Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting Sociology Definition


Quiet quitting is about dismissing the idea that one’s job must take up all of one’s time and that workers should go above and beyond what is required. It may take many forms, such as declining initiatives out of interest, declining to respond to work-related communications after working hours, or feeling less involved in the job.

This trend first appeared in China among millennials who, worn out by the country’s work-intensive lifestyle, began “laying flat,” or tang ping in Chinese.

Quiet quitting is another phrase indicating socioeconomic term employee disengagement.


Quiet quitting is a response to the burdensome demands of employment. It is often linked to employee burnout and involves deliberate disengagement from work. Employees are performing the absolute least necessary and establishing clear limits rather than quitting their employment.

Boundaries between “work-life” and “personal life” have been debated for some time. The epidemic has caused many people to reconsider how much work should play in their personal and professional lives.

Although working less may seem alluring in the short term, according to most workplace experts, doing so might hinder one’s career and negatively influence corporate productivity. Quiet quitters may have valid reasons for their actions.

According to Greek-American author and businesswomen Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, “quiet quitting isn’t just about quitting on a job, it’s a step towards quitting on life.”

Influence of Great Resignation

Quiet quitting has evolved due to this idea of “Great Resignation.” It doesn’t necessarily imply that a worker is being unproductive. It implies that they are becoming less motivated to work and are unsatisfied with their position. Workplace stress and a hustling culture attitude are two of the key causes of this behavior. People nowadays don’t hesitate to leave hostile work environments.

A recent trend that enrages managers is “quiet quitting,” in which a worker no longer goes above and beyond for the employer. This phenomenon includes workers subtly discarding some of the duties they believe are beyond the scope of their responsibilities.

Characteristics of Quiet Quitting

  1. Leaving work exactly at the end of one’s shift
  2. Demanding additional pay for extra work
  3. Not signing up for ambitious projects
  4. Separating one’s identity from their jobs
  5. Setting clear work-life boundaries

Reasons for quiet quitting

  1. Job Burnout
  2. Toxic Workplace
  3. Sexual harassment in the workplace
  4. Lack of communication between employers and employees
  5. Minimal salary for more work
  6. Verbal harassment
  7. Lack of care toward employees
  8. Lack of comfortability in the workplace
  9. Perceived workplace failures, including not being given a promotion or credit for their accomplishments, may be internalized as personal failings and lead to a quiet departure.

The Elements of Quiet Quitting

  1. Checking out of meetings, work, and correspondence mentally.
  2. Unwillingness or reluctance to accept more responsibilities or initiatives.
  3. A disinterested worker who lacks excitement for their job.
  4. Making the minimal effort necessary at work after learning how to do so.
  5. Feeling exhausted by the amount of work.
  6. Doing the work with boundaries.

Generational Difference

While younger employees are more concerned with a balanced lifestyle and are mainly driven by money, older workers tend to favor the “rise and grind” approach.

Impact on employees

Slacking off at work may generate rifts amongst colleagues, leaving some to cover for others. The negative working culture that results from this might worsen employee unhappiness.

Quiet quitters often jeopardize their possibilities for the future. Due to the outsourcing and digitization of HR services, underperforming workers risk building a bad reputation that will accompany them throughout their careers.

How does quiet quitting affect employers and customers?

When a worker behaves with a lack of interest and in a rude manner to the customer, the customer will stop coming to the store and exit ties with that business entity. It will, in turn, affect the employer’s business and the company’s turnover. The action on the part of employees will have a direct impact on employers and customers.

Is the factor of addiction to movies, social media, and pleasure-seeking activities the real reason for quiet quitting?

The COVID-induced lockdown has increased people’s addiction to explicit content, movies, games, and social media. This addiction has resulted in people wanting to work less, withdraw more from work, and spend more time in the fantasy world. This has accelerated the cause of quiet withdrawal from the workforce. A limited number of social interactions during the lockdown and increasing digitization led to the acceleration of this addiction.

Marxist Conflict theory

According to Marxist conflict theory, quiet quitting is a pushback and resistance toward employer exploitation by the worker. Employees are now responding against the toxic corporate cultures and ensuring that proletariat voices of resistance are required to be heard and valued by company executives.

How to address quiet quitting?

A. Revisiting Company Culture and reducing toxic culture

Company culture can be analyzed from anonymous employee feedback and job review websites like glassdoor. Company policies can be softened to accommodate moderate cultural values, reducing toxic workplace culture.

B. HR data analysis

HR data analysis will provide information about factors triggering dissatisfaction among the workforce. It will provide a sociological and psychological understanding of the situation and will be able to address it objectively.

C. Value-based environment

Increase prominence to values like empathy, compassion, friendship, and mutual respect. A company that respects and values its employees can reduce quite quitters. Employers need to display care for their employees.

D. Ensure constant communication

Communication is key to understanding and solving issues that employees are facing in the company.

E. Ensure Work-Life Balance of employees

Employers need to ensure the work-life balance of employees.

F. Accept the fact that there is a problem 

To ensure the greatest outcome for everyone involved, all parties should consider altering the work culture by acknowledging a problem and agreeing to fix it rather than totally abandoning it.

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