Ghost Quitting or as its most known, Quiet Quitting, has become the new workplace trend that despite the name, actually has nothing to do with quitting your job.
As a ‘quiet quitter’, doing any extra work or checking emails outside work hours are not considered within the boundaries of your job requirements. Quiet quitting means doing only what is within your job description and nothing more.
What caused this was a shift in the mindset of young workers throughout the pandemic. For example, in the NHS staff survey, conducted in the autumn of 2021, staff engagement had dropped from 7.0 to 6.8. Many workers experienced a lack of recognition and compensation for the extra hours of work they put in and decided to leave their jobs. Those who remained continued to feel discouraged and so chose to quit doing anything extra as a protest against the long working hours.
This ‘quiet quitting’ movement centres on self-preservation and the idea that “work is not your life”, however, many believe that this defeats the point of having a job in the first place. Workplace decorum expert Pattie Ehsaei argued that you will never succeed at work with this mindset, as entirely escaping the hustle culture mentality will not lead you to success. Mentally checking out of a job will lead to mediocre performance and therefore mediocre satisfaction.
Many believe that if you work hard, you will be rewarded and advance in your career. Taking care of your mental health and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key, however, doing the bare minimum required of you will not warrant any progression or pay increases. To put it simply, what you give is what you will get.
The role of work in our lives has changed significantly because of the pandemic, transforming the way we work and our expectations of work and the workplace. It was a time of change and uncertainty and of re-evaluating the meaning of work, characterised as the ‘Great Rethink’. Maria Kordowicz, a professor in organisational behaviour at the University of Nottingham, states that the increase in quiet quitting is connected to a significant drop in job satisfaction. Gallup’s global workplace report for 2022 showed that only 9% of workers in the UK were enthusiastic about their work, ranking 33rd out of 38 European countries.
Career coach Joanna Mallon states that many of her clients ‘quiet quit’ because “ultimately it’s a time to move on and get out of a space physically”, a sign of low fulfilment and contentment. Quiet quitting may not be the best option as it won’t be sustainable in the long run. Employees should feel valued and appreciated, so talking to your manager about your needs and current challenges and expressing to them how you’re feeling might help.
Management in the post-modern workplace has a responsibility to make sure their employees feel respected and listened to, as quiet quitting could indeed be a cry for help. Working together to overcome this workplace phenomenon can lead to more clarity and understanding, and as a result boost employee morale.
Here are 7 ways to create a positive organisational culture and prevent quiet quitting mentality in the workplace. By giving businesses and their employees an identity, purpose, and sense of belonging, strong workplace culture can drive organisational prosperity. Consider adding these office areas to create flexible working environments and build a greater sense of belonging.
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