According to the survey among 1,000 U.S. adults, 56 percent of respondents had never heard of the term “quiet quitting”, and among those who had, there were different perceptions of what the term actually means. 37 percent of those who had heard about the trend thought that it describes doing the bare minimum of work, just enough not to get fired. Meanwhile 19 percent thought it was about declining additional work without compensation, with the most common definition lying somewhere between these two.

One in four respondents misunderstood quiet quitting for resigning without telling anyone, while 6 percent of respondents thought it means no longer being silent in work meetings. These findings clearly show that the term “quiet quitting” may be too ambiguous, and thus not ideal for transmitting what is at the heart of the movement, i.e. the unwillingness to sacrifice one’s private life for work when it is not appreciated or compensated for.

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