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Quiet Quitting: The New Phenomenon (or did we just now give it a name?)

Xcelerant Blog - November 2022

“The Great Resignation,” coined in 2021 of the COVID-era, has now shifted to “Quiet Quitting” after Zaid Khan, a 24-year-old engineer from New York, shared a TikTok video that went viral. “You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” says Khan. Put simply, this latest workplace buzzword is the new way of doing your job at the bare minimum. Examples of quiet quitting could look like: arriving to work late or leaving early, skipping meetings, or an overall reduction in productivity. However, burnout among even the most dedicated employees has been an issue, even years before the pandemic ushered these new terms.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in 2021. As the cost of living continued to climb year-to-year, many said they were being overworked and underpaid, yet “barely getting by.” Research suggests that the new-found flexibility of working remotely during the pandemic did help improve the work-life balance of many working Americans, however, it seems that Quiet Quitting also emerged with the adoption of more flexible work schedules. Although it’s too early to tell who will suffer most from this mindset (employers or employees), it’s safe to say that Quiet Quitting is real and is causing tension in the American workforce.

Xcelerant In Action

This Xcelerant team sought to measure the awareness, participation, and cause of the latest workplace trend, “Quiet Quitting,” among a demographically balanced, nationally representative sample of the current full-time American, Canadian and British workforces.

The Global Xcelerant results show that nearly half of the full-time employee workforce is aware of the term, 15% are actively quiet quitting, and more than a third of the workforce has quiet quit a role (currently or in the past). Overall, more than 6 in 10 employees blame employers for quiet quitting, indicating the need for organizations to start identifying issues that their employees are facing and find ways to improve working conditions (inside their direct control) in the global workforce while this mindset is still in its beginning stages.

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