April 17, 2023

Quiet Quitters - Where are they Now?

Julie Scates

In early 2023, J2T posted an article: “Gen Z: The Quiet Quitters,” where we defined quiet quitting, identified quiet quitters, the reasons behind the term, defined hustle culture, and more. To recap, the phrase “quiet quitting” surfaced in late 2022. This term describes the recent trend of employees setting boundaries with work-life balance by limiting their workload to the bare minimum of what is required from them. Quiet quitting is the idea that work should not overreach into other areas of your life and that doing more work than is needed is unnecessary. This phenomenon has built off the Great Resignation, which was motivated by issues building up to the COVID-19 pandemic, and furthered due to excess job opportunities. Quiet quitting became more popular as it spread through social media.

The concept of desiring a healthy work-life balance is not new; instead, it has been rebranded through social media, giving a new name to an old idea. Gallup’s recent State of the Global Workplace report for 2022 found that 21% of employees are engaged at work, and 33% are thriving overall. 44% of employees stated they felt stress during the workday. Some believe that quiet quitting may be a coping mechanism producing unhealthy results.

Why is Gen Z still quiet quitting?

Although Gen Z is close in age to Millennials, they are the first group who have come of age with smartphones and social media available nearly everywhere. This changed how they grew up and, ultimately, how they viewed the world. Every experience could be documented online, and a quick fix of entertainment has never been more than a click away. This led to the concept of social media influencers, some of which are experts in their field or go on adventures across the globe, but some are famous for really nothing at all. These low-level influencers can make quite an earning from producing arguably mundane content. When Covid hit in 2019, the option for remote work became preferred, and the onset of even more widespread social media and internet use began. For older generations, the above happenings were a nightmare. However, Gen Z quickly adapted and overcame. This was constant for some time, but now the generation is finding themselves seeking separation between their personal lives and jobs. This is one of the biggest contributing factors to quiet quitting and why older generations are confused by the term. Generations other than Gen Z have a completely different mentality about work; they simply cannot fathom why quiet quitting is catching on. 

It seems that most generations go through this phase of having a different outlook on work than those before them. Millennials’ parents were distraught that their children planned to begin working from a computer anywhere in the world. However, it seems that Gen Z may have overcorrected their protest against hustle culture by taking things too far on the lais sez faire side. 

Moving Forward: 

We are headed toward a happy medium between hustle culture and quiet quitting, where employees do not feel constant pressure to perform that impacts their personal lives but where they also have a sense of personal responsibility for their job and seek to perform to the best of their abilities.