Quiet take-off has nothing to do with lazy employees. It’s about rejecting a broken work culture


Photo: Thomas Barwick/Getty

Time expires on time. Not checking work emails in bed. Effectively manage workload. All the hallmarks of a healthy relationship with work, and the essential habits of maintaining a balance between our personal and professional lives – or so you think.

You’ve likely come across the phrase “Quitting Quiet” lately, which has been in vogue ever since TikTok user They took to the stage to discuss the bustle culture and why they decided to opt out.

“You are not leaving your job completely but you are giving up on the idea of ​​going further,” explains the user in the post that is now spreading rapidly. “You’re still doing your homework but you no longer subscribe to the bustle culture mentality that work should be your life. The truth isn’t, and your value as a person is not determined by your work.”

We see: The future of work: how everything changed and what comes next (ZDNET special feature)

The recognition of the pernicious mindset behind the bustle culture should be applauded. Subscribe to the idea that our commitment to work is in some way a reflection of our moral stance and self-worth is not healthy or sustainable, and will only add to Fatigue issuesand tension and Employee disengagement that hit the workforce already.

But the phrase “quiet take off” is a misnomer. It indicates that if you do not constantly make yourself available for your work, then you are lazy and disloyal. He suggests that if you don’t consistently work late, communicate with your boss at any hour of the day, or constantly say “yes” to new tasks regardless of your workload, you’re as good as not doing your job at all. He suggests that employees should constantly do their best to please their superiors, even if they do not receive recognition for doing so.

The culture of hustle is a relic of pre-pandemic practices, and the embodiment of many faults in today’s work mentality. By insinuating that rejecting bustle culture is a form of smoking cessation, we’re throwing the fault at the feet of workers, rather than bad workplaces and the nature of work itself.

Employees are already exhausted, stressed and the present, often as a result of our modern work culture. Technology has made our lives easier in many ways, but it has also made work more pervasive and efficient Difficult to disconnect in the end of the day. Similarly, while broadband, software, and mobile devices have made us more productive and efficient as workers, few of these innovations Significantly reduce our workload – We simply put more work into the same eight-hour window, and become more distracted In the meantime.

What is needed is a fundamental rethinking of work and work culture – something that is emulated by ongoing experience Four working days a week In the UK, US and other parts of the world she hopes to explore. Early indications are promising.

Excelling in your role does not necessarily mean engaging in a culture of hustle. You can be a loyal and conscientious worker without taking your business home with you. In fact, the happiest, most energetic and productive workers are usually those who are flexible in their roles and have a healthy work-life balance – not those who spend all their time in the office and They work themselves to the point of exhaustion.

We see: Feeling tired? Your boss is more likely to quit than you

It is a moral responsibility for employers to promote healthy work habits, and to be clear that opportunities for growth and development are not tied to the hours they spend in the office. Employees must be able to check out on time, say “no” to tasks they don’t have the ability to manage, and get away from anything work-related during their spare time, without fear of judgment or retribution. If leaders find employee engagement dwindling, that’s a good indication of that Something in the workplace is not working as it should. The key is to engage with employees and ask what needs fixing, not accusing them of “quiet quitting” — which could prompt them to quit “loudly,” which is the last thing employers need now.

It’s sad that in 2022, after all we’ve learned about work’s role in our well-being and the many ways we can improve it, we are still using the rhetoric that normalizes overwork. Let’s stop accusing workers of “quiet quits” and applaud them for recognizing that hustle and bustle serve only bad workplaces and bad work culture.

Instead of criticizing employees for stepping back from roles that don’t reward them, let’s look at how we can apply lessons learned from the past two years to create more sustainable, equitable, and rewarding ways of working.

ZDNET opening on Monday

Monday’s ZDNet editorial is our opening for this week in technology, written by members of our editorial team.

Previously on ZDNET’s MONDAY OPENER:

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