What is Quiet Quitting?

Tue, 27 Sep 2022
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Jas Madhar  HR Recruitment Consultant at Impact reviewed how businesses could prevent ‘Quiet Quitting’ from becoming more prevalent


‘Working 9-5 – what a way to make a living?’

Quiet quitting, the phenomenon that has taken the post-pandemic working world by storm, is the latest hot topic on platforms such as LinkedIn and TikTok, which has seen Gen-Z taking a stand against overworking and burnout. Overall, the world of work has changed drastically since the pandemic and the change in working culture has developed a new mindset that is currently dominating social media – but what does the term mean?


What is quiet quitting?

Despite the name, it has nothing to do with quitting your job. It’s when employees work within defined work hours and engage solely in work activities within those hours – doing what your job demands and nothing more. This behaviour can be seen as a reaction to the ‘hustle culture’ that suggests work must be your life and your top priority – while your personal life takes a back seat.


Why are people quiet quitting?

A recent survey of 1,989 UK full-time workers were shown to be productive for only 2 hours and 23 minutes a day, and according to Gallup’s 2022 ‘state of the global workplace’ report, only 21% of people are engaged at work – but why is this?

Employee engagement is crucial for the retention of staff and, more specifically, employee productivity. People who are quiet quitting are likely to feel undervalued, overworked and exploited and want a better balance in their lives. Looking for ways to enhance employee engagement can be a great way to increase motivation and boost morale, resulting in a more positive working environment and therefore reducing quiet quitting in the workplace.

Having consideration for employees’ mental health and wellbeing, with open lines of communication and good development plans can be a great place to start for employers.  Taking preventative measures against quiet quitting will not only benefit the organisation, but also the employees, so we investigated how to spot quiet quitting and, more importantly, prevention methods.


How to spot quiet quitting in employees

An increasing number of young workers have become frustrated with not receiving recognition for their good work and have decided to start ‘acting their wage’. Here are a few ways you can spot the signs of quiet quitting before it has a wider impact…

  • Not looking for progression within the business
  • Not interested in projects or company events/initiatives
  • Isolation from members of the team
  • Performing to the minimum standards
  • Strictly working to their job description


What can be done to prevent this?

Some tips for employers to consider when identifying quiet quitting in the workplace and steps to prevent it.

  • Open communication – The key is to communicate efficiently and honestly with employees, to build a strong working relationship, where staff feel they can openly raise any concerns.

  • Flexible working – This allows for a more positive work/life balance by reducing the risk of burn-out, boosting employees’ mental health and increasing productivity during working hours.

  • Progression/development opportunities – By rewarding hard work and giving credit where it’s due, staff will continue to work hard and stay motivated.

  • Workload – keeping workload at a manageable level will reduce stress. During busy periods, overtime can be necessary! However, expecting this on a regular basis from employees isn’t sustainable.

  • Quarterly review meetings – This can provide a platform for employees to talk openly with their employers and gain valuable feedback.


Despite Gen Z taking a bashing for being ‘lazy’ and ‘unambitious’, they are a generation that is more tuned into their mental health and social wellbeing and are setting boundaries. Striving to create working environments where staff feel valued, receive regular recognition for their work and feel engaged with their role, will ultimately be the best solution for businesses to ensure their employees don’t quit – “quietly” or otherwise!