Quiet Quitting: What Is the New Workplace Trend

In this article, we take a deep dive to understand the meaning of quiet qutting, reasons why employees do it and how you can prevent it.

Office Workers« Back to Articles

Just as the word “Great Resignation” gained a lot of attention, another buzzword has been the talk of many people in the business world - Quiet Quitting. You can definitely consider this as a trending term in the Great Resignation era. If you are not inactive socially, you probably would have heard about the term too.

There are people over the internet in its support as well as in its opposition. While some think it is a rebel, others say it is an idea of not putting more effort into work than what is required. This situation can be fatal to the organisation’s success, as most jobs today ask for employees to go the extra mile to meet the organisational goals and customer demands. Although, the counter argument here, is that an organisation that demands more from its employees is not well equipped in the first place.

There is more to this concept than just these mere thoughts. So let us dive deep and understand its other aspects.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet Quitting or Ghost Quitting is the approach wherein an employee performs only the bare minimum of the job’s requirement and does not make any extra effort and work overtime. Despite the name, the employee is not really quitting. This practice is the idea of rejecting "hustle culture", the culture that describes working passionately for long hours and improving the quality of work by going beyond what is assigned.

According to McKinsey’s report, employees want their organisations to emphasise flexibility, work-life balance, mental health, and a clear company vision after the covid-19 pandemic. Not receiving these 4 key aspects at the workplace can be the sole reason for employees to choose quiet quitting.

Normally, this trend can mostly be seen in Gen Z and younger millennials, and this generation forms a more significant part of the workplace. They come to the office at 9 and leave right at 5. Clearly, they have defined a safe boundary for doing work. For some companies, this may not be a bigger problem because employees are at least doing their core work. However, constantly developing companies can lose the very chance of competitive advantage due to this.

Today, this has penetrated many companies worldwide. According to Gallup’s report, around 85% of the workforce could be quiet quitting. That is a lot of employees. All of these employees are actively disengaged at work and are looking for a change. Thus it is essential to combat this approach in a correct way. Before that, let us understand different signs to detect Quiet Quitting.

What Are the Signs of Quiet Quitting?

Quiet Quitting can be difficult to identify, especially if your organisation is operating remotely. If employees are doing so, they can easily hide it by ensuring to fulfill the minimum requirements of the job. However, here are some silent signs saying that a quiet quitter is present among your teams.

1. Disengagement for a long time

One of the main identities of a quiet quitter is their active disengagement at the workplace. You may have noticed your employees being stressed or not engaged due to a challenging day from the beginning, a family problem, or burnout. Similarly, employees may discontinue their contribution to the company due to poor work-life balance or workload. As a result, disengagement and attrition in employees increase. Look for signs such as lack of attention, poor listening, no participation in group activities, not attending meetings, or coming late.

2. Isolating oneself from others

Another one of the signs you can see is employees isolating themselves from the team or group. In other words, they stop collaborating with other employees for work. They also disregard the working relationship all of a sudden because it no longer holds any value.

3. Gradually decreased passion for work

When your employees lose their passion for work, it means they are not interested in their work, recognised for their work, or they do not feel valued at the office. Lack of motivation can be seen when employees avoid participating in meetings, sharing opinions, working on time, or achieving objectives.

4. Poor teamwork

Poor team players are often the ones not collaborating with the team and doing the bare minimum to retain their positions. According to them, teamwork is not on their list of responsibilities, and they would only collaborate if they were paid higher. If you see any members of the team not working well together, you might probably have a quiet quitter.

If this practice is not identified and addressed at the right time, your organisation can face an increased employee turnover ratio, spoiled culture or workplace environment, etc. But before finding solutions, let us understand what makes employees turn into quiet quitters.

What Are the Common Reasons for Quiet Quitting?

1. The pandemic itself

The covid-19 pandemic has actually left a very profound impact on everyone’s lives. People are rethinking their priorities at work and home, and workplaces have suffered fatal damage due to this. As already said, they want a better quality of life, healthy balance, and reduced mental issues and want the organisations to adopt a similar work style. In addition to this, they want a work style where less effort and responsibility are required.

This silent trending rebel is the result of not receiving all such benefits.

2. Remote work settings

As an answer to the pandemic, many organisations started working remotely in order to survive in the market. However, this has changed employees' opinions about workplaces. Remote work was here even before the pandemic, but its importance significantly increased after the worldwide lockdown.

Despite the importance, there are challenges of remote or hybrid work for employers, according to some experts, such as increased demotivation due to long working hours, reduced monitoring, boring work-life, and increased slacking. Besides, employees do not want to lose the luxuries of working from home, like work-life balance, virtual meetings, flexibility, a better quality of life, etc. Reopening workplaces again in a conventional way may force employees to give up their freedom and comfort.

3. Insufficient pay rates

It can be self-understood that salary matters the most to employees. Fair remuneration makes an employee feel valued for their efforts. It is actually a competitive advantage for many organisations, as their employees remain satisfied, engaged, and motivated to improve themselves and meet their goals.

On the contrary, if they are poorly paid, discouragement and unwillingness to work occur, which may hold them back from finishing targets successfully. Therefore, quiet quitting may seem to be a better option for them to reduce their efforts and enthusiasm.

4. No or lack of career progression

With all the technological advancement taking place today, it is equally essential for employees to learn new skills in order to make their efforts count. Not only them but also companies benefit from skilled and powerful employees.

When companies are not able to provide adequate training and development opportunities, employees’ determination to outwork drops. The unhappiness of not properly receiving career progression may put employees in a situation to follow this passive war.

5. Unhealthy workplace culture

An unhealthy workplace does not definitely influence employees to perform their best. Even talented employees would avoid such places. It negatively affects the mindset of employees, and they become unmotivated. Their physical and mental well-being is disturbed. In addition, it also creates workplace conflicts, employee grievances, absenteeism, negativity, and offensive behavior.

There are various reasons behind a toxic workplace: Biasness, Bullying employees, long-term stress, excessive workload, malicious gossip, etc. Eventually, the employee remains with only one weapon, i.e., quiet quitting.

Now, let us discover how organisations can combat this practice.

What Are the Methods to Tackle Quiet Quitting?

This silent war against your workplace culture can be very perilous because it is like normal quitting just without any prior knowledge of it happening. Its main cause is somehow related to engagement levels in your organisation. According to workplace engagement reports, companies actually lose around $400-550 due to low engagement in employees.

If you want to improve engagement levels and increase retention, it is essential to implement strategies to encourage your employees not to choose quiet quitting. Here are some of the ways that HR can apply to tackle this problem.

1. Recognise employees

Recognition at the workplace is one of the most wonderful methods to appreciate employees’ efforts. After all, we crave to be recognised for giving our best. This can have a very positive influence on employees, as it motivates them to raise their productivity. According to different studies by experts, having a recognition culture drives business outcomes, increases the retention ratio, and improves organisational values.

To do this, you can simply congratulate employees verbally. However, it can be very obsolete. Instead, try to develop methods like:

• Public recognition
• Monetary rewards
• Day-offs
• Lunch or dinner coupons
• Yoga class or gym memberships, etc.

2. Promote work-life balance

A better work-life balance can help employees equally prioritise work and private life. They can spend quality time with their loved ones. One of the important things employers must understand is that a healthy work-life balance means improved quality of work rather than quantity of work. It also means creating a workplace to optimise productivity, drive creativity, and improve flexibility.

3. Encourage mentoring

Mentoring employees can have huge benefits in expanding knowledge and improving strengths. Providing proper mentoring can infuse self-confidence, improve work satisfaction, increase loyalty, promote personal development, support mental health, and boost efficiency. Specifically, mentoring programs empower individuals to break any social barriers and accomplish their goals efficiently. Leaders also can be made mentors in order to push employees to come up with suggestions and find solutions. It helps employees discover their hidden talents.

4. Provide learning and development opportunities

A business succeeds with the development of its employees. Employees also seek companies where the focus is given to their career advancement and competence development. Besides creating various opportunities for employees, training and development also help organisations unleash employees’ potential to achieve results faster.

5. Foster humanity and inclusion

A human outlook at the workplace is equally important today as technology. It shows that you invest in your workforce as much as they do in you. You must also find methods always to include your workforce in important discussions to make them feel valued. Balancing the human and digital sides at the workplace is also essential to learn.

For humanising work, Deloitte has created strategies as follows:

• Re-architect work - Transform future workplace using technology to enhance human abilities.
• Unleash the workforce - Understand the workforce and deploy technology to improve their potential within and outside the company.
• Adapt the workplace - Accept the organisational and cultural changes requested at the workplace.


It may seem that quiet quitting is just a normal response to the poor workplace culture and has no impact on the workplace. However, it has its own consequences, which can be hard to notice. Now that you have gained insights into this trend, it is time to redefine your cultural aspects and workplace environment to concentrate on employee engagement and retention and fight this problem from its roots.

This article was guest written by Pranjal Varma.

Welcome to PushFar, the world's largest mentoring platform. Whether you're looking to find a mentor or launch your own mentoring programs and schemes, we can help.
Looking for a mentor or to become a mentor?
Join Now Free Running your own mentoring programs?
Request a Demo

Explore more articles...

Similar mentoring, career progression and learning articles and resources by PushFar, you might like to read.

Go Further, with PushFar.

What are you looking for in your mentoring journey?
Individual Mentoring - Join Free
Organisation Solutions - Request a Demo