Quiet Quitting and What Employers Can Do About It

“Quiet quitting” is the newest coined phrase that has burst onto the workplace scene. Not to be confused with the “great resignation,” quiet quitting is commonly understood to mean employees intentionally prioritizing the minimum requirements of their job and nothing more. No going above and beyond, working overtime, accepting extra job tasks and responsibilities, and certainly not doing so without something in return such as additional compensation or a pathway to advancement.

Some commentators have likened quiet quitting to age-old workplace slowdowns and work-to-wage or work-to-rule concepts engaged in by some employees and unionized workforces in labor disputes or until their working conditions improved.

The idea of quiet quitting has surged on social media platforms with robust how-to videos and explanations. Some credit this to changing employee mindsets and attitudes after years roiled by the COVID-19 pandemic, international war, climate change, and the up-and-down economy, among other stressors. Others say employees may feel underappreciated, burnt out, or subject to a culture of overwork after two years of a worldwide pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions, lockdowns, masking and testing, illnesses and death, caring for loved ones, and juggling hybrid and remote work with schooling and other commitments. Still others say employees may have realigned priorities and rethought the workplace, including how it fits into their lives or their ideal work-life balance, especially given world-shaking events.

For employers, addressing quiet quitting, as well as employee job performance and performance management (especially given hybrid and remote environments), involve unique considerations in these unprecedented times, such as the following:

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2024
National Law Review, Volumess XII, Number 261